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carpenter antsGet Rid of Ants in Your Home

All ants live in colonies, consisting of an egg-laying female (queen), short-lived males, and workers (sterile females). The ants you see foraging in your garden or kitchen are workers. Workers that find food communicate with other workers by depositing a chemical message on the substrate as they crawl back to the nest. Although we cannot smell it, this "trail pheromone" sticks to the substrate for long periods of time and helps other ants find the food at the end of the trail.

In the spring, ants develop wings and fly to new locations and invade homes to forage for food or to establish a new nest.

Termites also develop wings and swarm during the spring and look similar to flying ants. Examine them closely to make sure that you have the correct pest! Ants are thin-waisted and have elbowed antennae. Termites have thicker waists and have antennae that resemble strings of tiny beads. You may need a magnifying glass to examine antennal features.

As a group, ants have a wide food range, feeding on sweet foods, greasy materials, starchy substances, wood, and all kinds of plant and animal materials. Part of the reason that ants become a nuisance in our homes is that they often like the same kinds of food that we do. But structures can be threatened by damage from carpenter ants.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are among the largest ants that people encounter around their homes. Workers measure up to a 1/2 inch. The queen is slightly larger. In a single colony, you may find ants of varying sizes, however, as there are also smaller workers that reach just 1/4 inch in length.

Color varies from species to species. The common black carpenter ant is, predictably, dark in color, while other types may be yellow or red. Carpenter ants have a single node between the thorax and abdomen. The top of the thorax appears arched when viewed from the side. A ring of hairs encircle the tip of the abdomen.

In established colonies, two castes of sterile female workers develop – major and minor workers. The major workers, which are larger, defend the nest and forage for food. Minor workers tend to the young and maintain the nest.

Most carpenter ants build their nests in dead or decaying trees or logs, though they do also inhabit landscape timbers and wooden structures, including people's homes. They prefer moist or partially decayed wood, so carpenter ants in the home may suggest a water leak has occurred.

How to determine if carpenter ants are infesting your home:
1)You will see the ants within the home over a period of several days or weeks.
2) You may hear them scurrying about inside walls, especially at night.
3) You may see piles of sawdust, or frass, under the house, that workers have bulldozed from their nests.

To safely and effectively get rid of ants, call Ram Exterminators today!

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