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Carpenter Ant Swarms

What Month Do Carpenter Ants Swarm?

Swarm season for carpenter ants is, in fact, mating season.

  • From February to June in the western United States.
  • May through August as you move east.

Mature colonies release reproductives, the winged ants that swarm during mating season and can often be the first time you realize you have a problem.

Carpenter Ant Mating Habits

After mating, the males die, and the females set off in search of a site to build a satellite nest. She chews off her wings and can often be seen searching for a suitable location.

Most of these females will end up eaten by insectivores, but those who survive will look for damp wood where they can begin tunneling in and build a nest.

How Long Does it Take for a Colony to Mature?

When you see a carpenter ant swarm, you already have a mature colony nearby. They build in trees, living or dead, stumps, wood piles, or wood structures.

Carpenter ant colonies can live up to 15 years and it takes 3 – 6 years for the colony to mature and produce reproductives.

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How Often Do Carpenter Ants Swarm?

When the colony reaches maturity, the queen will lay reproductive eggs in the fall. The eggs will winter over with the colony until spring. When it is warm enough, they will hatch and when mature, take flight. If conditions are favorable, she could produce a second brood, causing two swarming events in one season.

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Croach technicians were in our home on the 24th of July. The technician was very thorough and explained everything he did and why to my wife. Also enlightened her on the Carpenter Ants and what to look for to determine if there is a problem. Did a complete exterior sweep down, got rid of old wasp and yellow jacket nests and exterior perimeter spray down. Thanks much!


How Serious Is A Carpenter Ant Infestation?

A colony with multiple satellite nests could house as many as 50,000 ants buzzing through wood. When these ants are living in your home or in the out buildings on your property, they will do serious damage. Repairs are costly, so you will want to call a pest management professional at the first sign to make sure your home is protected.

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Do Carpenter Ants Eventually Go Away?

Because the swarms don’t last long, and because you may find many dead ants afterwards (the males who died after mating), you may think they’re gone. Actually, they’re just expanding their reach.

When a colony can live up to 15 years, carpenter ants aren’t going anywhere as long as they have a food source and undisturbed nests. Untreated carpenter ant infestations need to be dealt with before serious damage is done to your home.

Carpenter Ants vs Termites

Carpenter ants are wood borers; they chew their way into wet or dry wood, but prefer to build their nests in wet wood. Unlike termites, they do not eat the wood, they just power through like a buzzsaw, leaving a trail of sawdust as they tunnel in.

While carpenter ant damage can cause structural problems, it generally does not happen as quickly as with termites. Carpenter ants are known to swarm even inside our homes!

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Carpenter Ant


Differences in Appearance

Aside from carpenter ants being larger than termites, there are other physical characteristics you can use to tell if you have carpenter ants or termites.

  • Termites have straight antennae while carpenter ants are elbowed.
  • Ants have a slender waist opposed to the broad waist of a termite.
  • The wings are different – ants have both a larger and smaller set of wings, while the termite’s wings are all the same size.

How Do I Get Rid of Carpenter Ants?

To solve your carpenter ant problem, your pest control professional will work with you to locate the nest(s) and treat them directly. When the nest is not easily found, other tactics will be used to treat the problem. Call Croach® to set up a free inspection; our proven methods will stop the problem and we’ll work with you to make sure they don’t come back.

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