Once the warmer weather rolls around, and the cold winter makes space for springtime, ants also come out. That is why many Canadians have ant problems in March – most commonly, the carpenter ant, of the genus Camponotus, which consists of 1,000 species of carpenter ants.
Ants have long been a significant urban pest, but they only recently have emerged as structural pests that cause vast structural and other damage. Carpenter ants, in particular, have been recognized as important North American structural pests, in some areas causing damage that’s considered equal to or more serious than that caused by termites.
Carpenter ants build their nest in wood structures or other wood products, seeking out moist wood that contains decay fungi, but also settling for dry, healthy wood. One of the many things that make them a feared enemy is that their nests can be found almost ANYWHERE inside a building structure, including:
For the average homeowner, it can be a challenge to find out if the tiny, dark-colored, winged insects that are swarming all over their house are carpenter ants or termites. They both look the same to the naked eye – black with wings – and many people have trouble telling them apart. However, a treatment for carpenter ants is very different from a termite treatment, so being able to tell them apart could save you a lot of trouble and money in the long run.
While both are a dreadful pest, known particularly for their destructive nature, there are plenty of differences in their size, appearance, nest formation, and the extent of damage they cause. Here are a few key indicators to help you differentiate between them:
1) Wings of different length and shape
April marks the beginning of the dreaded carpenter ant season, and this year pest control professionals warm homeowners that it’s about to get uglier. The harsh winter followed by a late spring, on one hand, and the decline in the use of long-lasting chemical insecticides, on the other, may cause a rise in the carpenter ant populations across Canada.
According to news reports, this is the time of year when pest control companies based in Windsor, Halifax, Winnipeg, and several other regions start noticing an increase in the number of calls involving carpenter ants. Compared to an average of 20-25 customers per day this time of year, many professionals in these regions are dealing with 50 or more daily. All across the country, pest control professionals are preparing themselves for the high volume of callers asking for help to eliminate the pesky insects.