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Carpenter ants can inflict a lot of damage in your home by chewing through wooden structures and beams as they build their nests. Although they don’t receive as much press as termites generally do, carpenter ants are just as interesting.
Here are ten interesting, fun facts about carpenter ants that you can use to impress your friends!
- Worker carpenter ants can lift up to 50 times their own weight, using their strong mandibles. A human that strong would be able to lift a car, using only their teeth!
- Carpenter ants are one of nature’s homemakers, cleaning their nests by removing dead ants and old food, and disinfecting their home with resin that they collect.
- Carpenter ants “see” to negotiate their way around their colonies by following pheromone trails that are secreted by their nestmates.
- Carpenter ants can inflict a painful bite by injecting formic acid into the victim’s skin.
- Carpenter ants are one of the largest ant species, measuring up to half-an-inch long. Female winged swarmers are huge, measuring up to one inch in length.
- Queen carpenter ants can live for up to 25 years, laying thousands of fertilized eggs throughout their lives.
- Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat wood. These pests feed on other insects, plant nectar, grease, fat, honey, and other sweet foods. Sometimes, carpenter ants will eat pet food, foraging for up to 300 feet from their nest as they search for food.
- In winter, carpenter ants hibernate within their nests. However, if the colony is near to a heat source, such as direct sunlight, a radiator, or underfloor heating, the ants may remain active throughout the cold months of the year.
- Carpenter ants do not have lungs. Instead, they breathe the air that they need to survive through holes all over their bodies, exhaling carbon dioxide via the same holes.
- Carpenter ants and termites are sworn, natural enemies. That’s because both species seek similar places in which to set up home. The ants can and do kill termites and have also been known to eat their rivals. In fact, a large colony of carpenter ants can wipe out an entire termite colony.
Although they are undoubtedly fascinating creatures, carpenter ants can also be a nightmare for homeowners because of the damage these insects can cause by chewing into wooden structures.
It’s recommended that you always hire a professional pest exterminator to get rid of carpenter ants. Although there are some DIY methods that you could use, they are rarely 100% successful, and you’ll save a lot of time and hassle by using a qualified, experienced ant control Toronto company to do the job.