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Carpenter Ants vs. Black Ants – Which Is Worse For Your Home?

Posted on June 27, 2023

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Carpenter Ants vs. Black Ants – Which Is Worse For Your Home?

Carpenter ants and black ants are two of the most common ant species that you, as a homeowner, might encounter. While both types of ants can be a nuisance, they differ in their behavior, habits, and potential damage to your home. Understanding the differences between these two ant species can help you identify the type of infestation you have and take the appropriate measures to control it.

As a premier pest and lawn care company in Tennessee, we make it a point to make homeowners aware of how little pests can be dangerous for your home. In our last post, we covered the difference between carpenter ants vs. termites. Today, we will explain the difference between carpenter ants and black ants. So let’s get started!

πŸ‘‰ What Are Carpenter Ants? 

As homeowners, it’s common for us to generalize when it comes to pests. We often perceive both carpenter ants and black ants as mere “ants” or nuisances, but it’s important to recognize that there is a distinction between them.

Take carpenter ants, for example. These are a type of ant species known for their ability to excavate and nest in wood. They belong to the genus Camponotus and are commonly found not only in America but throughout the world. 

Carpenter ants are called “carpenters” due to their unique ability to excavate and create nests in wood. Similar to how a carpenter crafts and works with wood. However, that’s a bit of an inaccurate name since these ants don’t build with wood, they destroy it! 

Carpenter ant

What Are The Signs Of A Carpenter Ant Infestation?

Worried that your home might be infested with carpenter ants? Look for the following signs. 

  • One of the most common signs of a carpenter’s ant infestation is the presence of sawdust or wood shavings. 
  • Carpenter ants create tunnels and galleries in wood, and they push out the sawdust and debris as they work.
  • Another sign of carpenter ant infestation is the presence of winged ants. These are reproductive ants that are produced by the colony. They are often seen swarming around light sources, and they may be found in large numbers near windows or doors.
  • You may also notice rustling or tapping sounds coming from inside the walls. This is the sound of carpenter ants moving around and creating their tunnels and galleries.

πŸ‘‰ Black Ants

Have you accidentally spilled your juice and seen a swarm of ants surrounding it? This is likely the work of black ants. 

Black ants, also known as common black ants or garden ants, refer to various species of ants that have a predominantly black coloration.

They primarily feed on sugar-rich substances such as nectar, honeydew, and other sweet food sources, but they also scavenge for other foods too. Black ants are relatively small in size, typically measuring around β…› inch to 1/12 inch in length. 

These little ants exhibit strong pheromone-based communication, leaving scent trails that other ants can follow. 

Black ants

What Are The Signs Of A Black Ant Infestation In Your Home? 

Here are a few signs that these ants are attacking your property: 

  • One of the most obvious signs of a black ant infestation is the presence of ant trails. These are lines of ants moving back and forth between their nest and a food source.
  • Look out for cracks or gaps between the walls and floors of your home. If you see ants coming or going from these areas, you likely have an infestation somewhere behind the wall. 

Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Black Ants

Why Identifying The Type of Ant Infestation Is Important

Ants may be tiny, but despite their size, they can cause a giant headache! Not all ants are created equal, especially when it comes to infestations. Figuring out exactly what type of ants have taken up residence in your home isn’t just an exercise in bug-based trivia. 

Identifying the ant species is crucial because different ants bring different problems. While some ants are relatively harmless, others can cause significant damage to your property. It’s the difference between a minor inconvenience and a potential disaster. 

πŸ‘‰ Carpenter Ants vs. Black Ants:  Differences To Look Out For

Let’s unpack the differences between carpenter ants and black ants based on crucial factors. These factors will help you decide which ant invasion requires immediate attention and prompt pest control intervention. 

1. Appearance 

The first factor in determining which pest you’re dealing with is their appearance. Pay attention to these differences, as this is the easiest way to tell which ant you’re dealing with. 

2. Size Of The Ants

While both carpenter ants and black ants belong to the same family, they have distinctive physical differences. Carpenter ants are larger, ranging from ΒΌ  to Β½  inch in length. On the other hand, black ants are typically smaller, usually around the size of β…› inch. 

3. Color 

Apart from size, color is another easy feature to look for that can help you identify the ants correctly.  Carpenter ants are known to have several colors. They can be black, brown, red, or a combination of these colors as well. On the other hand, black ants are uniformly black, as their name suggests. 

4. Body Structure

Carpenter ants are slender, and they have a waist with one node. They’re segmented into three parts: the head, thorax, and abdomen, with a distinctly narrow waist. 

On the flip side, black ants are smaller and shiny. They’re usually about β…›  inch long with an evenly round thorax. They also have a two-node waist, instead of one. 

5. Living Habitats

Carpenter ants prefer to make their colonies in damp, decaying wood and thrive in warm, humid environments, so ensure you handle excess moisture in vulnerable areas of your home. These ants don’t actually eat the wood, but they hollow it out to create their nest, causing significant structural damage to your home. 

Conversely, black ants are more flexible with their habitats and can nest outdoors in the ground, usually in your backyard/garden. That is why they are known as garden ants too. Apart from this, you may also find them within walls or under the foundation of your home. They only ever invade a home in search of food. 

6. Diet Preferences 

When it comes to dietary preferences, carpenter ants are partial to proteins and sweets. They love to feast on other insects, plant, and fruit juices, and food debris in your home. Black ants, in contrast, have a more varied diet. They eat sweets, meats, insects, and vegetables and are particularly fond of aphid honeydew. 

7. Behavior

Carpenter ants are mostly nocturnal (they do their work during the dark, dull hours of the night) you can spot them during the day as well. They also prefer to set up shop in damp, decaying wood. There is a queen ant and worker ants

Black ants, sometimes referred to as “common ants,” are social creatures, living in large colonies. Unlike carpenter ants, they rely on forming a trail from their nest to the food source for other ants to follow. They’re the little fellas you often find marching in a line toward that accidentally dropped piece of cake.

8. Type Of Damage To Your Home 

As far as home damage is concerned, carpenter ants cause the most destruction. These pesky invaders are more dangerous and can really harm your interiors. They are infamous for creating tunnels in wood, compromising the structural integrity of your home. Their bites also hurt. 

Black ants, while annoying, don’t cause structural damage. They are more of a nuisance due to their large numbers and potential to contaminate food. Unlike carpenter ants, they do not go after wood. Instead, black ants are attracted to foods high in sugar and can contaminate food sources if they gain access to them. 

In conclusion, while both ants can be a nuisance and warrant pest control measures, carpenter ants pose a more significant threat to your home. However, it’s always best to consult with a pest control expert to find the best solution for any ant problem.

Keep Your Home Safe From Infestations! Contact Us Today

In conclusion, understanding the distinctions between carpenter ants and black ants is essential for effective pest management. If you’re facing an ant problem and need professional assistance, our pest control company is here to help. 

Jamison Pest and Lawn is a premier pest control service in Tennessee. We specialize in ant removal and ant control services, offering tailored solutions to eliminate ant infestations and prevent future occurrences. Don’t let these tiny pests disrupt your home and peace of mind. Contact us today at (901) 452-1505 to ensure a safe and ant-free environment for you and your family.  

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