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Adult carpenter ant; thorax evenly rounded (April Nobile, Antweb.org)
Carpenter ant damage (Edward H. Holsten, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)
Carpenter ant damage (Joseph O’ Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)
- one node (bump between middle and rear body sections)
- typically black or black with a reddish-brown body
- ants of different sizes
- evenly rounded thorax differentiates them from field ants
- sawdust outside of nests/galleries
- establish nests in wood, especially decaying wood
- have a primary nest and separate satellite nests
- satellite nests may occur indoors
- foragers—they go out in search of nutrients but return to the outdoor nest
- living and dead insects, meats, and sweets, such as jelly, honey and honeydew excreted by aphids and other insects
- DO NOT eat wood but remove it to create galleries and tunnels
- damage wood, infest food and may bite
- Have ants identified to determine damage potential.
- Find nesting locations by following workers back to their nest, if possible.
- Destroy indoor and outdoor primary and satellite nests.
- Remove and replace water-damaged or decaying wood.
- Seal potential ant entryways.
- Remove food and water sources in and around structures.
- Use ant baits to help eliminate nests that are hard to find.
Carpenter Ants fact sheet
IPM for Ants: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)