They use their strong jaws (mandibles) to remove quantities of wood as they expand the size of their nests. Black Carpenter Ant Camponotus pennsylvanicus Carpenter ants … Termites and carpenter ants cause similar damage to damp, dead wood. Carpenter ants are so-named because these social insects excavate galleries in wood to create nest sites. Many females born in a colony, which is why you could see them foraging in your home. Some ants even go so far as to destroy the eggs of known aphid predators like ladybugs. After mating with the male carpenter ant, the queen sheds her wings and looks for a new nesting site for her young. These swarmers tend to be released during the spring but may be found at any time. The eggs of Carpenter Ants are most often in the bathroom, kitchen, or living room. Carpenter ants are one of the largest and most common species of ants in Michigan. The queen prefers moist and rotten wood to establish a new colony. Whether they're small ants in kitchen or small ants with wings, they always seem to be around and crawling all over everything. Common Name Scientific Name Carpenter Ants Camponotus spp. If you have children, then the family pets are most likely a potential target for a Carpenter Ant invasion. East coast: home to the black carpenter ant. Ants and termites swarm to mate, then the males die, having done their duty, and the queens drop their wings to find a nesting site. Some carpenter ants grow wings in spring and summer as a reproductive strategy. Carpenter ant queens measure about 13 to 17 mm in length and, depending on the species, are dark brown, yellow, red or black in color. Oftentimes, you’ll see piles of wood shavings near wood that’s infested with either termites or carpenter ants. The annoyance then Their back wings fall a bit shorter than the front set, unlike the wings of termites, which are equally long. When the host plant is depleted of nutrients, the ants carry their aphids to a new food source. Another sign you have a carpenter ant infestation is if you happen to find a lot of large black ants with wings. Unlike termites, they only nest in wood and do not eat it. If the ant has wings, there is very little doubt that it is a carpenter ant. Outdoors they nest in hollow trees, old stumps, and other wet, punky wood situations. Aphid-herding ants make sure aphids stay well-fed and safe. Learn about carpenter ants, including if they have wings, and what makes them different from a wood-destroying pest like termites. They drop their wings soon after mating and begin to search for a suitable nesting site. Carpenter ants are common across the U.S. and are the largest of all common ant species . Like most any ant, carpenter ants generate “swarmers”, or winged reproductives, whose sole purpose is to leave an existing nest to fly away and land somewhere to start a new nest. However, size will vary, even within a single colony and type: worker ants can be 1/4 inch up to 5/8 inch. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not consume wood. The most important characteristics to look for when identifying any winged ant are elbowed antennae, a pinched or constricted waist and a front pair of wings that is longer than the back pair. Carpenter ants with wings are called swarmers, and like the rest of the ants in the colony, these winged carpenter ants have important jobs to keep their colony alive. Carpenter ants are picky about where they live, so understanding which ants are specific to your general area can also aid in the identification process. The wings allow the ants to search for mates and establish new nests; they drop the wings after mating. Physical appearance: as the name implies, they are black and have the traditional one-node segment. Whether the winged ant you see is a carpenter ant or a termite, however, the wings mean that the insect is a reproductive male or queen—the only members of an ant colony that can reproduce. Female carpenter ants capable of breeding tend to be larger than the workers. If predatory insects or parasites attempt to harm the aphids, the ants will defend them aggressively. Carpenter Ants are common household pests that lay eggs in bathrooms, kitchens, and anywhere else that food is present. But in order to eradicate the infestation, you have to make sure you’re treating your property for the correct pest. Winged ants are the reproductive forms.
Carpenter ants are often mistaken for termite swarmers, particularly during swarms when winged male and female ants fly out of their colony to mate.