How to Get Rid of Black Carpenter Ants
There are many different types of ants that can be found throughout the world. One type of ant, called a black carpenter ant, is attracted to wet wood or other damp surfaces. These ants will use their mandibles to chew the surface they are attracted to and then deposit digestive enzymes on it so they can eat it. They also have two glands in their abdomen which produce formic acid, which aids them in digesting food. The black carpenter ants’ main diet consists of dead insects and fruit juices, but sometimes they may drink water if there is no other source for moisture available.
This blog post will discuss ways to get rid of these pesky pests using natural methods only!
How Do Black Carpenter Ants Look Like?
Black Carpenter Ants are a common species of carpenter ants found in the United States. Black carpenter ants are about one-third to one-half inch long. They are black with some orange markings between the segments on the abdomen. Their black exoskeleton and antennae can also be identified, which protrude from the head and thorax. The thorax is the part of the ant that contains the legs and wings, which in carpenter ants are long, thin, and transparent.
The size of these ants differs depending on the gender of the ants; males are bigger than females. Males can grow up to 1/2 inch in length while females only grow up to 3/8 inches. Ants are wingless and often found in large numbers. They are solitary insects that are capable of swarming on the food they find quickly.
Black Carpenter ants establish their nests in wood and can create extensive networks of galleries inside. The termite species most often confused with the black carpenter ant is the Pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonic). Black carpenter ants are about twice as large as Pharaoh’s ants and have a much darker appearance.
There are several different species of carpenter ants, but the most common ones found in South Carolina are Camponotus pennsylvanicus and Camponotus socius. These ants nest outdoors in moist soil areas around fallen trees, stumps, logs, and occasionally in high grass or landscaped beds. They will also infest structural wood in homes. The ants will make their nests in the moist, decaying parts of trees or near the ground.
Camponotus pennsylvanicus is known as a carpenter ant because of its nesting habits and wood-destroying behaviors. The ants can often be seen crawling across window sills, floors, and other areas inside of homes. They also trail along with high points and across open spaces in the cabinets and walls. In homes, these ants are often found in the warmer parts of the building, like behind wallpapers or linoleum. They also like to build their nests under the insulation used for home heating and cooling systems.
Camponotus socius is a twig ant because it builds its nests out of small sticks that they’ve chewed off of trees or other plants. Twig ant nests are often found in bushes, shrubbery, and plant foliage around buildings. They also will infest wood that has been painted or sealed with certain types of siding.
What Do They Eat?
Carpenter ants are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plants and animals. They eat other insects, including other kinds of ants. They scavenge dead animals and plants by stripping away the outer bark or leaf surfaces. They will wander into homes in search of food. Sometimes ants in the house are confused with termites, which also eat wood. Carpenter ants do not eat wood as termites do but excavate galleries just under the surface to provide passageways and chambers for raising young and storing food. While both types of ants are black, carpenter ants rarely swarm as winged termites do.
Ants are attracted to sweet food items, including wet pet food, soft drinks, syrup, jam, honey, and peanut butter. Ants also feed on bread dough as it ferments or rots. In addition, they will feed on vegetables, fruits, and nuts. If you find ants in your home, check under sinks or on window sills for food sources.
Are Black Carpenter Ants Harmful?
Despite the ants being named black carpenter ants, these pests are not harmful to humans. But they can be a nuisance in homes and outdoors. Therefore, it is also crucial to know which areas of your house need to be well-inspected for any possible red or black carpenter ants. These areas include kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor patios, and sheds.
Although red ants seem to be more aggressive, black carpenter ants can inflict a painful bite. Black carpenter ant symptoms include bites or stings and swelling around the infected area. On top of that, they produce a sweet odor, which is why they are considered pests in homes.
Ants in the house can be a nuisance when they invade kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas where food is prepared or eaten. In addition, they tend to be numerous along baseboards, window sills, and door frames, providing easy access into homes from their nests in nearby trees, shrubs, or wall voids. In general, ants are most active when temperatures are between 70-80 degrees F, so activity inside the house is most evident during Spring and Summer months.
Carpenter ants mostly cause problems in places where there are trees or decaying wood. They will nest in damp or moist areas close to the ground, in trees, or even inside walls. Carpenter ants are very attracted to smooth surfaces, dark areas, and cracks.
Moreover, their nesting in the wood will also damage the structural integrity of your house. They can penetrate through particle boards, plywood, and even concrete. You may already notice that there are tiny holes or cracks on your walls or ceilings. Carpenter ants can chew into any surface with a bit of moisture which they find very attractive.
These insects can cause a great deal of damage to buildings. Therefore, when you see black ants in your house or outside, it is best to have them exterminated immediately before they become an infestation.
How to Get Rid of Black Carpenter Ants?
Ants have a social caste system where the queen, male and female workers do all of the work. While some ants are beneficial to the environment, others can be a nuisance. But rest assured because there are ways to get rid of those pesky ants from your home.
Ants generally enter homes from outside by finding crevices in the foundation or cracks in the walls that lead into your home. They can also come from possible food debris left out by humans and organic material such as pet droppings.
The best way to prevent ants from entering your home is by sealing any cracks or crevices where they may find their way in, cleaning up food debris around your home regularly, and placing all food items in tightly sealed containers.
The next step is to clean up all spills that may have been missed, Vacuum all carpets and floors thoroughly. Next, sweep or vacuum any leftover debris around baseboards, corners, cabinets, and underneath appliances or furniture. Once you’ve properly cleaned the area, a few common household ingredients can be used to discourage ants from coming back inside.
Mix equal parts Borax and sugar. Place the mixture in areas where ants are likely to be entering your home or near the house’s foundation. Alternatively, you can mix white distilled vinegar and water (1 cup each) in a spray bottle, shake well and spray along doors, windowsills, screens, and foundation cracks.
Peppermint oil and water (1:8 ratio) can be sprayed in the same areas mentioned above, or it can also be used with vinegar to make a more pleasant scent when applying.
A solution of 1 part water and two parts vinegar can be used inside and outside your home. This will break up the scent trails ants use to find their way inside.
Once you have done these steps, there are other options if the ants continue to come back inside after a week or two. You can purchase bait traps at your local hardware store that will kill ants when they eat them. If you prefer not to use pesticides around your home or don’t want to pay for the more expensive bait traps, you can coat a q-tip with cooking oil spray and place them under cabinets or behind baseboards where ants are entering your home.
Boric acid is a very strong pesticide that will kill the ants once they ingest it but should be used with caution because of its strength. You can find boric acid at your local hardware or grocery store. It comes in a powder form and kills the ant when touched.
Ants are very smart insects and will eventually find their way back in no matter how many times you clean or prevent them from doing so. If this happens, you will need help from a professional pest control agency.