Carpenter ants are the type of ant that most people associate with ants in the home. Carpenter ants build colonies by chewing up moist pieces of wood with their strong teeth, which they find in damp areas of the forests.
They don’t eat the wood like termites do; instead, they use it as the foundation for their houses, digging elaborate tunnels through the walls of your house. Because of the moisture content in the wood, they like regions near windows, beneath eaves, and on decks and porches.
They’ve also been known to have a single parent colony and a slew of secondary branches that branch out in every way. Don’t get me wrong: carpenter ants aren’t deadly to humans, but they can be very devastating to your home.
Carpenter Ant Life Cycle
A carpenter ant colony has a single wingless queen and many sterile, wingless, female workers. The eggs that the queen lays are white and the pupae cocoons are a tan color. Although the ants will hibernate during the winter time, they will continue to be active if the nest is located in a heated portion of a building. On average, the queen will lay 15-20 eggs to get a colony started, and the number just increases from there. Initially, a new colony starts slowly, as the only food the first brood has to eat are food reserves stored by the queen’s body. After the first brood is fully grown, usually about 60 days from egg to worker, the first ants will feed and care for the subsequent larvae, making the population size balloon quickly.
Unlike termites, ants do not eat wood and cannot digest cellulose. Ants feed on practically every kind of food, but those entering homes are looking for sweets and/or protein-containing substances. Ant antennae are especially important for the senses of taste and touch. Besides their need to detect and taste food, they are known to use a number of chemical pheromones to communicate between individuals within the same colony. These may be trail pheromones, sex pheromones, alarm pheromones or other types.
Patriot Property Restoration, LLC knows New Jersey ants and is a trusted exterminator
for all types of ants in residential and commercial properties.
Signs of a Carpenter Ant Infestation
Of course, the first thing to look for are signs of large (½ inch), wingless, dark-colored ants in and around your home. You might already know you have a carpenter ant infestation, but here are a few of the most common signs carpenter ant exterminators look for in New Jersey
➡️ Large ants crawling inside your NJ home or other building, especially if they’re coming out of holes in the walls, ceilings, baseboards, cabinets, or other home features.
➡️ Piles of fallen wood shavings, especially if they’re near an ant hole inside the building.
➡️ Scratching or rustling sounds coming from inside the walls.
Carpenter ants will eat holes in siding and around the exterior of a home, so be looking for any holes in the wood that shouldn’t be there. Typically emerging at night, carpenter ants in NJ will feed on meats and foods containing sugars and fats. During the summer between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., homeowners can take a flashlight and check the home exterior, basement, garage, and attic for signs. If you see signs of carpenter ants, try to see if you can follow the ants back to their nest or discover where they are entering the house. If you are unsure if you have an infestation, you’ll want to call a carpenter ant exterminator in Ocean County to help you identify the types of ants you’re seeing.
Things to Know About Carpenter Ants
- Carpenter ants can cause serious damage to your NJ property by tunneling through wood. It’s important to recognize them when you see one.
- Carpenter ants have a constricted “waist” and three body regions
- These ants are often up to 5/8 of an inch long, but the queen can be as long as one inch.
- Some of them may even have wings, making it easy to confuse them with termites.
- Both carpenter ants and termites have two pairs of wings. There is a front pair and a back pair. On termites, both the front and back pair of wings are the same length. On carpenter ants, the back wings are significantly shorter than the front wings.
- Carpenter ants seem to prefer building their nests in wet or damaged wood outside. However, this does not mean they won’t build nests inside your walls, as well.
- Once carpenter ants develop a primary nest, they will create satellite nests providing the large queen ants places to lay more and more eggs.
Carpenter Ant Removal in NJ
Carpenter Ants can create a lot of damage to a home quickly. With their large mandibles they can create tunnels and galleries through the walls of your New Jersey home. You may see them wandering around your home, usually alone. Carpenter Ants mainly feed on dead insects and meat, so if you leave our ant baits or traps, they may not eat it if other options are available. Carpenter ants can be easily identified by their large mandibles and large thorax.
Exterminators know that finding carpenter ants or seeing the damage they cause can be scary, and getting rid of them can be challenging. Here at Patriot Property Restoration, LLC, we work in New Jersey to help you live pest free.
The most important step in Ocean County carpenter ant removal is to identify where the colony is located. The parent and satellite colonies must be destroyed or the ants will reappear with in a few weeks. If a carpenter ant colony has infested a tree near the home, it either needs to be removed or treated with specific products that a pest management professional can use. The key with carpenter ants is to remove them all and to remove the queens, and most over the counter or household products won’t be able to do the job. If you’re struggling with a carpenter ant infestation, give your local New Jersey carpenter ant exterminator a call.