Carpenter Ants-What Are They?

Carpenter ants can be a problem  because of their nesting habits in Fort Worth homes.  They don’t eat wood wood like termites but they remove wood to expand their nests.  They aren’t as prolific as termites either since a single queen will only produce about 200 to 300 workers over a 2 year period.  The damage they inflect on a building is can be quite severe and if left unchecked could cause the structural collapse.

The adult colony contains the queen, young larvae, and the workers while the satellite colony contains mature larvae, pupae, workers and the winged reproductives.  Ants will move back and forth between the two colonies and to the food source.  Ant trails can be seen across the lawn since they will follow a path of least resistance and they keep them clean of debris.  The most active time of the day on these trails is at night.

Mating habits of carpenter ants occurs when they swarm through the summer from May to September.  The mated queen will find a new home dig a small hole and start laying eggs.  By the end of summer workers will start to emerge and the late eggs will go dormant through the Winter.

There 2 sizes of workers the larger “Major Workers” and the smaller “Minor Workers”.  There also can be more than one queen but only produces eggs for that colony.

Carpenter ants keep house a clean and remove wood from your home in the form of a coarse sawdust, more coarse than termite dust, to continue the colony expansion.  The carpenters push this material from the colony which will form a cone pile will not only contain wood but dead ants and over discarded materials.

How to prevent  carpenter ants from infesting your home.

  • Trim all trees and bushes away from the home so they don’t touch, about 12″ to 18″ is best.
  • Caulk, paint and seal exposed wood.
  • Replace any wood that was previously damaged by either termites or carpenter ants.
  • Remove stacks of firewood piled next to the house

I hope this has been helpful.  Keep an eye for these pesky little creatures.

Happy Trails,

Donnie