Professional Pest Control Services
Serving Ottawa and Area
Ants are one of the most common pests in and around homes in Canada. They are social insects divided into 3 castes: workers, males and queens. Workers are sterile wingless females. Males are winged ants, are generally the same size or larger than the workers and are only produced in mature colonies. The males sole purpose is to mate with new queens and, once they have achieved this, they die shortly afterwards. Queens are winged and are 2 to 3 times larger than workers. Males and queens will leave their mature nests and converge in the air with other reproductive ants and mate. Queens will then lose their wings and seek out new nesting sites to begin new colonies.
There are many different species of ants in Ontario such as: carpenter, pharaoh, pavement, cornfield, acrobat, field and foundation; just to name a few. There are many different types of bait, dusts and residual sprays used for control. It is very important to identify the species of ant that you are dealing with as the control measures can vary greatly.
Carpenter ants are very common pests in Canada and are usually 3/8 to 1/2 inch long (10-13mm). Queens can be as large as 1 inch (26mm). They are commonly black or black with a red thorax. Carpenter ants do not actually eat wood. They do however very often nest in it for protection. They are basically a nocturnal omnivorous ant, foraging mainly in the spring and summer months and will travel up to 100 yards from the nest in search of food. Often they will attack wood that has been damaged due to moisture. Once they have started the nest, they can expand into dry lumber. Insulation in a structure is also another potential nesting site for these ants. Outdoors they can nest in a multitude of places, so seeing an ant inside does not necessarily mean you have an indoor nest.
Harm and Damage:
Carpenter ants damage wood by tunneling and creating galleries for their nest. The older the nest the greater the damage will be. Structural wood can be weakened. Carpenter ants have very powerful mandibles, and although rare, can easily puncture human flesh with a bite. Foraging ants can be a nuisance, especially with a mature nest boasting a large population.