Carpenter Ant

Most carpenter ants can be easily distinguished from other species of ants by their large size, up to 1/2 inch long. Common species are dark, often black but could also have a redish tint. Carpenter ants cannot sting but if handled can inflict a painful bite with their powerful jaws and emit a noxious excretion of formic acid when disturbed.

Winged ants (Swarmers), which leave the nest to mate and establish new colonies, are sometimes confused with swarming termites. Swarming termites are shaped like a slug with wings where as a swarming ants will have a very distinct skinny waist with wings. The two are most often similar in color and size also.

Carpenter ants feed on both dead and living insects, aphid and scale honeydew, and juices of ripe fruit. Carpenter ants enter buildings in search of food and may construct nests containing several thousand individuals somewhere within the building. Nests constructed indoors may be satellite colonies of a larger nest located outside near the building, usually in trees. As many as twenty satellite colonies can be associated with a single main colony that contains the queen(s).

Although ants do not eat wood, they bore into wood to make their nests, which consist of extensive networks of galleries usually begun in areas soft from decay. Indoor carpenter ant nests are bored into wooden parts of the building, sometimes causing serious structural damage. They also nest in wall voids, hollow doors, cracks and crevices, furniture, and termite galleries. Infestations can occur in new buildings when land clearing in the area disturbs existing native colonies.

In the wild, carpenter ants nest in soil and beneath rocks; they bore into living and dead trees and stumps.  They are necessary in our environment because they help break down dead and dying trees turning the branches into organic matter that enriches the earth.

Below see the galleries they make in wood.  They do not digest the wood but they weaken the structure with their excavations.  In the wild this is helpful but when they make their nest in our wooden buildings  (homes) they  weaken the structure.   Also if you have carpenter ants damaging trees in your yard, their excavations will weaken the tree leaving it prone to collapse during our many nor’easter’s and hurricanes.

Narragansett, South Kingstown, Wakefield, Peacedale, Kingston, West Kingstown, Matunuck, Greenhill, Charlestown, Westerly, Exeter, North Kingstown, Richmond, Carolina, Saunderstown, East Greenwich, Warwick, Jamestown, Newport, Portsmouth, Middletown, Watch Hill communities have all experienced heavy carpenter ant infestations.  Narragansett Pest Control are experts at ant control: we know the environment in each town and can help locate and find ant nests that cause problems in your living environment.