While many people think of ants as more of an annoyance, carpenter ants can cause actual damage to your home, making them a far more serious threat. Despite the danger carpenter ants can do to your home or business, they’re also fascinating little creatures.
1 – Carpenter ants don’t have lungs
Actually, ants in general do not have lungs. Instead they take in oxygen and exude carbon dioxide through tiny holes all over their bodies.
2 – Carpenter ants don’t eat wood
Most people think they eat wood because of the structural damage they can cause. While carpenter ants have strong mandibles that can chew through solid wood, they don’t swallow it. They chew to create tunnels and nests. Piles of sawdust the ants remove from the tunnels are one sign that carpenter ants may have infested your home.
3 – Carpenter ants are neat freaks
Not only do carpenter ants remove the wood debris from their nests and tunnels, but they also remove old food, dead ant bodies, etc. That’s why you might have seen carpenter ants carrying dead ants. They even collect resin and use it to disinfect their nests.
4 – Any kind of wood is good
With some insects, using treated wood is a deterrent. Not so with carpenter ants. Because they don’t actually eat what they chew through to make a nest, they can even live inside creosote-treated railroad ties and such. Though they’re most attracted to wet or rotten wood, carpenter ants will chew through solid, dry wood. Wet or rotten wood just makes it easier for them to start tunnels. Carpenter ants have even been known to chew through certain types of plastic.
5 – Carpenter ant bites hurt – a lot
While they don’t have stingers, carpenter ant bites can be quite painful. That’s because they inject formic acid into the wound as they bite. Fortunately, carpenter ant bites are rare.
6 – Carpenter ants are strong
Carpenter ants can carry a lot more than their body weight – up to 10-50 times their body weight. Their jaw strength is also intense, which is how they can chew through wood.
7 – Carpenter ants can kill and eat termites
Termites and carpenter ants are natural rivals since they like similar living conditions and chew through wood for their own colonies. Ants have been known to not only kill but also eat termites. If there are enough ants, they can even wipe out entire termite colonies. Using carpenter ants to get rid of termites is a very bad idea, though, because you’re just exchanging one problem for another.
Arrow Can Get Rid of Your Carpenter Ants
No matter how interesting they are, you don’t want carpenter ants in your home. Call Arrow Exterminating to inspect your home or business and eliminate an infestation. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.