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Carpenter Ant (Camponotus)
admin - 05/07/2014

The carpenter ant is the largest ant found in California. It averages between 3/16” to ½” with queens growing up to ¾” in length. It is primarily black with some species ranging in color from brown to red.

The carpenter ant excavates galleries in wood, which sometimes resembles the work of termites. They can be distinguished by the fact that they are entirely clean and contain no debris. Usually, these galleries are in moist, unsound wood, although carpenter ants can do burrow in sound wood. The presence of a colony maybe noticed by sawdust-like debris, which is carried from and deposited outside the nest, although this is not always evident. Other evidence of a colony would be the presence of winged ants, called swarmers. Swarmers fly around during spring and summer months. Although a colony does not produce swarmers until after its second year. Thus, swarmers indicate a well-established colony.

Places in which the carpenter ant nests outside include tree stumps, telephone poles, fence posts, and firewood. Inside they live in areas such as hollow spaces between walls, behind baseboards, and inside window and doorframes.

The carpenter ant does not eat wood, as the termite does; rather it burrows for nesting purposes. It feeds on Insects, honeydew, jelly, meat, grease, and fats. Unlike other ants, the carpenter ant does not establish regular trails in which to forage for food. 

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