Are All Black Ants Carpenter Ants

Ants in the home can be a bother. They can contaminate food and linger near water sources such as your sink. And it’s never just one or two to deal with. However, some ants are more than just a nuisance and can cause damage to your home. For example, the carpenter ant causes structural damage to your home. So, how do you distinguish between a common black ant and a carpenter ant?

carpenter ant

The Distinction Between Carpenter Ants And Black Ants

It can be challenging to tell black ants apart from carpenter ants at first glance, but here are a few ways to tell them apart. First, Carpenter ants are larger than black ants and typically measure about 0.5′′ in length. They are likelier to have two sets of wings and elbows on their antennae. Carpenter ants with reproductive threats have longer front wings than back wings. Second, the carpenter’s ant’s head is shaped like a heart. Their thorax is another physical distinction. It’s difficult to see without a hand lens, but black ants have an uneven thorax, whereas carpenter ants have a smooth rounded thorax.

While physical differences between these two types of ants aid in identification, the real distinction between the two are how their presence affects our home. Black ants are a bother. They can sting, contaminate food, and generally make themselves at home. These ants, however, do not typically live inside homes and do not cause physical damage. They make dirt mounds in the yard and enter the house primarily for food and water.

On the other hand, carpenter ants can cause structural damage to homes, especially if they nest in large numbers within the walls. They enjoy tunneling through and nesting in wood framing. While they sometimes nest in dry, rotted wood, they prefer moist wood. Kitchens and bathrooms are common places to find them, as water leaks can dampen wood.

Black Ant And Carpenter Ant Infestation Patterns

Carpenter ants are much more common in rural homes with little light in attics and basements. Carpenter ants’ nests indoors are usually extensions of a nest in a nearby tree. If you see winged carpenter ants on your windows, it means your home has been infested, and there is an indoor nest somewhere. When black ants invade, they are much less discriminating; they are most likely looking for food.

How Can You Prevent Carpenter Ants In Your Home?

To keep carpenter ants at bay, ensure that any leaks in the roof or plumbing are repaired to avoid moist wood that attracts these ants. Carpenters will not infest wood with less than 15% moisture content. Remove rotting wood from your home’s entryways, trim tree branches away from the roof, and seal any cracks in your home. Firewood should not be stored in the garage or near your home’s foundation.

If you discover that you have carpenter ants, ant baits are usually ineffective against them because they ignore traditional insect bait. The first step is to find the ants’ hiding place. Next, contact an experienced ant control professional who can inspect your home to determine the source of the ants and treat them effectively. Call Facility Pest Control immediately if you suspect carpenter ants in your home.