Ants are the 3rd pest problem in the country. Ant control can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home.

Carpenter Ant: Facts, Identification & Control

Argentine Ant


Carpenter Ants

Camponotus pennsylvanicus


Some species of carpenter ants are the largest ants in the north central states.
They are black, or red and black; workers range in size from 3/16 to 1/2 inch.
Colonies consist of major and minor workers.
Carpenter ants have the following characteristics:
1) petiole with one node and
2) a thorax with an evenly rounded upper surface (workers only) [compare with field ants].


• Swarms appear in the Spring.
• The colonies of carpenter ants can live from 3-6 years.


Other insects, both living and dead. They also feed on meats or sweets, including honeydew, syrup, honey, sugar, and jelly. Carpenter ants DO NOT eat wood; they chew wood into sawdust in the process of creating galleries and tunnels.

Nesting Sites:

All types of moist or rotting wood, including trees or tree stumps, indoors behind bathroom tiles; around tubs, sinks, showers, and dishwashers; under roofing, in attic beams, and under subfloor insulation; in hollow spaces such as doors, curtain rods, and wall voids; and in soft polystyrene and other forms of insulation. Carpenter ant tunnels are clean and smooth, making the wood appear that it has been sandpapered. In contrast, termite tunnels are not clean looking, but are packed with dirt like material.

Mating Swarms:

April through June. Occasionally swarms may emerge indoors earlier during late winter on warm, sunny days.


The best treatment is to apply an insecticide directly into the nest. It is also important to replace damaged or decayed wood, and if possible to eliminate any moisture problems. Baits may also be effective if applied where ant activity is seen.

As pests:

Carpenter ants can damage wood used in the construction of buildings. They can leave behind a sawdust-like material called frass that provides clues to their nesting location.
Carpenter ant galleries are smooth and very different from termite-damaged areas, which have mud packed into the hollowed-out areas.

Pest control:

Control involves application of insecticides in various forms including dusts and liquids. The dusts are injected directly into galleries and voids where the carpenter ants are living.
The liquids are applied in areas where foraging ants are likely to pick the material up and spread the poison to the colony upon returning.

Argentine ants

Exploding ants

In at least nine Southeast Asian species of the Cylindricus complex, including Camponotus saundersi, workers feature greatly enlarged mandibular glands that run the entire length of the ant's body. They can release their contents suicidally by performing autothysis, thereby rupturing the ant's body and spraying toxic substance from the head, which gives these species the common name "exploding ants.
The ant has an enormously enlarged mandibular gland, many times the size of a normal ant, which produces the glue. The glue bursts out and entangles and immobilizes all nearby victims

Other type of Carpenter ant

Reddish Carpenter ant

reddish carpenter ant .