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Our pest control company is comprised of some of the most dedicated and educated individuals in the Iowa industry. Our technicians could literally talk to you all day about the different species of ants and how they invade your home, how they feed, and the best ways to eliminate them. But to be honest, you probably aren’t concerned with how many species there are in the world and how each is different. What you want to know is how to keep them from damaging your home. That is exactly what we are here to do for you. If you did want to know more about the varying species and their different characteristics, our educated techs would be more than glad to take the time to educate you on these matters as well.
Regardless, there are some pertinent things you need to know about carpenter ants in order to prevent them from doing damage to your property.
They Don’t Exactly Eat Wood
Given their name and propensity to damage wooden structures, most people assume that carpenter ants eat wood. It is completely understandable as to why this is a viable assumption. However, it is just that, an assumption. These creepy crawlers with their six legs and extremely powerful mandible do not consume the wood they bore into. Rather, they just do lots of damage to wood by chewing tunnels and galleries in it. For these reasons, if you see sawdust or frass piled by wooden structures, you’ll want to get our offices on the phone. This is probably a very good indication you have an unwanted carpenter ant infestation on your hands.
A Harder Species To Detect
When most people think about ants in a home setting, they tend to think about hundreds to thousands of little red and black crawlers hauling around food crumbs. This is essentially what most ants do. They get into your kitchen and pantry areas, look for food scraps, and haul them back to their colony. Well, this is not the case at all with carpenter ants. This just goes to show you how much of a different beast these pests are. A carpenter ant colony can eventually consist of nearly 3,000 workers. This, of course, takes years and years to grow to this size, but it is entirely possible.
One of the reasons it is possible is because these creepy crawlers can go undetected for such lengths of time. They don’t depend on resources from your kitchen and pantry areas. These crawling pests can live quite nicely off food sources that exist outside the home. It also doesn’t hurt that a worker ant can travel nearly 1,000 feet from the colony and find its way back without incident. Regardless, you can see the need for professional assistance when a carpenter ant is spotted on the property.
How To Identify The Species
With the above in mind, just because you spot an ant or two in the kitchen, it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t carpenter ants. Sure, carpenter ants can thrive on food sources found outside the kitchen and pantry, but that doesn’t always mean they’ll choose to do so. Therefore, it is imperative to know how to identify these crawling nuisances. The best way to do this will be by looks. The carpenter ant is the largest amongst any species, with the ability to grow anywhere from ½ inch to 5/8 inches. These pests are common but can be found in a variety of colors. Some are solid black, red, or brown, while others are a combination of the mentioned color patterns.
The best way to differentiate them is by looking at their abdomens. You’ll notice that the carpenter ant is the only one that has a single node located between their thorax and abdomen. To be honest, it doesn’t matter what type of ant you find in the property, they’re going to be trouble. Therefore, you’ll want to immediately get our pest management pros on the line. We always have specific individuals standing by, ready to assist.