5 Facts About Carpenter Ants

carpenter ants on broken wood
Most people wouldn’t consider carpenter ants to be all that interesting, but these small pests can be fascinating! Of course, learning about carpenter ants and having them in your home are two different things. Carpenter ants are destructive and will burrow through wood to create tunnels and nests. These pests prefer damp, hollow wood but won’t hesitate to burrow through dry wood either.

Here are five facts about carpenter ants and why pest control measures are needed:

1. Carpenter Ants Chew Through Wood But Do Not Eat It

Carpenter ants are sometimes compared to termites because they both chew through wood. The difference is that termites eat the wood and carpenter ants do not. Instead, they chew it up and spit it out. Even though these large ants don’t consume wood, they pose a threat to structural beams and other wooden structures. Fortunately, carpenter ants typically stick to damp, decaying wood like old tree trunks.

2. Carpenter Ants Are Very Clean Creatures

Believe it or not, carpenter ants are very neat and clean. They remove decayed food and deceased ants from their nests and also create their own disinfectant. The ants work together to collect resin that is then used to chemically disinfect the nests.

3. Carpenter Ants Are Difficult To Get Rid Of

It’s not easy to get rid of carpenter ants completely. One queen can live up to 25 years! During this time, the queen could establish many satellite colonies and produce thousands of babies. Some of the babies will grow from workers to queens of their own colonies. To prevent carpenter ants from taking over, pest control measures are crucial.

4. Carpenter Ants Will Bite In Defense

If their nests are disturbed, carpenter ants won’t hesitate to defend themselves. Because of their large size, the bites can be quite painful. Not only do these pests bite, but also they may spray a defensive chemical into the wound. This chemical, called formic acid, is used to enhance the pain when fighting against other insects.

5. Some Carpenter Ants Blow Themselves Up

Some species of carpenter ants have enlarged mandibular glands that reach their gaster. When they are disturbed, the ants will intentionally rupture the membrane of the gaster. The secretions released contain chemicals that debilitate the attacker and kill the ant so that the nest can be saved. In the end, both die.

Do you have carpenter ants in your home? Protect your home and call Heritage Pest Control for a free quote. Large-scale ant infestations typically require help from an experienced exterminator.

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