Carpenter ants are among the largest ants in the greater Kansas City area. There are several species of carpenter ants that may be found infesting homes and other buildings. The most likely species to be infesting a house in Leawood, Olathe, Shawnee, Overland Park, and Lawrence, Kansas is the black carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus). However, there are over a thousand other species of carpenter ants currently identified.
Ants are divided into different castes; workers, queens, and males. Normally workers are black or red and black in color and range in size from 3/8 to 1/2 inch. Winged queen ants may be as large as one inch. However, size is not a reliable characteristic to identify carpenter ants. Winged males and females emerge from established colonies on warm days in the spring and early summer. They often form swarms and can be confused with termites.
Carpenter ants prefer dead, damp wood in which to carve out galleries and build nests. They do not eat the wood, however, unlike termites. Carpenter ants have also been known to hollow out sections of trees. It’s recommended as a preventative measure that woodpiles not be stored next to the home.
Homeowners should watch for ants which are foraging indoors, try to find their nests. Also look for piles of course, stringy wood particles, dead insect parts and other debris. Such remains may be found sifting from cracks in siding, from behind moldings, and under porches. Because carpenter ants do not consume the wood as food, these excavated particles are dumped outside the nest.
Identification and treatment for carpenter ants can be complicated. Professional treatment is strongly recommended, particularly when involving insects which have the potential to damage the structural integrity of your home. Contact Advantage Termite and Pest Control today for an inspection and bid for treatment.