The Southern Home Bestuary: Living with our critter friends and enimies.

Carpenter Ants – Big Black Indicator Species
August 24, 2010, 9:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Carpenter Ants
Common in                                    indicator species                                Seal home
 old tree cavities                          for house damage                               replace wood

Carpenter ants and their nesting cavity exposed in a cut, fallen limb

  Carpenter ants are large, black,  scary looking; but are more valuable as an indicator of water damaged wood inside houses than they are trouble. These ants live and forage outside and will most frequently be seen on and around old trees. Although they can bite, they are not aggressive towards man as are other ant species such as the fire ant.

This small hole in a pecan limb provided entry to a nest containing hundreds of carpenter ants.

  In any southern environment where there are mature trees, there will be sufficient cavities to support a thriving population of carpenter ants. However, when these ants start being spotted indoors or going into structures, this means that there is wet wood where they are nesting.  By the time ants appear, termites have also usually been active for some time. Very often this means that structural damage has already been done by termites and treatment and wood replacement will be necessary.

  One carpenter ant spotted inside a house is not a particular cause of alarm; but when these start to be seen regularly inside a house or apparently going in and out, immediate corrective actions need to be taken.

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