How to Identify Carpenter Ants

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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.
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