Big Black Ants…Carpenter Ants

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Many people are familiar with two kinds of ants; black or red ones. These two distinctions have shaped the way kids and adults view these hardworking critters. However, there’s an entire world of variety within the ant community. Understanding these vital differences is key to preventing infestation within your home or place of business. 

When it comes to identifying ants, you would almost have to be an expert to distinguish the difference between traditional black ants or carpenter ants. However, as similar as these bugs appear on the surface, there are slight variations that differentiate the two. Let’s consider a few characteristics that make the carpenter ants stand out from the traditional back ants.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are typically known as the hardworking ones within the community — often to the detriment of your home. They come in various shades of black, brown or red. Some are even a beautiful mixture of the three. 

It should be noted that carpenter ant length varies as well. The Queen, for example, is the largest within the community. She can grow up to 20mm long! Some ants have wings and these beauties can reach a whopping 18 mm long. If you see a variety of ant sizes in your home, chances are good they’re carpenter ants, as big black ants tend to all be about the same size.

The easiest way to distinguish carpenter ants from black ants is their head shape. Carpenter ant heads are shaped like hearts and their antennas are distinct. They also grow wings during their mating season, making them very easy to identify at that time. Humans and pets need not fear these ants as they don’t have harmful stingers like red ants. Big black ants do have small stingers, but lack the large mandibles of the carpenter ants.

Dealing with Carpenter Ants

Although they don’t feed on wood, that doesn’t mean they won’t utilize it for their benefit. When carpenter ants enter the home, they’ll build intricate tunnels within your walls and flooring. This is their ideal place for nesting. They also find shelter within trees. Because of their destructive characteristics, it’s key to eliminate them at the first sign of infestation. This will help to preserve your trees and wooden furniture within the home. 

Getting rid of carpenter ants can seem like an overwhelming task. Especially because they’re so diligent. However, the best way to do this is to find their nest and eliminate it. Many people find that pouring hot water over an open nest is key to destroying carpenter ants in their tracks. Others rely on the aid of a professional exterminator. They have the skills and expertise needed to get rid of carpenter ants in their entirety. Therefore, if you’re experiencing this issue, don’t hesitate to call an exterminator.

Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different types of pests and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.

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