Carpenter ants are not only a big problem in Georgia homes but can be found in homes across the United States. The carpenter ant gets its name from their habit of hollowing out wood and nesting inside of it. This annoying habit can cause structural damage to your home or business.
Carpenter ants have both workers and a queen. The workers come in varying sizes from 1/8-1/2″ but the queens are larger at 1/2-5/8″ long. Colors can range from black, red, brown or they can be a combination of red and black. The carpenter ant can be identified by their rounded thorax and the circle of hairs on their back end. If you can’t identify a carpenter ant by looking at it, you may be able to identify it by the strong acid odor that they are known to emit. And although they lack a stinger, their bite can be painful when the formic acid is injected into the wound.
You will typically see swarmers from May-August in the east and February-June in the west. A good indication of the presence of carpenter ants is small openings on the surface of wood. When these openings are drilled they leave behind debris that looks similar to sawdust. Carpenter ants are partial to wood that has been softened, whether due to fungus or a moisture problem. You can often time find nests in rotting fence posts, stumps, old firewood, dead portions of trees, and under stones or fallen logs.
Carpenter ants aren’t on a strictly wood diet. Fruits, plant and fruit juices, insects, sweets, eggs, meats, cakes and grease are all known to be attractive food for them. Although some workers are active during the day, most activity is done between dusk and dawn…peaking between 10 pm and 2 am.