Carpenter ants are usually large ants, but there are generally several sizes of workers. They are best distinguished by the one node between the abdomen and thorax and the circle of hairs around a small anal opening at the tip of the abdomen. Carpenter ant colonies can have a population of up to 6,000, at which point they will send out swarmers to start a new colony. These swarmers have three body parts, the head, abdomen and thorax, and two sets of wings, the first longer than the second. Finding these in a house may be indicative of a mature colony in the structure or of one that is just about to begin.
Carpenter ants need moisture. They will commonly be found in places where there has been a leak, in the plumbing or roof for example, or in a damp basement or crawl space. The main evidence of a carpenter ant nest, besides seeing the ants themselves, is Frass. Frass is basically the waste product of the colony. Carpenter ants, unlike termites, do not eat wood, they only bore through when making their tunnels. The Frass is the debris from their digging, which they push out the openings of the tunnels, along with the exoskeletons of the other bugs that they eat.
One colony of carpenter ants can hollow out a 6-foot section of a wall and, if left unchecked, can do serious structural damage.
Custom baiting systems are available and are very effective. This uses their very nature of foraging to return chemically treated bait for distribution throughout the colony.
Also new for the 2008 season is a product only approved for use in New York State in 2007. Termidor has had wide notoriety in many other states and is a welcome addition to the arsenal of products available for the control of Carpenter Ants. By spraying Termidor as a passive barrier around a structure, the colony is eliminated quickly when the product is passed during the grooming process. Baiting is not necessary but is still utilized by Expediant for quicker, more effective control of these persistent pests.
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