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Carpenter Ant
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Carpenter Ant

Order: Hymenoptera

Family: Formicidae

Pest Status: Carpenter ants have a much bigger reputation as a pest than they deserve. They can damage a home only when they hollow out nests areas inside key wooden structural areas. They most often nest out-of-doors where they are beneficial insects.

Appearance: Carpenter ants range in size from 1/4 to 3/4-inch, depending on whether the insect is a queen or a worker. Workers are brown, have large heads and small thoraxes.

Life Cycle: The queen establishes a nesting site in a wood cavity. The queen rears her first brood of workers, feeding them salivary secretions. The workers then gather food to feed more generations of larvae.

Where to Collect: Carpenter ants nest in moist wood, including rotting trees, tree roots, tree stumps, and logs or boards lying on or buried in the ground.