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Robert Jones

Carpenter ant?

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Not overly familiar with this color of ant. Sure resembles a carpenter ant. Decent pile of them at this section of damaged trim.

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Hi Rob,

Color doesn't mean a thing. There are three characteristics that you have to have for them to be carpenter ants.

1. Antennae set far back on the head and hinged forward so that they'll be out of the way of the pincers. Looks like you have that.

2. Thorax needs to be smoothly rounded in an oval from the neck to waist - Think of a Harley Davidson Gas tank when viewed from the side.

3. There must be a piatola node at the waist between the thorax and abdomen. It kind of looks like a little shark fin reversed.

If you have all three of those characteristics, you have carpenter ants regardless of color.

They look like CA to me; the size of the heads on those soldiers is a dead giveaway.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

P.S.

This is not an official opinion of a licensed pest control guy. The Department of Agriculture for the State of Washington has decided that anyone that doesn't hold a current pest inspector's license - regardless of how long they might have previously held a license - is no longer capable of knowing what the characteristics of wood destroying insects are and therefore may not advise anyone pertaining to WDI.

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Not sure about the Northwest, but here in the Northeast carpenter ants are black.

Anything else indicating that they are inhabiting the wood-frass or discarded body parts nearby?

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Thanks Mike. I thought they were for sure, just from the characteristics, it was the color throwing me for a loop. There was no frass in this general area, just a pile of the live ants.

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Changed my mind.

They all look to be pretty uniform in size and the heads aren't really out-sized for the larger ants. With CA swarming like that, you'll normally see a bunch of drones and workers with a few huge soldiers guarding the rest. They might be thatching ants. You really need to be able to pick one up and examine it's physical characteristics, in order to be absolutely sure.

Still looks like they're infesting that wood though. End grain soaking up moisture?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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The trim was rotted and they were going up behind the board. Really doesn't resemble any thatching ant I have seen. They are typically black bodied with a red head. I really think this is a CA. I have a call into a local pest guy to see if they can tell me for sure from the pic. Will let you know what I hear.

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Thanks Mike. I thought they were for sure, just from the characteristics, it was the color throwing me for a loop. There was no frass in this general area, just a pile of the live ants.

Maybe the are just getting started.

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Definitely not carpenter ants. The thorax is notched.

It's hard to tell from the pictures, but my vote would be Formica (field ants). I've seen them nesting in houses several times. I'd need a sample to tell for sure.

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I had a pest control company state that they appear to be part of the "Lasius" family, which are moisture ants. Would make sense with the rotted trim board they were working around. I haven't been able to find a pic that resembles the ant's in my picture as of yet. I'll look into your suggestion Jim. Just never stop learning!:)

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Good pics, Robert.

If thatching ants are the red ones that build nests from sticks and needles, no, that's not them.

Do moisture ants do damage to wood? Or are they just an indicator that there's a wet wood there?

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Hey John,

They are definitely an indicator of rotted wood as that is what they nest in. They can also cause further damage through their nesting etc... Here is a decent link about them. They are typically much smaller than the ants I posted pics of above. Light brown, almost translucent.

http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/homehort/pest ... e_ants.htm

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Ok last post on this. Found these modoc's at my home inspection this afternoon. The Pentax worked well. Some really good detail, although not as good as the regular size photo.

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I wasn't aware that ants changed form around the same time that certifications expire lol. I do have an ant related question though. My dad used to have this stuff for sugar ants. It was a dark sticky and very thick liquid that came in a glass bottle. You put a drop on a piece of paper and the sugar ants would carry it back and kill the whole nest. I have been trying to find this stuff, but I'm not sure if they even make it anymore. Figured you may know what I'm talking about and if I'm wasting my time looking for this stuff. Thanks ahead of time!

Hi Rob,

Color doesn't mean a thing. There are three characteristics that you have to have for them to be carpenter ants.

1. Antennae set far back on the head and hinged forward so that they'll be out of the way of the pincers. Looks like you have that.

2. Thorax needs to be smoothly rounded in an oval from the neck to waist - Think of a Harley Davidson Gas tank when viewed from the side.

3. There must be a piatola node at the waist between the thorax and abdomen. It kind of looks like a little shark fin reversed.

If you have all three of those characteristics, you have carpenter ants regardless of color.

They look like CA to me; the size of the heads on those soldiers is a dead giveaway.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

P.S.

This is not an official opinion of a licensed pest control guy. The Department of Agriculture for the State of Washington has decided that anyone that doesn't hold a current pest inspector's license - regardless of how long they might have previously held a license - is no longer capable of knowing what the characteristics of wood destroying insects are and therefore may not advise anyone pertaining to WDI.

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I wasn't aware that ants changed form around the same time that certifications expire lol. I do have an ant related question though. My dad used to have this stuff for sugar ants. It was a dark sticky and very thick liquid that came in a glass bottle. You put a drop on a piece of paper and the sugar ants would carry it back and kill the whole nest. I have been trying to find this stuff, but I'm not sure if they even make it anymore. Figured you may know what I'm talking about and if I'm wasting my time looking for this stuff. Thanks ahead of time!

I don't know the stuff you're talking about, but you can make something very similar with corn syrup and boric acid. The trick is to find the right ratio. Too much boric acid and the ants will either reject it or die before they make it back to the nest.

Also, instead of putting it on a piece of paper where anything can eat it, cut a plastic drinking straw into 1" or 2" lengths and place a drop or two inside the straw. That'll limit the kind of critters that can get to the bait.

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I wasn't aware that ants changed form around the same time that certifications expire lol. I do have an ant related question though. My dad used to have this stuff for sugar ants. It was a dark sticky and very thick liquid that came in a glass bottle. You put a drop on a piece of paper and the sugar ants would carry it back and kill the whole nest. I have been trying to find this stuff, but I'm not sure if they even make it anymore. Figured you may know what I'm talking about and if I'm wasting my time looking for this stuff. Thanks ahead of time!

I don't know the stuff you're talking about, but you can make something very similar with corn syrup and boric acid. The trick is to find the right ratio. Too much boric acid and the ants will either reject it or die before they make it back to the nest.

Also, instead of putting it on a piece of paper where anything can eat it, cut a plastic drinking straw into 1" or 2" lengths and place a drop or two inside the straw. That'll limit the kind of critters that can get to the bait.

Would that mixture causes it to be a dark color? Because that may be what this was. I know its a pretty old bottle though. I usually used the paper because I don't have any pets or any small children that can get into it. Thanks for the info, I will definitely look more into that mixture.

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Would that mixture causes it to be a dark color? Because that may be what this was. I know its a pretty old bottle though. I usually used the paper because I don't have any pets or any small children that can get into it. Thanks for the info, I will definitely look more into that mixture.

If you want it to be dark, use dark Karo syrup. If you're serious about trying it, make up 10 small batches with different concentrations of boric acid, put it near the ants and see which they like best.

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I wasn't aware that ants changed form around the same time that certifications expire lol. I do have an ant related question though. My dad used to have this stuff for sugar ants. It was a dark sticky and very thick liquid that came in a glass bottle. You put a drop on a piece of paper and the sugar ants would carry it back and kill the whole nest. I have been trying to find this stuff, but I'm not sure if they even make it anymore. Figured you may know what I'm talking about and if I'm wasting my time looking for this stuff. Thanks ahead of time!

Sounds like "Terro" ant poison. I get it at the grocery store around here. But I'm pretty sure Terro is clear, though.

Jim

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