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Archive for the ‘Carpenter Ants’ Category

Stopping Ants Entering Your Home Minnesota

Minnesota homeowners have more than enough to worry about; the last thing you want to have on your mind is pesky ants wandering through your home and your life. (more…)

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MN Pest Control for Minneapolis and St Paul

A little about Carpet Ants

Have you noticed a flow of large black ants hanging around somewhere in your home? Maybe you may have noticed some sawdust around your baseboards in the same general area as the ants? Chances are you have a carpenter ants trouble and you need to take care of them immediately. Carpenter ants can cause a lot bit of
damage in a short period of time, and what’s worse is they multiply rapidly. (more…)

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Get Professional Help For Carpenter Ants MN

Carpenter ants make their nests in galleries they bore out of wood. The nest can be inside or outside the house.  Carpenter ants are active indoors during many months of the year, usually during the spring and summer. When ants are active in the house during late winter/early spring (February/March), the infestation (nest) is probably within the household. When carpenter ants are first seen in the spring and summer (May/June), then the nest is likely outdoors and the ants are simply coming in for food. The natural food of the ants consists of honeydew from aphids, other insects, and plant juices, but they will readily forage for water and food scraps within the house. (more…)

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Minnesota Homeowners Seek Pest Control Services For Carpenter Ants

Ants are on the march, as Spring marks the peak months of swarming season. Reports are especially high during their swarming season, April through June. During these months, new colonies are established while fresh food sources are sought out. Carpenter ants are nocturnal migrating pests, with peak hours of activity just before and after sunset.  Many Minnesota homeowners are unaware of their property being invaded, as months may pass without any noticeable signs of infestation.

Ants encompass a broad spectrum of ant species. These species vary greatly in both physical appearance and behavior. This diversity makes it extremely difficult for the average homeowner to prevent or eradicate these pests, as different species are attracted to various food sources and environments. (more…)

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Get Rid of Ants In Your Minnesota Home

Introduction To Ant Control

Ants are one of the most common pests in and around homes in the north central states. Ants are social insects and are divided up into three castes: workers, males, and queens (figure 1).

ants image

Figure 1. Typical ant castes, from left to right: queen, winged male, major worker, minor worker (more…)

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Minneapolis MN Ant Pest Control | Carpenter Ant Control MN

Give Ants Their Marching Papers One by One

Carpenter ants do not eat wood; termites do. These ants eat insects and the honeydew excreted by aphids and other sap-feeding insects. Carpenter ants excavate nesting galleries in moist or water-damaged wood, sometimes within a wall cavity. Finding a few ants does not always mean there is an infestation. Early spring, before their regular food is available, worker ants often wander inside homes looking for sweets, fats, and other foods. Most carpenter ant damage occurs during the growing season. Large numbers of ants can be destructive, yet many times they are more of a nuisance than a serious threat. (more…)

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Carpenter Ant Pest Removal | MN Ant Pest Control | Carpenter Ants

Are You Sure Those Are Ants?  Ant or Termite?  How Can You To Tell The Difference?

Entomologists refer to winged ants and termites as alates. The alate is simply the adult, sexually mature stage in the ant or termite life cycle. Alates develop in the colony from immature stages prior to the flight season. When the alates receive the proper cues (warm temperatures, bright sunlight, low winds, for example) they will leave the colony and fly away to start their own colonies. The exodus of alates from a colony, known as a dispersal or nuptial flight, is commonly referred to as swarming; so alates are often referred to as swarmers. Male and female termites shed their wings and will pair up when a suitable mate is found. Then they will search for a suitably damp piece of wood or soil where they will start their new colony. Swarming in ants is different. Male and female alates leave the nest and after the female is inseminated, the male dies. The newly fertilized female then searches for a suitable nesting site – the choice of where to nest depends on the species. (more…)

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Carpenter Ants Mark The Spring Season

Pest Control – Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are among the largest ants in Minnesota. There are several species of carpenter ants that may be found infesting homes and other buildings. Normally workers are black or red and black 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. The workers of one species in Minnesota are no larger than 3/16 inch.

Ants are divided into different castes, i.e. workers, queens, and males (figure 1). Some ants, including carpenter ants, have polymorphic workers, which means that within one species the workers occur in different sizes. The best method to separate carpenter ants from other ants is by the following characteristics: 1) a waist with one node (petiole) and 2) a thorax with an evenly rounded upper surface (figure 2).

There are other ants that appear similar and are occasionally mistaken for carpenter ants. They may have one or two nodes. However, they can be distinguished from carpenter ants by the uneven profile of their thorax (figure 3). These ants are usually not wood-infesting, so it is important to correctly identify the ants before control is attempted as control strategies vary with different ant species.

