Carpenter ants are one of the most common species of insects and live in huge populations. They are the largest of all ants in the United States ranging from 3.4 to 13 mm long. The most common color is black, but some species have reddish or yellowish coloration. Worker ants in these populations have large mandibles to carry things.
Carpenter ants are great adapters and that is why they are good at surviving both indoors and outdoors. Their preferable habitat is moist, decaying or hollow wood. They cut galleries into the wood gran to form pathways so that the colonies can move freely throughout the nest. This activity produces wood shavings mixed with parts of dead ants which provides clues to nesting locations. Carpenter ants do not eat wood, yet their tunneling greatly damages wood and therefore it is necessary to stop or prevent ant infestations. They will feed on a variety of food that is commonly around your home particularly sweets and meats, and they will also feed on other insects.
Queen lays 9 to 16 eggs the first year and may live up to 25 years. Eggs complete their life cycle in about 6 to 12 weeks, meaning that they can and do breed a lot and often.
In their natural environment carpenter ants live in both dead and living trees, stumps and rotting logs. However, they may also establish their nests inside of homes and buildings where wood is found. Carpenter ants prefer to establish nests in areas where wood has been exposed to severe moisture and therefore if you have a good amount of wood in your home that has been exposed to moisture it is best to be aware that you are prone to ant infestations.
Carpenter ants live in colonies that become enormous quickly. The average size of a colony is between 300,000 to 500,000. If you do not have moist wood they may be looking for sweet or greasy food, or water, so closing lids, and cleaning up messes can help reduce the problem.
If you notice you have an infestation, you need to contact an exterminator who will locate the nests and eliminate all the ants. At Eco Tech we have more than 15 years of experience in Minneapolis. Our staff is highly trained and we use only organic products that will not harm you, your family or your pets. Eco Tech, an Integrated Pest Management Service, offers organic insect, pest, and animal control services. If you have a Minneapolis pest problem and are looking for a locally based exterminator, we are here for you!