Carpenter Ant Identification
Of the many types of ants in the United States, the carpenter ant is among the largest. Black is the most common color with a few showing tints of reddish or yellow coloration. The worker caste members also are equipped with large mandibles capable of chewing tunnels into wooden structures.
The carpenter ant colonies can be found inside or outside where there is an availability of moist, decaying or hollow wood. While carpenter ants in New Jersey do not eat wood, they chew into the wooden structures of your home and burrow tunnels and galleries. This behavior, over long periods of time, will weaken structures and can cause damage with expensive repairs.
Carpenter ants have often been confused with termites. However, there are a few noticeable differences that make for clear identification. One difference is with the wings. Wings of flying termites are the same size in front and back. The flying ant has much longer wings in the front. Another easily recognized difference is with the antennae. Ants have elbow shaped antennae that are at almost a 90-degree angle while the termite has a rather straight antenna. A third identifier is the shape of the body. The abdomen of the termite is straight while the ant has a very noticeable thin waist.
Dangers Associated With Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ant infestations left unaddressed in your home can lead to serious structural damage. Carpenter ants create their nests in wood, which over time can cause substantial damage to your New Jersey home.
Carpenter Ant Prevention
Carpenter ants, as with all house pests, are attracted to places that provide food, water and shelter. There are a few prevention tips to help reduce the risk of an ant invasion.
- Close off all possible points of entry. Seal all cracks or gaps found in your foundation and caulk any gaps around windows and entry doors.
- Trim all bushes and trees away from the exterior of your home.
- Eliminate water sources as much as possible. Check for any leaky pipes or faucets and repair as needed. Cold water lines in the basement can sweat enough to provide ample water for ants. This can be easily corrected with insulated tubing that snaps over the lines.
- Any wood in or outside the home that has been damaged by water should be replaced and the damaged wood removed from premises.
- Carpenter ants don’t eat wood, but are attracted to human food items. Keep your food items in pest proof containers or in the refrigerator. All spills and crumbs should be thoroughly cleaned.