Carpenter Ants are a common destructive insect pest. They are also one of the most valuable insects we have on earth. They chew up tons of wood and turn it into fine sawdust that rots and provides compost for new growth. Because they enter manmade structures they are considered the most destructive common insect pest we have in Canada.
IDENTIFICATION AND LIFE CYCLE
FIVE ANT SIZES IN ONE TYPICAL NEST
(not actual size )
Top Left: Reproductive winged female.
Top Right: Reproductive winged male.
Bottom: Minor & Major workers (female)
Two common species of carpenter ants found in Canada:
1. Modoc : all black. (Legs may have a rusty red color) One queen in one nest.
2. Vicinus : black head, rusty red thorax (mid section) and black abdomen (tail section.) Multiple queens in parent nest.
Most carpenter ant species have other similar characteristics. Most Carpenter Ant species establish their initial nest in decayed wood, but, once established, the ants extend their tunneling into sound wood and can do considerable damage to a structure. These species commonly nest in standing trees (living or dead), in stumps, or in logs on the forest floor. Since many houses are being built in forested areas, well established, vigorous colonies are readily available in the immediate vicinity to attack these dwellings. This is especially true when the homeowner insists that the home be built with a minimal removal of trees.
The following videos may help you identify if you have Carpenter Ants