INSECT: Has wings when swarming. From 1/8 to 1 inch long. Important types are carpenter ants (damage wood) and pavement ants. Other common ants are Pharaoh ants, odorous house ants, field ants, and cornfield ants.
The worker ants range in length from 1/8 – 1/2 inch, with the queens being slightly larger. They are most commonly black, although some species are red, red and black, or brown.
These ants are social insects that prefer nesting in wood. They commonly hollow out galleries or tunnels in trees, structures, wood, and foam insulation. Carpenter ants are often found in conjunction with moisture problems. An indication of possible infestation is evidence of sawdust, pieces of insulation, nesting materials, and winged adults, known as swarmer’s. In protecting your home against carpenter ants, Marlboro takes into account the biology of this pest and that is why we try to get people on seasonal visit programs. This allows us to get to your home before the wood destroying ants do each year.
Carpenter ants have main colonies and sub (satellite) colonies. The main colony takes about five years to mature and is most often found in the woods. Once mature, the large colony needs help so it sends out swarmer’s (winged ants) that locate spots in the vicinity where the sub colonies can thrive. Once a spot is found, they rip off their wings and start setting up shop. Each sub colony has a job (such as caring for all the eggs or collecting water) but they are all dependent on the main colony and frequently (at night) travel back to the main colony to help it out.
Once mature, a main colony will continually be setting up sub colonies. Homes are ideal for them since there are reliable water sources there (we often find the colonies around window or door frames or in the kitchen or bathroom). A seasonal visit contract would allow protection from these continual, wood destroying invaders throughout the spring and summer.
Carpenter ants do not actually feed on the wood. They feed actively from sunset until the early morning hours on most human foods, particularly sweets and other insects.
Soon after mating, swarmer’s lose their wings. The female selects a nesting site to lay her eggs, and begins the process of hollowing out tunnels and galleries to lay her eggs. Mature colonies can range in size from 10 to upwards of 15,000.