The red carpenter ant and the black carpenter ant are two of the most common types found in Canada.
The red carpenter ant has a dark brownish-black body, with a reddish-brown upper body.
The black carpenter ant is dark brownish-black all over.Carpenter ants are from 6 to 25 mm (.24 to 1 inch) long. A carpenter ant's body is divided into three segments, with a very slim waist separating the upper body and lower body. Their antennae are bent and in sections. Male and female adults have wings at mating time.
Should I be concerned?
Carpenter ants are well known for their ability to damage wooden structures. They are also a nuisance in homes as they search for food. Carpenter ants eat both plant and animal matter. Their natural food sources are insects, other small invertebrates, and sweet body fluids from aphids and other insects. Carpenter ants build nests by burrowing into wood. They dig tunnels (called galleries) much longer than those created by termites. The wood is not eaten, but thrown from the nest as sawdust-like shavings.
Carpenter ants live in large colonies with hundreds of workers and one or more queen. When part of an established colony goes into a nearby structure, it establishes a smaller satellite colony there. This is the main way carpenter ants invade homes and business.
Although they work slowly, if left alone or untreated, carpenter ant damage can be severe requiring costly repairs or replacement.
It is always better to treat and prevent at the first signs of an infestation.
Although the damage caused by carpenter ants is not as severe as the damage caused by termites, carpenter ant nests may cause significant damage over a period of years. As the number of individuals inside a colony grows, they continue to expand through the wood, which causes further damage.
If you spot large carpenter ants, with or without wings, it is a sign of an established colony and you need to call your local pest control professional.
Outdoors, carpenter ants are found in dead trunks of standing trees, stumps, or logs, or under fallen logs and stones. They can mine sound wood, but they usually choose a soft type, like pine.Indoors, because they prefer moist, decaying wood, carpenter ants can signal a moisture problem.
As well as tunneling in the trim of buildings, wooden steps, and window sills, ant colonies can nest in houses without attacking structural timbers, using hollow spaces like wall voids, attic spaces, and hollow doors. They can even be found behind books in libraries, behind drawers in dressers and cabinets, and in Styrofoam insulation.
If you suspect Carpenter Ants are present in your home or business, call now;
Our carpenter ant pest control plans come with options to suit any budget. We have one year, two year and three year written guarantees available.
Carpenter ants are sometimes confused with termites, but it is easy to tell the difference between them. The termite has straight antennae and a thick waist, and the carpenter ant has a very narrow waist and "elbowed" (bent) antennae. Termites are found only in certain areas in Canada.
Termites actually eat wood. Carpenter ants gain no nutritional value from wood; rather, they damage it to make nests. An infestation of carpenter ants can be distinguished from a termite infestation by examining the damaged wood. Carpenter ants clean and polish their galleries of wood so that they appear smooth inside, while galleries of subterranean termites contain large amounts of soil and mud.
Termite damage costs Canadians close to a billion dollars every year in damage repair and preventive treatment measures.
As termite activity primarily takes place below the surface of wood, the pests are capable of completely excavating through wooden floors, furniture, window frames, doors, paneling, and other important structural components of buildings.
The resulting damage weakens the wood and makes the structure prone to further deterioration.
Remain on the lookout for the dry and moist lines of mud in basements and garages. Spotted, striped, discolored, or warped wood may also indicate the existence of termites below the surface. Knocking on wood and hearing a hollow sound typically indicates termite damage.
Most of our country is past the northern limit for termites. However, over 20% of the Canadian population live in areas where there are active termite colonies. In Canada termites are active and present in southern Ontario, southern Quebec, and the Maritime provinces. Most damage in Canada is caused by subterranean termites. Areas, such as Toronto and southern Ontario, has reached significant economic levels.
Your biggest investment is your home and termites can be a real and present danger to that investment.Termites are known as the “silent destroyer” and can be very hard to detect.
If you suspect a termite problem you should immediately contact the trained professionals here at Extermination Plus Inc for an inspection and a customized termite protection plan.