What is a Carpenter Ant?

Carpenter Ant on a leaf

You may not have thought about this before, but as the ant control experts, we certainly have! There are so many different species of ants out there. Astonishingly, more than 12,000 species of ants have been discovered so far. But only 100 or so of those species are found here in Canada. And of those species found in Canada, the carpenter ant is one of the most common. Why is it we seem to hear about the carpenter ant more so than any other ant? What’s so special about this ant? And why is it called a carpenter ant anyway? We are taking a closer look.

Why Are Carpenter Ants Called Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants get their name from their nest. Sounds interesting, right? Unfortunately, that’s the very reason they’re one of the most feared pests in all of North America. Carpenter ants tunnel their way into wood, excavating wood along the way and creating smooth, tunnel-like entrances and alleyways. They build their nest there. So that’s how they get their name – from their unique, carpenter-like abilities.

What Do Carpenter Ants Do?

Let’s begin with the appearance of carpenter ants first. Carpenter ants are large (for ants) at just over half an inch in length. They have six strong, fast-moving legs and they’re usually dark red or black. 

So what do they spend their time doing? Well, depending on their role they could be doing any number of things. But every carpenter ant in a colony has one common goal: protect and serve the wingless queen at all costs.

Some colonies could have as many as 50,000 worker ants. These ants are tasked with building nests, creating space for the colony and foraging food. Swarmers – the ants tasked with re-producing – briefly appear a couple of times a year to spread their population even further. They only appear once the colony has been established for more than two years.

Carpenter ants are also known for their painful bite. Not only that, they’ll spray an acid-like chemical over your wound too – just to make sure you don’t bother their colony again.

Carpenter ants can expect to live from just a few months all the way up to a year – if the conditions are right. Mild winters and ideal conditions will see their life span increased. Queens can expect to live for several years.

What Does an Infestation Look Like?

Unfortunately, the signs of a carpenter ant infestation are one of the last things you want to find on your property. In order to build their nests, carpenter ants have to burrow deep into wooden beams and structures. Continued digging can seriously compromise the safety of your home.

You’ll be able to spot the signs of infestation with small piles of sawdust at entries and openings. They’ll normally dig into the wood which is moist, and located near a moisture problem. If you happened to look inside, you’d find perfectly smooth and surprisingly clean tunnels and alleyways inside wooden beams.

Call Truly Nolen Today 

Unfortunately, our team has seen plenty of carpenter ant infestations in our time. But the good news is that we’ve become experts in carpenter ant control in your area.

Once our team arrives on-site, they’ll immediately be able to spot the signs of a carpenter ant infestation and remove the determined colony before things get any worse. Contact our Truly Nolen team today if you suspect that carpenter ants are inside your home.