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Noticing large ants around your home? Large ants usually mean they’re carpenter ants. These species of ants normally range from ¼”-1/2”. They can be red and black, brown or all black, with a rounded thorax and large mandibles. These ants are the largest ants in the United States.

Carpenter ants normally build their nests in damp or decaying wood. Homes with moisture issues caused by leaks are prime targets for carpenter ants. They’re known to also use branches as bridges to access buildings to find a way inside. Unsealed openings around utility pipes and wires are common entry points.

When they build nests, they dig tunnels in wood, weaking it from the inside. A large term infestation with multiple colonies in a home often means serious structural damage and unsightly cosmetic damage as well.

Workers and swarmers are the most likely sign homeowners would notice. Workers may be seen foraging for food while swarmers usually are produced when a colony matures and is ready to form new colonies. These winged ants often indicate a well-established colony. An additional sign of activity is the debris they produce from tunneling in the wood. Rough wood shavings mixed with parts of dead ants from the colony indicate nesting activity. A final sign may be the rustling sound sometimes heard as the ants go about their activity in the homes wood.

To control a carpenter ant infestation its necessary to find the nest. Once identified a treatment can be applied. All moisture conditions the ants find desirable must be corrected. If treated early, serious structural damage to buildings can be avoided.

Carpenter ants can reside both inside and outside the home, preferring moist, decaying or hollow wood. In nature you can find these ants residing in dead and living trees, stumps and rotting logs. These pests don’t eat the wood like termites do, instead they remove the wood to tunnel through and deposit the debris outside of their nests in small piles.

Carpenter ants clean their nesting sites, and their galleries are not lined with mud or moist soil as termite galleries typically are. The workers keep their galleries as smooth as sandpapered wood. They build two types of nests, the parent colony and the satellite colonies. Parent colonies consist of a queen, her brood and the workers. Satellite colonies consist of workers, older larvae and pupae. Workers create the satellite colonies when the parent colony lacks sufficient space or when there is a suitable supply of food and water. There may be several satellite colonies associated with a parent colony.

If you’re finding carpenter ants around your home, its best to have a professional look at it right away to avoid any structural damage to the home. Don’t let carpenter ants damage your home, instead call the best, Palm Coast Pest!