Previously we learned why we get carpenter ants, now let's take a how carpenter ants actual get to work.. and most importantly how exactly they cause damage. Remember, carpenter ants are tricky to control, so if you're unsure what to do give us a call and one our ant control technicians will help you out.
How Carpenter Ants Work
Carpenter ant workers are tireless, constantly working on building nests or foraging for food. You’ll see carpenter ant workers traipsing across your floor boards, or driveway, across overhead power lines, climbing up the side of your house and of course, foraging in the garden. Carpenter ants are the ones that will chew their way through your house’s wood structure. It’s interesting to note that unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t actually eat the wood, they simply excavate it to build tunnels and chambers for their colonies. As they’re not able to digest cellulose; carpenter ants instead they prefer dead insects, honeydew from aphids, plant secretions, and even rotting fruit.
Carpenter ants in the Metro Vancouver region are generally most active between April and October (although they can groggily appear as early as late January), and the ant trails (the routes used to travel to food sources) are used most frequently by the worker ants after sunset and through the night, although they can be seen on the trails at all hours of the day.
Parent nests must maintain a good level of moisture for the queens eggs to survive. A parent (or primary) nest can have many satellite nests. Satellite nest do not contain eggs and therefore do not require moisture. This enables carpenter ant colonies to have multiple satellite nests within an individual structure.
Carpenter Ant Destruction (frass) unearthed during a renovation
The tunnels created by carpenter ants often can’t be seen because the activity takes place inside of the wood. If you suspect there are ants in a particular piece of wood, tap it and then listen for the tell-tale rustling sounds you can often hear if you listen hard enough – kind of a “snap crackle pop” (Rice Crispies) Oh, and if you see large, winged ants crawling out of the wood on your home, it’s as sure a sign as you can get that the ants have set up a parent nest.
Another important tell to determine whether you have carpenter ants or termites is to have a look at the tunnels in the wood if you are able. If there’s mud or dirt in the tunnels, it means you have termites, because carpenter ants like tidy passageways.
Carpenter ant colonies build a primary nest – where they lay the eggs – and satellite nests. When conditions are right – normally warm and humid – winged females and males will take flight and perform a nuptial dance. Once the mating has concluded, the males die and the new queens drop their wings, venture off in search of moist wood in which to begin a new colony. Then the new carpenter ant queen lays her first eggs and the cycle of colony building begins anew.
Westside Pest Control is the no1. Ant Control company in the lower mainland. In addition to carpenter ants, we also treat for Fire Ants and Pavement Ants. If there is a need for professional help with an infestation contact of of the team today on 604-559-9060, we would be happy to help.