Carpenter ants are one of the larger ant species, often mistaken for termites. These pests can grow from 3/8″ to 1/2″ in length. They are red or black in color, have waists with one node, and evenly rounded thoraces. Queens and males have wings and their hind wings are shorter than their front wings. They also have bent antennae.
Carpenter ants damage wood by excavating through it to dig tunnels for their nests. Damage from these pests occurs slowly over time. In fact, they often go undetected for long periods of time, allowing them to cause a significant amount of damage before they are discovered.
Some common signs of carpenter ants include:
- Hearing scratching noises in walls. These ants will make noise when scraping off wood particles as they tunnel through your home.
- Seeing large black ants in your house.
- Spotting piles of sawdust under any wooden areas like door frames, window sills, and baseboards.
- Seeing long trails of ants on your lawn.
- Discovering discarded wings on window sills and vents.
- Identifying large winged ants inside your home.
You can prevent carpenter ants by:
- Replacing any moisture damaged wood around your home.
- Elevating any lumber or wood stored in or near your home to prevent moisture.
- Storing firewood away from your home.
- Removing any tree stumps or tree and shrub roots.
- Trimming any overhanging branches that come into contact with your home.
- Pruning back any shrubs or branches that touch power lines.