5 Facts About Carpenter Ants

5 Facts About Carpenter Ants

What are they

The red carpenter ant and the black carpenter ant are the two most common species found in Canada. The body of the red carpenter ant is dark brownish-black, with an upper-body reddish brown. The black carpenter ant is dark brown on all sides. Carpenter ants are 6 to 25 mm (24 to 1 inch) long. A carpenter’s ant’s body is divided into three parts, with a very thin waist separating the upper body and the lower body. Their antennas are curved and in sections. Males and females have adult wings when mating.

Should I be worried?

Carpenter ants are known for their ability to damage wooden structures. They are also a source of trouble at home in search of food. Carpenter ants eat both plants and animals. Their natural sources of food are insects, other small invertebrates, sweet body fluids from aphids, and other insects. Protein and sweet foods found in and around homes also provide food for fodder workers. Carpenter ants build nests by digging holes in wood. They dig longer tunnels than termites (called galleries). The wood is not eaten but is thrown from the nest as sawdust.

Carpenter ants live in large colonies with hundreds of workers (all sterile females), many males and females that reproduce, and one or more queens. When part of an established colony moves into a nearby structure, it sometimes forms a small satellite colony there. When these ants move into the structure of a building, you need to find the proper way how to get rid of them. This is a job for a professional pest control company.

Here Are 5 Facts About Carpenter Ants

Most people will not find carpenter ants so interesting, but these little insects can be charming! Of course, learning about carpenter ants and keeping them in your home are two different things. Carpenter ants are destructive and carve wood into tunnels and nests. These insects prefer moist, hollow wood but do not hesitate to penetrate through dry wood.


  1. Carpenter ants chew on wood but do not eat it.

Carpenter ants are sometimes compared to termites because they both chew wood. The difference is that termites eat wood and carpenters do not eat ants. Instead, they chew it and spit it out. Although these large ants do not use wood, they pose a threat to structural beams and other wooden structures. Fortunately, carpenter ants usually cling to damp, rotten wood, like the trunks of old trees.

  1. Carpenter ants are very clean creatures.

Believe it or not, carpentry ants are very clean. They remove rotten food and dead ants from their nests and make their own disinfectants. Ants work together to collect the resin which is then used to chemically disinfect nests.

  1. Carpenter ants are hard to get rid of.

Getting rid of carpenter ants completely is not easy. A queen can live up to 25 years! During this time, the queen could establish many satellite colonies and have thousands of children. Some children will become the queen of their colonies more than laborers. To control carpenter ants, pest control measures are crucial.

  1. Carpenter ants will bite in defense.

Carpenter ants will not hesitate to defend themselves if their nests are disturbed. Due to their large size, bites can be quite painful. Not only do these insects bite, but they can also spray protective chemicals into the wound. This chemical called formic acid is used to increase pain when fighting other insects.

  1. Some carpenter ants blow themselves up.

Some species of carpenter ants have enlarged the mandibular glands that reach their gastrointestinal tract. When they are disturbed, the ants deliberately tear the gastric membrane. The secretions contain chemicals that weaken the invader and kill the ant to protect the nest. In the end, they both die.

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