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Parasites > Carpenter ants
Parasites > Carpenter ants

What do they look like, how to recognize them ?

The biggest ants that we find around houses, buildings, park belong to the genus Camponotus. One of the most common carpenter ant in Ontrio and Quebec provinces is the Black Carpenter Ant C. pennsylvanicus. The Red and Black Carpenter Ant is another common ca found in coniferous forests. In the Red & Black species, the thorax is red and the rest of the body is black. Both carpenter ants are approximately the same size, most of the description will be the same as all black species.

The Black Carpenter Ant is entirely black. Worker ants vary; 8- 15mm. In early spring, one can observe young queens of 2 cm long, wich are bigger than all forms of foraging female worker . Queens measure 18 to 22 mm long and have wings before their mating. Worker ants and Queens have a heart-shaped head and elbowed antennae. Reproductive males are smaller and measure 12 mm. Their head is round with big eyes and their antennae are straight and non elbow-shaped like the female ants.

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Do Carpenter Ants represent a risk for me or my belongings ?

Carpenter Ants in Ontario and Quebec do not have a sting and are often harmless, unless they are threatened. Carpenter Ants can bite with their mandibles and pierce skin. They can also expell formic acid. Allergic reactions are very rare.

The observation of carpenter ants in the house, during winter months does not always mean serious damage. A satellite carpenter nest could be around the shower, diswasher plumbings pipes or under vaper barrier in the attic. There is usually no significant damage if there is only little water oozing. Nonetheless, their presence is a nuisance in the house and need to be eliminated.

Carpenter ants can also cause serious damage to the house but not to the point of threatening a house or building to crash down. Carpenter ants dig in wood but they don’t feed on wood like termites. Carpenter ants dig in wet or rotten wood. They can also shred the styrofoam pannels. Water seeping can infiltrate further the structure through these galeries accelerates the wood deterioration. This reduces the efficiency of the insulation material.

Carpenter ants will dig only rotten wood and wil not drill healthy wood (not affected by mold). Carpenter ants are often helpful for us to suspect and localize water infiltration problems.

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What are the signs of the presence of Carpenter Ants ?

  • You see big black or red & black carpenter ants of about 1 cm long.
  • You find sawdust or styrofoam dust mounds. This comes from the worker ant’s gallery digging.
  • You hear soft paper crunching in a wall ceiling or window frame, mostly at night. It is the sound of the mandibles of the digging worker ants.
  • You can see saw dust around the bottom of a tree, close to your house. You may or may not see woodpecker holes. Woodpeckers are the main predators for ants.
  • Around may-june you may see columns of black or red & black carpenter ants climbing on your house.
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What should I do if I have Carpenter Ants in my house?

Carpenter ants biology is complex and one can not get rid of thousands of ants easily. It takes time and efficient treatments. Ant control products sold in general stores are not very efficient and have a too short action span. We believe that carpenter ant control should be done by a pest control specialist.

If you try to get rid of ants yourself, you may be able to eliminate a few ants and may find a nest but there are certainly more than you think and they can come back in the house , Why? It is easy enough to understand. A colony could have 8 to 12 and even more satellite nests around, in neighborhood. Ants have no city adress. Satellite nests are connected to one another.

If a nest looses a lot of its ants, the other satellite nests or the main nest wil help refill it. Our biolgist’s expertise is an advantage for you. He can inspect and analyze thoroughly the source of the infestation, where the nests are located. Of course, some nests won’t be in your yard but at the neighbours. Our biologist will explain to you the best treatment options specific to your situation.

Before our arrival, you can help a bit to find their paths by putting small honey drops or fruit jelly where carpenter ants run, to see where they will bring the honey to.

With Extermination SOS Bugs Pest Control, all interventions are done by our biologist. We use infrared thermography technology to help detect structural carpenter ant nests. We are open Monday to Friday, 8h00am to 20h00 pm. On weekend we answer phone calls at same hours. A simple call will make the difference. Call us at 613-404-7017.

Extermination SOS Bugs Pest Control is licensed and certified for Ontario. We offer carpenter ant control in Orleans, Vanier, Ottawa and also in Quebec for Luskville, Aylmer, Chelsea, Cantley, Gatineau-Hull and close others.

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