This is the eighth installment of 15 Household Bugs in SW Florida That May Freak You Out, which can be downloaded from our free eBook library.
If you have large, reddish brown ants in your home, you might have carpenter ants. These ants are often half an inch long and have chunky body parts. Their size can be intimidating and even a little freaky. Many carpenter ants are wingless, but large colonies do have ants with wings.
As their name implies, carpenter ants love wood. Unlike termites however, the Florida carpenter ant will not eat the wood in your home. Unfortunately, they love to nest in your attic and in wall voids.
In most cases, carpenter ants have a main nest outside your home in a nearby tree or stump. However, given enough time, they may establish a secondary nest inside your home. Carpenter ants prefer wood that is rotting or wet. If the wood in your house is not water damaged, you are less likely to have a problem with these ants. With proper home maintenance (fixing leaky plumbing and keeping wood painted and sealed), you will reduce your chances of an infestation.
Homeowners have a very difficult time fixing carpenter ant problems on their own because the primary nest can be hard to find. Often, you need a Cape Coral pest control professional that is knowledgeable about carpenter ant habitats and preferences to help to get rid of them permanently.
We do find it helpful when homeowners keep a careful eye on their carpenter ants before calling us. Keep notes on things like: