(Camponotus modoc) or (Camponotus
Carpenter ants are a threat to people because they make nests in
and around our homes. Carpenter ants do not eat wood like termites
do. They make extensive galleries in the wood to live in and raise
their young. Carpenter ant colonies may reach the size of
2,000-3,000 ants. Ant activity is typically greatest between
dusk and dawn. As a carpenter ant parent colony (where the queen
resides) grows, it expands to the limits of the old nest and
another suitable area for nesting becomes necessary. This new
colony is known as a satellite colony, and is usually made nearby.
The parent colony contains the queen, young larvae and workers,
while the satellite colony contains the mature larvae, pupae,
workers, and winged reproductives. The ants move back and forth
from the parent nest to the satellite nest(s) and to feeding
areas. Because many homes in this region are being built in
forested areas, established colonies of carpenter ants are
frequently found in close proximity to these residences. Ants will
forage in and around the home for food and/or water, and often
choose to establish satellite colonies inside the structure since
these items are readily available there.
Most damage by carpenter ants in Oregon are caused by 2 species:
Camponotus modoc or Camponotus vicinus. These species commonly
nest in standing trees, logs, stumps, structures, etc.
A carpenter ant diet naturally consists of aphid honeydew, tree
sap, small insects, spiders, and millipedes; but our household
spills, crumbs and pet food are also very attractive food items.
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