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  • Michael Radovic

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants are a very common pest to find on Long Island. As ants go, they can be pretty large, growing to be more than a ½ inch in length. The queen can grow to be a full inch in length. Carpenter Ants are attracted to moisture. They seek out moist wood and can be found in any part of the house. Some places where moisture may get into the house are through a leaky roof or a tub or shower that is not draining properly. Carpenter Ants can also be attracted to unprotected wood on the outside of the house, such as on a porch, a windowsill, or a door frame.

Unlike termites, Carpenter Ants do not eat wood. However, they are still considered a wood-damaging insect, and if a Carpenter Ant infestation is left unchecked for a long time, they could severely damage a structure. When they find the damp wood they like, they will create tunnels for nesting areas. So, whether the wood-damaging insects you have are eating the wood or not, the result is the same.

These ants will usually stay outside. However, they will venture indoors in search of food and water. Once in the house, they may move the entire colony indoors to be closer to a food source, or they may start a satellite colony indoors near the food with the main colony remaining outside.

Ants work in a very structured way, with ants having different jobs within the colony. They will follow the same trail when they venture out searching for food. If you find an ant trail, there could be enough ants for you to follow the trail back to their nest. The best time to find such a trail would be when Carpenter Ants are the most active at night and on particularly cloudy days.

Carpenter Ants are most active in the spring and summer, with most swarms happening in the spring. Though not known as flying insects, when ants swarm, there are winged males and females that go out in search of a location for a new nest. During this swarming flight, the winged males mate with the winged female. Soon after, the females will lose their wings, and the males will die. The female ants will then search for a suitable location for a nest, typically a small crack in some wooden structure. The queen will find a spot within the opening and lay her first batch of eggs, which become the worker ants. The lifecycle of the ants can be from 6 to 12 weeks, and it can take several years to establish a stable colony.

After several years of growing a colony, the queen, of which there is generally only one in a colony, will produce winged males and females, who will then swarm in search of locations for new colonies.

Ants may seem more of a nuisance than a problem in many cases. However, when it comes to Carpenter Ants, they are far more than a nuisance. The damage these insects can do is quite considerable. Carpenter Ants are also not known to carry diseases; however, they walk through garbage and feces, so their legs can be covered with bacteria, and they can contaminate food, leading to Salmonella and other diseases.

If you see signs of ant activity, do not wait. Give us a call right away, and we will come to you, diagnose the situation and come up with the best possible solution. Call us at 800-585-LUXE (5893).

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