The Florida carpenter ant is different than other carpenter ant subspecies mainly in appearance. The Florida carpenter ant is red in color while other species can vary from black to light brown. Although they are commonly a southern ant, carpenter ants range in areas that include the eastern United States in the black variety.
In comparison with other varieties of ants, carpenter ants that are often encountered sporadically outdoors are huge with very large mandibles. These are commonly worker carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are outside ants, but they can be found inside. They are often present in rotted, moist, decayed wood. They nest these areas by carving maze like channels throughout their wooded habitations. However, carpenter ants do not eat wood. They eat many of the things that humans eat, and this is part of the problem. They are particularly attracted to meat, and things that are sweet.
Queens can survive for well over two decades and only has approximately fifteen eggs annually, but most survive, and the colonies can become very large. When carpenter ants are present in homes, it is often in the pursuit of food and not for habitation. The whole nest goes on food hunting excursions to find and bring food back to their nests. Any external rotted wood can be an entry point into a home or building. They are attracted to the moist cool temperatures and the presence of available food. Making sure all foodstuffs are stored properly and all surfaces are kept clean will naturally eradicate most carpenter ant infestations.
Before calling an exterminator, consider using hot soapy water to spray infested areas. Also remove all trash from the home in an expedient regular fashion and package edible garbage before placing in garbage bags. Often, homeowners do not know there is an infestation until the colony starts swarming. This is when the colonies send out winged ants to populate other areas. They may also make a certain noises as activity takes place inside the colony. After the infestation is discovered, it is important to determine if the infestation is carpenter ants and not termites. At this point, it is important to identify certain characteristics. Carpenter ants leave smooth wood surfaces inside the colony or damaged wood, but termites line their colonies with mud and earth.