Carpenter Ants - School IPM - USU Extension

    Carpenter Ants

    Camponotus spp.

    Adult Carpenter

    Adult carpenter ant; thorax evenly rounded (April Nobile, Antweb.org)

    Ant Damage

    Carpenter ant damage (Edward H. Holsten, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)

    Ant Damage

    Carpenter ant damage (Joseph O’ Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org)

    Identification

    • one node (bump between middle and rear body sections)
    • typically black or black with a reddish-brown body
    • ants of different sizes
    • evenly rounded thorax differentiates them from field ants
    • sawdust outside of nests/galleries

    Nesting Habits

    • establish nests in wood, especially decaying wood
    • have a primary nest and separate satellite nests
    • satellite nests may occur indoors
    • foragers—they go out in search of nutrients but return to the outdoor nest

    Diet

    • living and dead insects, meats, and sweets, such as jelly, honey and honeydew excreted by aphids and other insects
    • DO NOT eat wood but remove it to create galleries and tunnels

    Significance

    • damage wood, infest food and may bite

    IPM Recommendations

    • Have ants identified to determine damage potential.
    • Find nesting locations by following workers back to their nest, if possible. 
    • Destroy indoor and outdoor primary and satellite nests.
    • Remove and replace water-damaged or decaying wood.
    • Seal potential ant entryways.
    • Remove food and water sources in and around structures.
    • Use ant baits to help eliminate nests that are hard to find.

    Additional Resources:

    IPM for Ants: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)