Carpenter Ant Awareness Week is observed every third full week of June — from June 19 to June 25 this year. Several people wrongly confuse carpenter ants for termites. However, both have distinct differences. While termites eat wood, carpenter ants don’t. The latter gets its name for its ability to excavate wooden structures and create smooth tunnels, which can lead to the damage of the foundations of buildings, homes, and outdoor decks.
History of Carpenter Ant Awareness Week
Carpenter Ant Awareness Week was created by the president of a Milwaukee-based pest control company. The event seeks to inform Americans of the issue of carpenter ants, how to recognize the problem, and the necessary steps required to solve it.
Carpenter ants are generally dark-colored, black or red, and can range in size from a quarter to three-quarters of an inch, which is large for ants. They are nocturnal creatures, meaning they usually come out at night.
Carpenter ants are found in door frames and windows, basements, or near anything wet or moist. While it is fairly easy to spot the ants, it is difficult to locate their nests. They build their nests far out of reach and even have satellite nests. Once they have established colonies, they start mating and creating more colonies. This can only increase a carpenter-ant infestation in a house.
They tend to forage for food at night and are attracted to sweet and sticky food items. To avoid this, it is advised that your kitchen is kept spotlessly clean and dry.
Carpenter Ant Awareness Week is important to help in discovering and destroying carpenter ant nests to prevent further infestations.
Carpenter Ant Awareness Week timeline
Ants first appear on the Earth during the Jurassic period.
The black carpenter ant is given its scientific name — Camponotus pennsylvanicus.
A journal article on carpenter ants by JL Pricer, ‘The Life History of the Carpenter Ant’ is published.
The book “House Infesting Ants of Eastern United States: Their Recognition, Biology, and Economic Importance” is published.
Carpenter Ant Awareness Week FAQs
When are carpenter ants most active?
Carpenter ants tend to become active during March and April, going into September and October. A mature carpenter ant colony will typically start its reproductive phase in spring.
When should I worry about carpenter ants?
A carpenter ant colony won’t likely be exterminated easily. You will have to get professional pest control in to get rid of them.
How do you know if carpenter ants are in your walls?
There are some ways you can know if you have a carpenter ant problem. Check if carpenter ants are crawling around in a building or home, or if they are coming out of holes or crevices. Additionally, listen for a faint noise in the walls.
How To Observe Carpenter Ant Awareness Week
Get pest control done
Whether you have carpenter ants or not, it’s good to get precautionary pest control done in your home. This will help to keep the pests away and nip the potential problem in the bud.
Research about carpenter ants
There is a lot of information we may not be aware of with reference to carpenter ants. Spend Carpenter Ant Awareness Week by reading up on them as much as possible. This will help you to be fully equipped with the requisite knowledge if you were to ever encounter a carpenter ant infestation in your home.
Conduct a check of your home
If you haven’t conducted a check of your walls and damp wood structures inside and outside your home, now is a good time to do so. Check all potential places properly to detect any early signs of carpenter ants.
5 Interesting Facts About Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are some of the largest in North America, measuring between 0.3 and 0.5 inches.
Variety of colors
While they’re generally black, some species of carpenter ants can also be found in red, yellow, dark brown, light brown, orange colors.
Damp or damaged wood gives them entry
Damp or damaged wood generally found on the exteriors of a home is what gives them their entry into homes and eventually into solid wood structures.
There are thousands of them
Carpenter ant colonies can have thousands of worker ants and winged male and female swarmers.
Carpenter ants can lift between seven and 50 times their own weight.
Why Carpenter Ant Awareness Week Is Important
Carpenter ants can cause extensive damage
Once they make their way into your home, carpenter ants can start tunneling through solid wood structures. This can cause long-term damage to the foundation of your home making it rather unsafe for habitation. Early detection of these creatures in your home is necessary to keep damage at bay.
Carpenter ants can bite
Carpenter ants have strong jaws that they use to bite into wood and make tunnels. When they bite into the skin, they inject it with formic acid, which can cause a burn sensation. Though carpenter ant bites are rare, they can cause mild reactions. Hence it is important to be aware of carpenter ants and take the necessary precautions to keep them at bay.
While carpenter ants do not eat wood, they do feed on other insects, plant nectar, honey, syrup, meat, grease, and fat. They can hunt for food 100 meters from their nest. Carpenter Ant Awareness Week is thus important, as knowledge about the subject can help you deal with an ant problem if it ever comes up.
Carpenter Ant Awareness Week dates