There are four castes of carpenter ants: queens, winged males, major workers and minor workers. The winged male is the easiest to identify.
Check to make sure that you are dealing with an ant. Like all ants, carpenter ants have a waist with only one node.
Rule out the possibility that it's not just a large ant by looking for an evenly rounded upper surface at the thorax.
Identify the color of the body. Winged carpenter ants have dark colored bodies.
Look at the insect's antennae. Carpenter ants have bent antennae.
Size up the wings. If the back wings are smaller than the front wings, you've got a carpenter ant.
Tips & Warnings
- People often confuse carpenter ants and termites when they first see them.
- Looking for another way to tell if an insect is a carpenter ant? Look at the damage left behind. If the tunnels are smooth without sawdust or other debris left behind, it's most likely a carpenter ant.
- Carpenter ants are often seen out in the open.
- In order to eliminate carpenter ants, you will need to destroy the queen.
- Carpenter ants can cause extensive damage.