Carpenter ants are among the larger ants found in Massachusetts. There are several species of carpenter ants that may be found infesting homes and other buildings. Normally workers are black or brown in color and range in size from 3/8 to 1/2 inch. Winged queen ants may be as large as one inch. However, size is not a reliable characteristic to identify carpenter ants. Ants are divided into different castes, i.e. workers, queens, and males. Carpenter ants have polymorphic workers, which means that the workers occur in different sizes.
Carpenter ants nest in moist wood including rotting trees, tree roots, tree stumps, and logs or boards lying on or buried in the ground. They can also nest in moist or decayed wood inside buildings. Wood decay may be caused by exposure to leaks, condensation, or poor air circulation. Nests have been found behind bathroom tiles, around tubs, sinks, showers, and dishwashers, under windows and roofing, in attic beams, and under subfloor insulation, and in hollow spaces such as doors, curtain rods, and wall voids. Carpenter ants may also nest in foam insulation.
Carpenter ants damage wood by excavating and creating galleries and tunnels. These areas are clean, i.e. they do not contain sawdust or other debris, and are smooth, with a well sanded appearance. The damage to wood structures is variable. The longer a colony is present in a structure, the greater the damage that can be done. If structural wood is weakened, carpenter ant damage can be severe.
Though not necessary, we can also use baits to eradicate indoor nests. In almost all cases, it is not necessary to treat inside the home, or even locate the nesting sites to rid your home of these pests. Carpenter ant treatments should be done annually to keep the home free of infestations. For this reason, we offer an annual renewal at a reduced rate for our customers.