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Carpenter Ants Chapter 4 Section II – General Pest Control Basics of the Pest Bear & Affiliates Service Personnel Development Program 2005

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Presentation on theme: "Carpenter Ants Chapter 4 Section II – General Pest Control Basics of the Pest Bear & Affiliates Service Personnel Development Program 2005"— Presentation transcript:

1 Carpenter Ants Chapter 4 Section II – General Pest Control Basics of the Pest Bear & Affiliates Service Personnel Development Program , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

2 General Information Carpenter ants are members of the Camponotus group They are very conspicuous because of their size They are commonly found in and around homes They are blackish or dark-bodied , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

3 Carpenter Ant workers Workers have large mandibles and can bite or pinch if disturbed Workers vary in size from 1/4 to 3/4 of an, depending on the species Workers are generally black or reddish color with a distinctly black abdomen They are very abundant and very common in the Eastern United States , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

4 Carpenter Ant Galleries They excavate galleries in the wood Their galleries resemble subterranean termite damage, but lack the characteristic mud. Carpenter ant galleries are completely clean and free of debris The galleries appear to be sanded or polished , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

5 Carpenter Ant Galleries Carpenter ant galleries are commonly found in decaying or damaged wood Carpenter ants can attack sound wood but only to make their galleries Carpenter ants do not use the wood for food and only create galleries for shelter and nesting Carpenter ants will establish nest is a number of different locations , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

6 Carpenter Ant Nests Outdoor nests are common is power poles, fence posts and hollow logs Many species prefer wood that is moist and partially decayed Nests are commonly found in cracks or crevices in sound wood Nests usually consist of an internal gallery with multiple entrances Firewood is a very common site for carpenter ant nests and is primary source in infestations found inside homes , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

7 Finding a Carpenter Ant Nest Foraging carpenter ants may be entering structures only to feed or find water Tree limbs, shrubs and wires which touch the structure can serve as avenues for the ants to follow when foraging Interior nests are commonly found in fireplaces, around patio structures and in basements Foraging workers are not a definite indication that a carpenter ant colony is in a structure , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

8 Carpenter Ants Inside Carpenter ants can be found literally anywhere in a structure: Hollow walls, window and door casings In substructures of porches or roofs Behind baseboards Under insulation Or just a hollow pipe with several hundred ants inside Finding the nest is crucial to controlling the population , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

9 Carpenter Ant Galleries Carpenter ants hollow out the wood and remove the softer wood, following the grain Harder wood is retained and forms walls and support for the galleries Openings are made at intervals to allow for passage between the galleries External access is usually through natural openings in the wood Sometimes carpenter ants will make external openings called “windows” , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

10 Carpenter Ants as Housekeepers Carpenter ants are very clean Carpenter ants remove the shredded wood created when making galleries and caste skins Debris is stored in hollow areas or forced from the nest through windows Conical piles of debris often aid in locating nests If piles of sawdust or debris is observed while making a termite inspection, the inspector should be alerted to the possibility of a carpenter ant infestation , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

11 Carpenter Ants Swarm Mature reproductive carpenter ants swarm primarily in the spring In a mature nest, there will be several sizes of adults There is usually only one egg-laying queen in each colony A colony matures in about six years A mature colony usually contains 2,000-3,000 individuals A swarm will usually include reproductives Alates may be produced anytime, but are most common in late spring to early summer , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

12 What do Carpenter Ants Eat Carpenter ants have a very varied diet They eat both plant and animal matter They feed on other insects, both living and dead and will eat anything humans will eat Foraging carpenter ants have been known to forage over 100 yards to find food They lay down a pheromone trail but are not strict trail followers They carry food back or retain it in their crop and regurgitate it the nest , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

13 Carpenter Ant Damage Carpenter ants do not normally cause serious structural damage They usually enhance the damage caused by water or fungi rather than creating the damage by attacking sound wood Multiple nests can cause serious damage and all nests are considered nuisance pests , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

14 Carpenter Ant Control Effective carpenter ant control depends largely on finding and eliminating colony at its source Elimination of colonies outside the structure may be required to prevent carpenter ants from entering the structure A THOROUGH Inspection is required before control procedures can be initiated - the nest must be located Once the nest is located, direct treatment will eliminate that particular problem Multiple nests are not uncommon and a complete inspection is mandatory for good control , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

15 The Steps for a Good Carpenter Ant Inspection Interview with the residents Thoroughly insect the indoors Thoroughly inspect the outdoors Use sound detection to accurately locate the nest , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

16 Interview the Residents Where have the ants been seen What is the most prevalent pattern of movement Did the ants have wings Were the ants observed during the day or night Have conical piles of sawdust and debris been observed Have there been moisture problems , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

17 Check indoors Look for piles of debris or sawdust Check for “windows” created by the ants Search for foraging workers Look for swarmers Check for damaged timbers , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

18 Check Outdoors Thoroughly inspect the exterior of the structure Look for limbs etc which may be in contact with the structure Inspect firewood and crotches of adjacent trees Inspect any hollow areas including patio furniture etc , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

19 Sounding for Carpenter Ants Using a stethoscope you can actually hear the ants in the colony This is very helpful around window and door jams What you hear is the mandibles of the workers “clicking” and this is a form of communications not feeding sounds Tapping over a nest will increase the activity within the nest , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved

20 Treating is Simple Find and Treat the Nest , Central Fla Duplicating, Inc. All rights reserved


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