When you look at carpenter ants, you might be thinking: “What’s the big deal?” They do not seem that interesting. However, there are some little known facts about these insects that may be surprising.
Carpenter ants do not eat wood
Some people will compare carpenter ants to termites, because both species damage wood. However, termites damage wood by eating it, while carpenter ants use it to nest. They will chew through the wood and spit it out. This can cause a significant amount of structural damage to the home.
Carpenter ants are very tidy
Carpenter ants place an emphasis on cleanliness. They will remove wood scraps, decayed food, and ant corpses from their nest as soon as possible, and they will also create and use disinfectants. These disinfectants are created from resins that are collected by the workers, and they are used to protect the nest from a variety of diseases and parasites.
Carpenter ants are very stubborn
Carpenter ants are a very stubborn pest. A colony can last for decades, and one carpenter ant queen can live for more than 25 years. One top of that, one queen will establish satellite colonies as extensions of the main one, and give birth to thousands of ants.
Carpenter ants are predators
Since carpenter ants do not feed on wood, they have to find other food sources, and they really like meat, both animal and insect meat. Carpenter ants will eat other insects, dead or alive, and they will eat any meat that is left out. However, they are not really picky eaters. They will go for fat, grease, syrup, honey, and sugar. If you leave any greasy or sugary spills in the kitchen, the ants will go for them.
Carpenter ants are relatively harmless to people
While carpenter ants have very strong jaws, which they need in order to tunnel through wood, they rarely bite humans, and if they do, the bites are very mild. They do not have stings, and they are not very aggressive, unlike fire ants. Carpenter ants are also very strong, being able to lift over 50 times their own weight. This means that if they were human sized, they would be able to lift cars.
However, despite being interesting insects, we definitely do not want them in our home. They can cause a tremendous amount of damage. If you notice carpenter ants in your home, or if you suspect that you may have an infestation, contact us today.