The presence of big black ants in your kitchen might indicate a carpenter ant infestation. For most property owners this isn’t good news since carpenter ants can eat through your house causing significant damage if not handled on time.
Most people will confuse any black ant they see with a carpenter ant, which is bound to bring instant panic — however, it’s important to note that not all big black ants are carpenter ants. To better understand carpenter ants are, you will need to tell them apart from other species. Luckily for you, we have listed a few pointers.
What are carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants or Camponotus species get their name from their nest building capabilities. They are known to excavate wood forming smooth hollow tunnels. Carpenter ants, unlike termites, do not eat wood; they chew through it to create nests and galleys.
A typical carpenter ant colony has about 20,000 workers; larger colonies have more than 50,000 ants. These colonies have one functional wingless queen. She produces swarmers after two years. Swarmers appear from May to August and in some seasons February to June.
How do carpenter ants look like?
Carpenter ants are normally black or brown. However, you will still be able to find red, yellow or a combination of these colors depending on the species.
Carpenter ants are about 5/8 to an inch long
They have a waist with one node and a body that has an evenly rounded upper surface.
The carpenter ant colonies are divided into workers, queens, and males
Workers are black or red and are about 3/8 to an inch long.
A winged queen carpenter ant might be close to one inch long.
Other species of ants that are often confused with carpenter ants often have an uneven upper surface, two nodes and do not infest on wooden structures. It’s important that you can correctly identify a carpenter ant for your extermination process to work effectively.
What do carpenter ants eat?
Carpenter ants have a liking for sugar and proteins. They will feed on dead insects, plants and fruits. When they get access to your house, they will eat and steal meat, sweets, sugar and even pet food.
Signs of carpenter ant infestation
The only other early sign of an infestation apart from the presence of the ants themselves and swarmers are small openings on the surface of wood structures. When the ants get into the wood, they chew through forming saw like debris or shavings as they follow through. An accumulation of the debris or frass below the holes is a clear indication that you have an active infestation.
Carpenter ants prefer attacking wood that is soft from fungus or water leak issues. It is therefore important for property owners to keep an eye on excessive moisture on wood surfaces around their property.
How to get rid of carpenter ants
The best and most effective way to get rid of carpenter ants is to locate and destroy their nest. Before, this, you need to observe the worker ants carefully, especially at sunset. When you first notice big black ants, carefully examine them to determine their species. If you are certain they are indeed carpenter ants, you can begin the appropriate extermination process.
There are several ways you could get rid of carpenter ants, depending on your preference, there are natural remedies as well as store-bought traps, baits, and insecticides.
Natural methods. This will involve using essential oils such as peppermint oil, cloves or ground cinnamon. Ants will be deterred by the strong smell produced by these remedies and will keep off. You could also use DE (Diatomaceous earth).
Store bought ant killers. They include insecticides and pesticides. Just make sure you read the instructions well before use. It’s advisable to use non-toxic ant killers if possible, its lenient on the environment and can be used around children and pets.
Call Toronto Ant Control professionals. They are perhaps your best bet to getting rid of carpenter ants in your home for good. A Professional pest removal specialist has the skill and experience dealing with stubborn pests. They know where to look and how to keep to get rid of them fast. In case you have an ant problem, and you are unsure of the best way to deal with the problem, call us immediately: 647-933-5346