Figure 1. Carpenter ant castes, from left to right: queen, winged male, major worker, minor worker

Figure 2. Carpenter ant worker

Figure 3. Typical non-carpenter ant worker

Ants or Termites?

Carpenter ants differ from termites by having dark-colored bodies, narrow waists, elbowed (bent) antennae, and if present, hind wings shorter than front wings (figure 4). Carpenter ants are very common and are frequently seen in the open.

Figure 4. Winged carpenter ant

Termites are light-colored, have no waist constriction, have straight antennae and, if present, wings are of equal length (figure 5). Termites are much less common. They avoid light and are rarely seen outside of their colony.

Figure 5. Winged termite

What They Eat

Carpenter ants feed on sources of protein and sugar. Outdoors, carpenter ants feed on living and dead insects. They are also very attracted to honeydew, a sweet liquid produced by aphids and scale insects. Aphids and scales feed on trees, shrubs, and other plants. Indoors, carpenter ants feed on meats, as well as syrup, honey, sugar, jelly, and other sweets. Carpenter ants DO NOT eat wood. They remove wood as they create galleries and tunnels.

Most foraging is done at night between sunset and midnight during spring and summer months. Sometimes workers travel up to 100 yards from a nest in search of food.

Where They Live

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 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.

A parent carpenter ant colony sometimes establishes one or more satellite nests in nearby indoor or outdoor sites. Satellite nests are composed of workers, pupae, and mature larvae. A satellite nest does not require moisture because the workers do not tend eggs (the eggs would dry out without sufficient humidity). For this reason, satellite nests can be found in relatively dry locations, such as insulation, hollow doors, and sound wood. The workers of satellite colonies move readily between their nest and the parent colony. In late summer, winged reproductives (i.e. queens and males) may emerge from pupae transported into satellite colonies. They may appear in structures in late winter and early spring as they swarm from a satellite nest.

Damage

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 (figure 6).

Figure 6. Ant Damage

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.

Carpenter Ant Pest Removal

The best method to control carpenter ants is to locate and destroy the nest, replace damaged or decayed wood, and, if they exist, eliminate moisture problems. Eliminating a carpenter ant nest is a difficult and challenging task. It is possible for a homeowner to control carpenter ants on their own. However, in most cases, control should be performed by an experienced pest control expert. They have the experience and a wider array of products to more effectively control a carpenter ant problem. Homeowners can still play an important role in control programs by providing information to a Minnesota pest control expert, such as when, where, and how many ants were seen.

Source: Uof M http://www.extension.umn.edu

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Identification of Carpenter Ants

Have you seen ants in or around your home, but aren’t sure if you have a Carpenter Ant problem?

Identification of Carpenter Ants can be difficult, which is another reason Eco Tech recommends seeking professional help in identifying your pests and removing them from your home.  Termites and Carpenter Ants look and act similarly.  Carpenter Ants have large, dark-colored bodies, narrow waists and instead of straight antennae like a termite, have elbowed, or bent antennae.  If the ants you see are one of the castes of ants which have wings, the set of wings farthest from the ants’ heads will be obviously smaller than the set of wings closest to the ants’ heads.  Termites have a broad waist and equally sized wings.

There are many different “castes”, or types, of Carpenter Ants, such as the queen, workers and males.  Since any of these three castes of Carpenter Ants look differently from one another, and many of these ants look and act similarly to termites and some other types of ants, it is imperative to seek professional help when identifying and removing the ant infestation.

At Eco Tech, we offer a free consultation to diagnose the ant situation in your home and can begin immediately with our organic treatment of the infestation.  Eco Tech, your green, clean pest control solution.  Call today for your free consultation.

(763) 785.1414; (612) 237.8282; (952) 881.6662; (651) 633.8600

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What do Carpenter Ants Eat?

 A common misconception about Carpenter Ants is that they eat wood; they do not.  Carpenter Ants make hollow trails in wood to nest in.  If you see hollow spaces or tunnels in your wood and there is no “frass”, or sawdust, left behind, you may have a Carpenter Ant problem.

If Carpenter Ants have created nests inside a building or home, they feed on sugars and sources of protein, such as syrup, honey, some fruits, granulated sugar and meat.  If you see even one or two an evening inside your home, you likely have a nest or at the very least a “scent trail” which others will follow.  If found outside, Carpenter Ants feed on insects both living and dead.  If not treated immediately, the number of nests will increase dramatically and they become more difficult to dispose of.

If you think you may have a Carpenter Ant problem, call the professionals at Eco Tech today.  We offer a friendly, free consultation and will diagnose your problem immediately.  We can tell you which type of ant you have, and treat for that type with our organic product line of treatments.  If you are in need of Carpenter Ant identification and removal, call us – we’re here to help.

(763) 785-1414; (612) 237-8282; (952) 881-6662; (651) 633-8600

Please visit our website for the next installment in the “Carpenter Ant” series. 

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