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San Antonio: (830) 931-1292 Waco: (254) 224-6744 College Station: 979-431-3992

How To Tell Carpenter Ants Apart From Other Ants

How To Tell Carpenter Ants Apart From Other Ants

We tend to not get too serious whenever we see ants in the home. Ants, for the most part, are nuisances. Sure, we don’t want them around, but all they do is pick up crumbs and then go away. However, there is an ant species, the carpenter ant, which can cause thousands of dollars in damage to the home if they are left unchecked. Identifying this species and having it removed is essential, so in this article, we’re going to help you tell normal ants and carpenter ants apart.

Normal ants

The most common ant species in home infestations is the black ant. As the name suggests it’s black in coloration, but it can sometimes be dark brown. Black ants are also quite small, usually measuring less than a quarter of an inch in size. A colony can grow to have up to 7,000 workers, and in exceptional situations you will have 15,000 workers in a single colony. The black ant is also known as a monomorphic ant, which means that all the workers are the same size.

Black ants will build their colonies outdoors and they will only enter the home to forage for food. This means that you can use ant spray or repellent in the kitchen or in rooms where you’ve noticed an ant presence, and they will go away.

Carpenter ants

Carpenter ants will build their colonies inside wood, and they will have to forage for food, sometimes inside the home, sometimes outdoors. What sets carpenter ants apart from black ants is their size. Both species are black, but carpenter ants can grow to be between half an inch to an inch in length. These ants are also polymorphic, meaning that the workers have different sizes. They will also have noticeably larger jaws.

In terms of colony size, a carpenter ant settlement can have 3,000 members, and one colony can turn into multiple colonies over time as these ants spread out. Repellents and ant spray are useless against this species, because they will continue to do damage to the home, and they will simply look elsewhere for wood. To control a carpenter ant infestation, you will have to kill the queen using baits. Most DIY efforts against these ants usually fail, which is why it’s best to call over a pest control pro if you have an infestation. Contact us today if you are dealing with carpenter ants and we will help you remove them.