To read last week's article, Carpenter Ants, click here.
In this case of this home, Camponotus vicinus have made themselves at home. The vicinus species have a black-red-black body. The other kind of carpenter ant, Camponotus modoc, is easily identifiable as a large black ant. Both species vary in size, ranging in size from 4 mm to 12 mm long, their relatively large size makes them easy to spot. In our area, damage to buildings caused by carpenter ants is considered more serious than that caused by termites.
Corrective measures: One of the best things that you can do to dissuade these wood destroying organisms is to not invite them to your home. They definitely enjoy moist wood so make sure your roof is in good repair and make sure that your irrigation system is directed away from your structure. Remove any and all decaying wood from the yard. Store firewood off the ground and far from the home and should you have some delivered, inspect it prior to unloading for infestation. Carpenter ants can be imported onto a property by delivery of organic landscape material from an infested site elsewhere or from firewood delivered from another area.
Get your vegetation well away from your house. In my experience, carpenter ants tend to give preference to such food sources as sugars produced from evergreen trees and shrubs, berry vines and bushes, ivy and other climbing and crawling ground covers.
Carpenter ants can infest a structure by a singular fertile reproductive or by way of an entire colony. When a single reproductive establishes a colony it can take up to six years for the colony to mature. A parent or satellite colony cab move from one location to another in a matter of hours.