There’s no denying that Florida carpenter ants are a nuisance pest, but these small insects sometimes get a bad rap that they don’t necessarily deserve. While their name implies that these ants are fond of wood destruction, they’re actually not. In fact, the Florida carpenter ant isn’t considered one of the harmful species of carpenter ants found in the state.
The Florida carpenter ant may vary in color, from black, brown, reddish, or light brown. They are about 1/5” to ½” in length, typically. Florida carpenter ants are best identified by their habitats, as they prefer to nest in trees and wood. During late spring and early summer, some Florida carpenter ants may be seen with wings, causing them to be frequently mistaken for winged termites.
Fortunately for humans, Florida carpenter ants don’t pose any real threats. They don’t bite or sting, and they are not wood-destroying. Again, many people falsely assume these ants are responsible for wood damage because they often nest in previously destroyed wooden structures. The biggest problem caused by Florida carpenter ants is that they colonize in large numbers and will seek out food sources indoors, making them a real nuisance.
Florida carpenter ants are active year-round in Florida, as they prefer mild temperatures and cannot tolerate extreme cold.
Florida carpenter ants are most active at night, and can be found throughout Florida all year. They tend to create a main “home” nest, and then they have swarmer ants (flying ants) that forge out to other locations and develop satellite nests. They are highly-attracted to dead, or dying, wood, such as; tree limbs, tree trunks, or stumps. If found indoors, the main nest will need a source of moisture, in order to survive for long periods of time.
Although they are attracted to dead wood, they do not actually eat the wood. They just excavate the wood, in order to make their home. Their location may be noticeable by small piles of sawdust along wooden structures.
Carpenter ants are not harmful to people, but they can be destructive to your property; therefore, professional treatment of this type of ant is highly recommended. Locating the main nest is very tricky, because sometimes, the nests are difficult to reach. For example, a Florida carpenter ant colony may be high up in a tree, somewhere in the attic, or deep in a crawlspace. Locating the satellite nests, and treating them directly, is the most effective form of treatment for this problematic ant. If you need help, contact us today!
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