Carpenter ants

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Carpenter ants


by The Bug Doctor

It's a shame that where I live now we really don't have a huge carpenter ant problem. Not to say that we don't have them around, we do and at times a home in the south east can be over run. In Florida however the carpenter ant is not as destructive nor as much of a challenge as they can be in the more northern states. Most of my work and experience for this ant came from Maryland and on the Pacific west coast.

Carpenter ants are some of the largest we have to deal with and their complex colony structure can frustrate a homeowner who thinks that they have found and destroyed THE nest only to be disappointed when the activity resumes or never goes away. To rid a structure of this wood destroying insect you'll need to be armed with the knowledge of how they operate and what their needs are or you may be in for a long losing battle.

Foragers are the main culprit that most people see. These ants are usually the older more expendable ants in the colony so killing a trail of them really does no damage to the colony. Searching for food is a dangerous job and this species of ant chooses to send out those that are past their usefulness inside the nest and may die soon anyway. When we think of trailing ants we picture long orderly lines trailing along but the carpenter ant is not so obvious. carpenter antTheir trails can go underground, pop up along a fence line, across a wire and up the downspout and seem to make no sense. While they do use pheromones for others to follow, at times they can be so scattered across a yard that no established trail is obvious. Night time is the best time to look for active ants and they peak rather late so get ready to lose an hour or two of sleep if you go looking. Following a forager takes a long time and with their winding trails you may not be sure if they're coming or going. It's best to find one that has found food and is carrying it back to the nest to save time. You can attempt to bait the ants ahead of time and this can work but the carpenter ants are finicky and may show no interest in your free food at all. Cut up crickets work the best (I've found) to entice them to take the bait and head back to the nest.

Click here to read the entire article at the Bug doctors site "Pest Cenetery"

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