Ants are some of the most common household pests. There are a variety of ants that can be a problem in and around the home.
Their name is derived from the fact that they build their nests in wood. Carpenter ants are usually the larger of the ant species that you will see. Once the fertilized queen has hollowed out enough room for her nest, she raises her first offspring of worker ants until they are ready to begin finding food and preparing for the next generation of carpenter ants. A colony can reach up to 2000 in number. While they don´t feed on wood as termites do, they can damage any wood structure if their nest goes undetected and untreated. If this wood is in the home, the repairs to the damage can be costly.
Color – Ranges from red to black, but the most common found in this region is black in color.
Length – 5/8”
Diet – They mostly feed on other dead or living insects. However, they also love anything from sweet, sugary foods to fat from meat.
Habitat – Carpenter ants prefer wet, damp wood to build their nest. You will often see them around old tree stumps, firewood that is curing outside. However, they can find their way into the home in areas where the wood is wet and damaged by excessive moisture. Some carpenter ants have been known to adapt to drier climates.
Impact – While carpenter ants don’t carry disease, they can do damage to the structure of your home if they are allowed to nest in the wood. The tunnels they borough in the wood can weaken the structure and create a need for very costly repairs in your home.
They are called pavement ants because their nests can usually be found in or under the cracks and crevices of the pavement. During the spring they are most active as colonies looking for new territory in which to nest.
Color – Usually they are dark brown to black in color.
Length – to 1/8”
Diet – Pavement ants are not picky when it comes to food. Their diet includes insects, cheese, meat, fat, grease, bread, seeds and honey just to name a few.
Habitat – Their habitat is as their name suggests. They live in the crevices and cracks of pavement, sidewalks or near foundations. They can also live under boards and wood. The nest becomes obvious not only from their activity, but from the small mounds of soil showing where they are living.
Impact – As with other ants, pavement ants do not pose a health risk but food contamination can occur from their bodily waste.