Carpenter Ants 101- Part Two

Carpenter Ants 101- Part Two

Next up in the second and final part of our series on carpenter ants we’ll be discussing their habits, prevention and control. We’ve already discussed the basics in carpenter ants which include the Florida carpenter ant and the black carpenter ant. Both of these ants are quite common in our range of central Florida which include Marion county, Lake county, Citrus county and Sumter county. Now lets begin with their habits.

Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not consume wood. However, they do nest in wood. Preferably damp wood. These ants generally forage at night feeding on dead insects. Their main food sources are of proteins and carbohydrates. Carpenter ants will have a main nest that often branches off into satellite nests.Theses ants are a highly sociable insect and use pheromones to communicate with each other.

When it comes to carpenter ant control, identifying the species is of vital importance. The satellite nests can be found, treated and eliminated but if the mother nest is not destroyed the problem will not be solved. This can be frustrating but you must trace the ants back to their main nest to fully eradicate the colony. Both baiting and spraying with either a repellent and non-repellent(depending on where you are spaying and the situation) can be used as and be part of an effective strategy for control. Budding is also possible to some extent so one must have an understanding of the difference between a repellent and non-repellent spray. The general rule of thumb would be that when dealing with an infestation use a non-repellent. In the case of prevention, you can use a repellent which is what we’re going to be talking about next.

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The Florida carpenter ant.

Prevention of carpenter ants are a combination of repellent sprays, keeping gutters clean of leaves and other debris, keeping shrubs and trees trimmed back and away from the structure, having tree stumps grinded completely down to the grade, keeping grass trimmed down  and weeds pulled out and keeping water away from the foundation of any structure. Many of the rules for termite prevention also apply to carpenter ants. Also keep in mind that when you see a carpenter ant running through your house it can be coming from a nest approximately fifty yards away. This is often the case when living next to wooded areas.

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Carpenter ant control by Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control