Residential Pest Control – How Carpenter Ant Queens Build Their Colonies

Ant with a crown

Carpenter ants are a large ant species that can be black, red, yellow or brown in colour and can typically be found making their homes in trees, wood and underground. They are expert colonizers and many colonies can house tens of thousands of worker ants. The carpenter ants live in a complex society where each member has a role to play but there is only ever one carpenter ant queen in charge of the colony. As with most ant species the queen plays a pivotal role in the running of the colony and has a number of responsibilities, including choosing a nesting site for her new colony, controlling the population and laying eggs. The queen is also an important factor for residential pest control when ants are found in the home.

The Natural Role of the Carpenter Ant Queen

The carpenter ant queen will seek out a suitable site with rotten, moist wood as a place to establish her new colony. Once an appropriate nesting site has been located, she lays her first lot of eggs and will produce a brood of between 9 and 16 offspring who will all become worker ants. The development of the queen’s eggs to fully grown workers takes approximately 6 to 12 weeks. During this time, the queen uses her wing muscles and stored fat reserves to feed and nourish the young carpenter ants until they reach full maturity.

This first generation of carpenter ants take on almost all the responsibilities of the colony, like cleaning, building and foraging for food, but they do not lay eggs. They are typically small in size because they have been raised on the body fluids and fat stores of the queen ant but subsequent generations that feed on a heartier diet will be larger. These subsequent generations will produce both workers and future queens. Later, after a minimum of two years, the carpenter ant queen produces swarmers with wings that will leave their home colony to form new colonies. A carpenter ant queen can live up to 25 years and produce thousands of fertilized eggs during her lifespan.

Carpenter Ants and Their Destructive Tendencies

Carpenter ants are known as one of the most destructive ants in nature and just like termites, they are notorious for destroying wood. However, unlike the termites, they don’t feed on wood. They usually establish colonies in moist or rotting wood and will chew the wood and excavate it to make a home for themselves. As they build and enlarge their colonies the wood that the carpenter ants are living in becomes weaker and rots even further. This makes them highly destructive and unwelcome pest in your home.

Carpenter Ants Can Spread Quickly

Homeowners should always be on the lookout for carpenter ants and the damage they cause. If you find evidence of carpenter ants on your property, you need to take immediate action and call in a pest control expert. The sooner you deal with the problem the easier it will be to rid your home of carpenter ants and limit the damage they cause, especially if the colony is still in its formative stages.

If left unchecked, however, the carpenter ant population can grow exponentially making control extremely difficult and, in some cases, almost impossible to achieve. There are DIY carpenter ant control options, but insecticides, poison sprays and stinky chemical mixtures bought from your local hardware stores will only be an effective short-term solution. A far more effective method to get rid of carpenter ants is to seek the assistance of residential pest control experts in Niagara to exterminate them completely. To truly eradicate the problem, you need a proper pest control strategy that is correctly implemented by a trained professional.