Carpenter ants are the largest of all ant species, ranging from 1/8 to ½ inch long, with slightly larger sized queens. Carpenter ants are typically black in color, but some species can be found in red and black, solid red, or brown.
Adult winged females lose their wings soon after mating, and all worker carpenter ants are wingless. Mature colonies range in size from several thousand workers, to upwards of 10,000 – 15,000. Black carpenter ants complete their life cycle in roughly 60 days.
Carpenter ants are social insects that can usually be found nesting in wood. Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but do excavate galleries for their nesting areas. Carpenter ants actively feed at night and the early morning hours, preferring to snack on sugary solutions.
It is recommended that any decaying piles of wood should be removed from the property. All food items should be stored in sealed containers, and any food spills should be cleaned up immediately. Because it’s difficult to locate and provide treatment for carpenter ants, a pest control company is your best bet at eliminating this problem.
Pavement ants are 1/16 to 1/8-inches long and have lighter coloured legs with a dark body coated in stiff hairs. They have two small spines on the back portion of the thorax, and two nodes in their petioles.
The developmental time (from egg to adult) is 36 to 63 days. Located indoors, the swarmers can emerge anytime. Outdoors, they’ll usually emerge in the summer months of June and July.
Pavement ants nest outdoors under flat stones, sidewalks, concrete slabs, along curbing, etc. They invade structures in search of food, and are a particular problem in areas where slab-on-concrete construction is prevalent. Once inside structures, they nest in walls, insulation, floors, and will find their way to heat sources in the winter.
Pavement ants are especially attracted to sweets. Therefore, sugary and protein-based baits are the best ways of ridding your home/building of them. Baits should be placed where ant trails have been established, and in locations where the ants have been sighted. When a nest cannot be located, a barrier spray treatment should be applied to foundations and the soil adjacent to the building. This is effective in repelling foraging workers, as well as preventing them from re-entering the structure.
The Pharaoh ant is small relative to the species, measuring from 1.5 to 2 mm (1/16th to 1/12th an inch) in size. The workers are all one size (monomorphic). The Pharaoh ants colour varies from golden yellow to reddish. Pharaoh ants originated in and derive from the tropics, meaning they cannot survive the Canadian climate year round.
Females mate and procreate in nests, and new colonies are formed by “budding.” Budding is when part of the main colony migrates to a new location, meaning there can be up to hundreds of thousands of ants in one widespread colony.
A female produces 350-400 eggs in her lifetime. The entire life cycle is completed in 38 to 45 days. The life span of workers is approximately nine to ten weeks, while queens live four to twelve months.
Pharaoh ants nest in a wide variety of locations within a structure, and are very difficult to target and control. However, it is useful to look near sources of water and food. They typically nest in warm, hard to reach areas such as walls, splash boards of kitchen counter tops, and in-wall sockets.
Pharaoh ants prefer to indulge in meats or greases, but will also feed on sugar syrups and jellies.
Pharaoh ants must be treated by using protein and sugar baits placed as close as possible to the nesting areas. It is very important not to use any insecticide sprays or dusts as this will stress the colony – causing it to split and spread, making the problem much more difficult to contain.