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Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants

DESCRIPTION: Carpenter ants belong to the genus Camponotus.
Carpenter ants may be black, red the black carpenter ant,
Camponotus pennsylvanicus,
is the most common species (Figure 1). This
ant is black, with very fine whitish or yellowish hairs on
the abdomen. Minor workers of the black carpenter ant
generally are about ¼ inch long and major workers are
approximately ½ inch.
Like other ants, carpenter ants have a constricted waist
and elbowed antennae.
Carpenter ants may be identified based on several
characteristics, including an evenly rounded, arched
thorax, when viewed from the side; one node between
the thorax and abdomen; and a fringe of hairs around
the anal opening at the tip of the abdomen
 Carpenter ants are so-named because these social
insects excavate galleries in wood to create nest sites. They
use their strong jaws (mandibles) to remove quantities
of wood as they expand the size of their nests. Unlike
termites, carpenter ants do not consume wood.

Carpenter ants are among the largest ants occurring in
the Canada and some species are about ½ inch
long. However, size alone is not a good diagnostic tool,
because workers of several sizes occur in a single colony
sometimes called minor, intermediate, and major workers.
Tips on locating carpenter ant colonies.    In eastern Ontario, carpenter ants are often first seen by homeowners in the early months of March or April.  As the walls of the home are warmed by the sun, the carpenter ants awaken from their winter dormancy and the workers forage for food.  Honey is high on their menu and therefore by placing honey lures (small jar lids or squares of waxed paper with a teaspoon of honey) inside the house around the perimeter walls these foraging ants can be enticed into showing us the area of the home the colony is in. After a few days you may observe ants feeding on one or two of these lures and other lures remain untouched.  One could make the assumption the ants are feeding on the lure closest to their colony. The more lures, the more accurate the information.  It is necessary to place lures in all areas of the house which will prove where the ants are as well as proving where they are not.

Additional Information of Carpenter Ants can be found here on the
The Ohio State University Carpenter Ant Fact Sheet