Carpenter ants can be destructive pests. If they get into your home, you should call for carpenter ant removal in Toronto as soon as possible. However, they are also very interesting creatures with some remarkable capabilities. Learning more about carpenter ants may help you to deal with them more effectively. Here are some fascinating facts about them.
1. They Are Social
To say that carpenter ants are social doesn’t mean that they are coming out of the woodwork trying to make friends with you. When an insect is social, it means that it lives in a colony with others of its own kind. All the ants in a colony are descended from a single queen. In a carpenter ant colony, the queen can lay thousands of eggs during her lifetime, which can last up to 25 years.
Once a colony is well established, a generation of winged ants, male and female, will hatch. These ants are called swarmers, and their task is to mate with one another and then fly off to create new colonies elsewhere.
2. They Can Bite, but They Don’t Sting
Unlike some other ant species, carpenter ants don’t have a painful defensive sting. They may bite in self-defence, but this is relatively rare. Carpenter ants aren’t aggressive, and you would have to handle them fairly roughly to provoke them sufficiently to bite. When carpenter ants do bite, it can be mildly to moderately painful. Their jaws are strong enough to chew up wood, so you can imagine that they can really sink their jaws into soft flesh. Carpenter ants also inject an irritant called formic acid into the wound when they bite, which can cause a mild reaction. Nevertheless, carpenter ant bites typically heal quickly and cause no long-term ill effects.
3. They Come in Different Colours
Different species of carpenter ants come in a range of colours:
- Light brown
- Dark brown
Some people may mistake red carpenter ants for fire ants or other stinging varieties. Fortunately, however, fire ants cannot live in Toronto because the climate is too cold for them.
There are even two-toned carpenter ants. The abdomen, and sometimes the head, is black, but the thorax is red. Sometimes the head and thorax are both red but the head is a darker shade than the thorax.
All of these colour combinations are possible but less common. Most carpenter ants are black all over.
4. They Are Among the Largest Ants
If it is difficult to identify a carpenter ant by its colour, its size may be a more reliable clue. Carpenter ants are among the largest found in North America. Workers measure up to 13 mm in length, while winged swarmers may measure up to 25 mm. Carpenter ants have large, visible mandibles that add a bit to their overall length.
5. They Leave Clues of Their Presence
If you don’t see carpenter ants in your home right away, you may hear a rustling noise as they chew through the wood of your home and scrabble about in their tunnels. Carpenter ants do not eat wood but excavate it to hollow out spaces for their nests. The chewed-up remains have to go somewhere, so the ants push them out the holes behind them as they make their forward progress. Therefore, one of the clearest signs of a carpenter ant infestation is a little pile of debris on the floor that looks like sawdust. You may also see carpenter ants around your home as they leave their nests to forage for food. If you see swarmers, it is cause for concern because it means that the colony has been present for a while and become established.
Why You Should Call Truly Nolen for Carpenter Ant Removal in Toronto
Carpenter ants can cause extensive property damage. By calling professional pest control services at the first sign of infestation, you may be able to minimize it. Contact Truly Nolen for an inspection.