Carpenter Ants – Nuptial Flight in Spring

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Carpenter ants are a common household pest in Vancouver. These pests damage wood by hollowing it out in order to nest. While they do not eat wood, large colonies can be destructive.

The size and color of carpenter ants vary considerably between species but they all have a smoothly-rounded thorax and one or two nodes.

Swarm and Mating Habits

Each year, carpenter ants become active in March and April and remain so through September and October.
A mature carpenter ant colony usually releases reproductive “swarmers” in springtime. The swarmers mate and the females establish a new colony. Their nests consist of smooth, clean tunnels and excavations in wood.

Carpenter Ant Eradication

Location and destruction of the parent nest is the best way to eradicate carpenter ants. Once located, the nest can be treated with insecticides that eliminate the queen and prevent reproduction.

Ant extermination in Vancouver requires eliminating first the parent nest then indoor satellite nests.  Re-infestation is possible if ants outside the structure return to the parent nest. For reliable control, nests must be treated directly. This may require drilling into voids in walls, doors, window frames, etc., to allow in insecticidal dust or to allow liquid insecticide to be injected into the nest.

After a series of exterminations, methods of sanitation can be employed to help prevent another invasion. Carpenter ants require wood and moisture, so reduce the availability of both.

  1. Eliminate stumps, logs and woodpiles or move them as far away from structures as possible.
  2. Seal cracks in the foundations, gaps around doors and windows, and spaces where utility lines penetrate.
  3. Address moisture problems caused by clogged gutters, leaky plumbing and faulty seals around chimneys, skylights, doors and windows.
  4. Also remove or cut back any overhanging tree branches to eliminate easy access for ants.

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