It can be difficult to tell what kind of ants you have crawling around your property. We have a lot of pest ants in Nashville. Even if you know that carpenter ants can be big black ants, it is possible to think you have big black ants, when you only have medium-sized black ants. To make things even more confusing, sometimes carpenter ants aren't entirely black. They can have dark red or yellowish coloration as well. If you want to positively identify carpenter ant workers, you need to know a few identifying characteristics.
Is It A Carpenter Ant?
There are several carpenter ant species. We can't just show you a picture of a carpenter ant and call it a day. You need to look for unique traits and determine if the ants you're seeing have all these traits.
If the ants have one node between the thorax and abdomen, they could be carpenter ants, but keep in mind that there are other ants that have only one node.
If the ants you're seeing are between ⅛ and ½ inches in length, they might be carpenter ants. Major carpenter ant workers are bigger than almost all of the pest ants in Nashville. Most ants are smaller than ⅛ of an inch.
If you notice that the ants are different sizes, they could be carpenter ants. There are major and minor workers in a carpenter ant colony. Once again, it is important to keep in mind that there are other ants that have workers of varying sizes.
When your ants match all of these identifying qualities, they could be carpenter ants. But your sleuthing job isn't done yet. You need to look for other characteristics of a carpenter ant infestation to put all the pieces together.
When carpenter ants damage the wood of your property, they're going to produce sawdust. This material is actually called frass because it contains more than just sawdust. If you find this material leaking out of a crack in your home, it is a good indication that you have a carpenter ant infestation.
When carpenter ants damage the wood of your property, you might see it. If you start to notice a hole in a door frame, it could be a carpenter ant problem. Carpenter ants often chew on door frames because the frames around exterior doors are often softened by moisture. But it is far more likely that carpenter ants will damage the planks in your back deck or an old fence in your backyard. Unfortunately, this damage isn't always easy to pin on carpenter ants. Wood can rot and deteriorate without the help of carpenter ants. It is possible to have cracked and sunken damage in your back deck and not have a single carpenter ant on your property.
When a carpenter ant colony matures, male and female alates are created. These winged ants are twice the size of the workers. That means they're going to be over an inch long. If you recognize them as winged ants and don't mistake them for wasps, you'll be able to easily tell that they are carpenter ants.
If carpenter ants are damaging the wood in your home, you may hear them. Some describe the sound as a slight rustling. You may also tap on wood beams and listen to see if they sound hollow.
If you need assistance with carpenter ant identification, or you'd like to know if the signs you're seeing are being caused by these ants, remember that the service team here at All-American Pest Control is always standing by to help. Reach out to us today and request a service visit. We'll let you know what ants you're dealing with and guide you in finding the right solution to correct the problem.