A colony typically has one queen who begins the nest under a rock, in a tree hole or a tunnel in a tree. She will lay a few eggs which will hatch to be the first workers of the colony. These are the smallest ants of the colony called Minims. These minims are given the task of foraging for food and feeding the queen and any young she produces. The queen ant will lay 22 eggs in 15 days. It takes between 60 and 70 days to reach adult stage.
Carpenter ants live both outdoors and indoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood. They create “galleries” into the wood grain to make passageways so they can move throughout the nest. Certain parts of a typical Toronto home, such as the windows, roof eaves, decks and porches, are more likely to be infested by carpenter ants because these areas are most vulnerable to moisture. Carpenter ants are the largest ants that invade homes. They are a widespread pest problems, spanning across North America.
Female ants make up majority of the colony. There are 2 levels – Polymorphic and Dimorphic ants. Polymorphic ants tend to the young. Dimorphic ants tend to the queen and larvae. All worker ants provide housekeeping, nest maintenance and defense, and gather food.
Male ants’ eyes are large, better to see the Queen. Their main purpose is to mate with the Queen. Male ants die within 2 weeks after mating.
Queen ant is usually the largest individual in the colony. Her first and most important duty is to find a good nesting location. The queen mates only once but continues to produce offspring until she dies. Species of ants have several colonies (called satellite colonies). This includes pharaoh ants, little black ants, crazy ants and pavement ants In some species (predominately the pharaoh ant) feeding the larvae in a special way will cause her to become a queen. There are several types of ants that are prominent in Toronto and the GTA such as Carpenter, Fire, Pharoah, and Pavement ants.
We use an Integrated Pest Management Technique. We apply a combination of interior/exterior bait and spray. The bait is designed to kill the queen, while the spray kills the workers. We treat the interior and exterior. Treating the exterior prevents future infestation and also disrupts the colonies from communicating.
We do not recommend trying to tackle wood destroying organisms such as Carpenter ants yourself with chemicals or do it yourself products. Disrupting (using over the counter sprays) the colonies with self treatment can make infestations worse. Essentially creating budding within the colonies.
After Carpenter Ants treatment, eradication of Carpenter Ants should take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. This is because we want the workers to affect the entire colony, this takes time with bait and spray. This will allow the entire colony to feed off bait and subsequently kill the entire colony.