Carpenter Ant vs Black Ant: What's the Difference?

Posted by Remedy on

Most people don't think much when they see an ant in the house, but an untreated infestation can destroy a home.

Depending on the type of ant, colonies can grow more than 10,000 and damage the integrity of your foundations. Understanding the habits and dangers of ants can help you protect your home. Carpenter and black ants are the most common in United States households.

Keep reading below to learn about the key differences between a carpenter ant vs black ant in your home!

Color of Their Bodies

One of the most important things to understand about ant removal is the range of colors they can be.

Carpenter ants are often black, but they can also be red. They may get confused for fire ants, but that variation is much smaller. Carpenter ants have a reputation for being destructive, however, they don't pose a threat to people through biting.

Check the thorax and head for dark shades of red to identify which type you have. Fire ants are typically brighter hues of red, while carpenter ants look darker.

Black ants aren't always black. You may encounter brown ants in the home, which often fall into the same category.

Overall Size

Generally, carpenter ants are much larger than black ants in the home.

Carpenter ants can grow to be almost half an inch, while black ants are less than an eighth of an inch. The size will depend on the age of the ant, but the easiest way to differentiate species is with their size.

Some black ants can be difficult to spot, they may look like debris on the ground. They blend in outdoors because of their size. Carpenter ants have a more obvious presence because they can grow to be so large.

You can often see the separate parts of the body of carpenter ants when they are nearby. You'd have to get a much closer look to see the details of black ants, however.

Their Nesting Environments

Carpenter ants are often found in damp and dark places, but the same can't be said about black ants.

If you're dealing with moisture or decaying wood, you are most likely to encounter carpenter ants. These ants thrive in this environment, which provides them with the right conditions to nest. When you notice an ant, check your attic, basement, and crawl space to ensure you don't have an infestation.

Other areas where you can find carpenter ant nests are in the soil, under rocks, and within the walls. They like to create nests in wood materials.

Black ants don't nest in wood, instead, they are attracted to food sources. Sugary, sticky, and greasy foods will attract black ants, which are notorious for disrupting picnics. You will likely see black ants nesting in the cracks of walls of cement, but they also live outdoors in decaying wood.

Our DIY ant removal is a quick and effective solution when you have black ant intruders. Remedy helps homeowners identify and treat pest problems quickly.

Building Habits

Since carpenter and black ants nest differently, you can learn which type you're dealing with based on their structures.

Carpenter ants like to imbed themselves in wood and will create tunnels through your home, trees, and furniture. Wood shavings will likely be near the entrances of their nests and tunnels. The openings may be small, but they are typically large enough to identify and there will be many holes in one area.

Black ants also like to build tunnels and galleries, but they do so underground. Soil mounds can indicate infestations, especially if they've burrowed in the ground. Look for sandy mounds and structures around your home to see if you're dealing with black ants.

Daily Life

The daily habits of ants vary, depending on which type you're dealing with.

Carpenter ants look for safe structures to create a home in and raise their young. They can cause serious damage to your home if their nests aren't treated, since their families will continue to grow. When they aren't tunneling through wood, they look for living and dead insects to feed themselves.

Black ants are always on the hunt for food. Where carpenter ants won't bother their time, black ants will infest food sources and return their findings to the nest. They spend their entire day, working hard to build their food pile for later consumption.

Both types of ants are active overnight, especially carpenter ants. Since black ants are on the hunt for food sources, however, you can see them out during the day.

Active Seasons

Black and carpenter ants survive during similar times of the year.

Carpenter ants are typically the most active from March to September. Winter conditions aren't suitable for them, which is why they reproduce in the springtime. Rain and humidity create a perfect environment for these ants, so keep your eyes open around this time.

Black ants have a similar time for high activity. Between April and October, you can find these annoying pests in your home. If you have black ant colonies in the house, it may feel like you see them year-round since they survive off of the heat and food.

June to August are the worst months for black ant infestations. This is when they are reproducing and they travel in swarms. Walking into these swarms in your yard can ruin outdoor experiences.

Natural Deterrents

Many people claim that salt and pepper can help when you have ants in your home.

If you have kids and animals, and you want to try a natural deterrent, you may have the ingredients in the kitchen. Iodized salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper help keep pests away. The overpowering smell and burn of these ingredients make ants stay away, just be careful with pepper and nosey pups!

Ants don't go away on their own. If you use these ingredients or baking soda to keep them away but it's not enough, you will have to go a step further. Luckily, our brand has created a safe product to use indoors and outdoors.

Mint, lemon juice, and garlic are other items you can use to deter ants. These options, however, can get sticky if they aren't diluted enough and can contribute to the problem.

Treatment Options

Depending on which ant you've got in or around your home, you will need to find the most suitable solution.

Various factors can contribute to ant infestations, so it's important to cover all of your bases. Knowing how to treat ant mounds and tunnels can help save your home and reduce future instances of ants and bugs. Take a look below to learn about the best ways to get rid of and prevent ants!

Carpenter Ant Removal Strategies

If you've got moisture in your home, you'll struggle to reduce carpenter ants.

Placing a dehumidifier in the basement or attic can deter carpenter ants from nesting. Treating and replacing rotted wood can keep them from making a home in your household. When you adjust the environment, their nests become more likely to collapse.

Homeowners are also recommended to seal cracks and fix damaged wood, on top of using Remedy products. This will make it more challenging for them to build tunnels and enter the home. In some cases, bait traps may be necessary.

The only way to eliminate carpenter ants completely is with the help of a local pest control inspector. A pest control inspector can help you identify which ants you have and remove them before causing damage.

Black Ant Infestation Solutions

Black ants are also called kitchen ants since they are drawn to the kitchen and pantries.

Black ant infestations should get quickly treated so your food doesn't become dangerous. Cleaning your kitchen and properly storing food are the most cost-effective ways to get rid of these ants. Remedy products can be used indoors and outdoors, which will also deter them.

Remedy has safe products that will also keep black ants from returning. Check out our frequently asked questions to learn more about our effective ant removal strategy!

Try to clean up spills and messes as quickly as possible. Repairing cracks around the windows and doors can prevent them from getting inside. Some people even recommend storing pet food in a protected area, since ants can be attracted to it.

Our effective DIY pest control process is easy to use and doesn't take long. After getting a quote and ordering your DIY ant removal solution, it'll arrive at your doorstep within days.

Do You Know the Difference Between a Carpenter Ant vs Black Ant?

Understanding the variations of carpenter ant vs black ant species can help you effectively remove them from your home.

The habits and nests of each ant vary, which is why there are different ways to approach infestations. Whether you're dealing with indoor or outdoor nests, you can use Remedy products and keep your foundation safe. Procrastinating this task can lead to significant damage and expensive repairs.

Make sure you get a free quote for your pest needs. Remedy has the best pest control product that can keep unwanted insects away!

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