The Difference Between Carpenter Ants & Regular Ants

In our last post, we discussed with you the difference between carpenter ants and termites. This spawned a lot of questions regarding how other pests can be distinguished from carpenter ants. Seeing as how they are technically ants, what makes the carpenter ant any different from your standard run-of-the-mill ant? We know, if you notice that there is a full army of ants marching through your kitchen you are probably less likely to care what sorts of ants they are and more concerned with getting rid of them. However, if you are going to hire a pest management company to get rid of them, it can be helpful for you to know precisely what type of ants are plaguing your home. This will allow for the exterminator to make a plan to eliminate the ants based off which kind they are. Every kind of ant requires a different type of extermination. Additionally, every type of ant causes a different type of damage. The more information your pest control company has about the ants that you are dealing with, the most quickly they can get rid of them. Continue reading below to learn how to tell the difference between regular ants and carpenter ants.

Regular Ants vs. Carpenter Ants

In general, carpenter ants tend to be much bigger than regular ants. This means that if you should be able to see the different sections of the body of a carpenter ant, whereas you would have a hard time being able to see them on a regular ant. Additionally, the shape of the bodies are slightly different. The head of a carpenter ant is the shape of a heart with the head of the regular ant being round.

Regular Ants

Also known as black ants, these pests are normally about .2 inches in length. On the other hand, the queen ant would measure about twice that length. For the most part, these ants will not nest in homes since they are so content staying in the soil, at the base of walls and under paving slabs. As a colony, they can get extremely large from 4,000-7,000 individual ants with just one queen.

These nests are very easy to detect because they are mounds that have been created in the earth. You probably know exactly what we are talking about because as a child, you likely came across many of these as you played outside. While these ants may not build their house inside, that does not mean that they won’t come into your home in a search for food. When this happens, they will remain inside a food source until all of the food is gone. Sure, this may seem extremely annoying but we can promise you that having a carpenter ant infestation is much worse.

Carpenter Ants

You might be surprised to learn that there are 10 known species of carpenter ants. The most notable ones have a black hue, but others are more of a reddish-orange color. As we mentioned before, the carpenter ant is much larger in size, measuring between ¼ th and ½ inch long. While black ants like to live outside, carpenter ants prefer to live indoors. These pests live inside the wood that makes up the infrastructure of your home and they slowly but surely cause severe damage. Using their very sharp mandibles, they bite into the wood and burrow deeply into the openings so that they can reside there.

Characteristics  of Ants

Formica Ants

  • Even thorax
  • Indentation in the thorax
  • Will go inside to look for food but settle outdoors
  • Their nests are large dome-shaped mounds
  • Prefer to eat insects

Carpenter Ants

  • The thorax is evenly rounded
  • They prefer to create their homes in moist wood, but dry wood will work as well
  • Have multiple nesting sites
  • Have satellite colonies indoors
  • Extremely destructive and can completely hollow out the wood that they are infesting

Ant Control

Getting rid of black ants and their nests is much easier than it is to get rid of carpenter ants. On the other hand, the most effective way to handle a carpenter ant infestation is to find the nesting site. Most likely, it will take a professional pest control team to locate the site and get rid of the ants.

Hire Earthwise Pest Management In Sacramento

If you discover that you have an ant infestation in your home and you want to solve it quickly and efficiently, contact our pest control team today. We can help to get your Sacramento home back to being pest-free!

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