Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants are relatively large. Known mostly by their size and color, carpenter ants are commonly black, however their color can range from black to red or even solid red. They have one segment to their waist and a long abdomen containing lightly-colored dull hairs. Carpenter ants are mostly black, but their colors can also range from black and red or even solid red. Though their name suggests otherwise, they do not eat wood and instead feed on plant juices and other insects. Black Carpenter Ants do bite and can spray formic acid, but they do not possess the ability to sting their prey. Habits: Most carpenter ant species establish their first nest in decayed wood and later expand or enlarge this into sound wood. Inside structures, nests are located in wood (preferably softened by fungus rot or water damage) in insulation, and/or wall voids. Worker carpenter ants are a nuisance when out searching for food but are destructive to timbers utilized for nesting activities. Outside structures, nests are typically found in rotting fence posts, stumps, old firewood, dead portions of standing trees, and under stones or fallen logs. Swarming carpenter ants can appear inside or outside homes and structures from spring to fall in central Missouri. Swarming black carpenter ants can easily be mistaken for swarming termites if found inside homes and structures.