The tropical climate of Florida is home to several species of ants. One of these species is Florida Carpenter ants, named after the state because of its prevalence here. The ‘carpenter’ refers to their habit of building nests in wooden structures. These pests are active year-round and can be a nuisance for homeowners due to their painful bite. In any case, Florida Carpenter ant infestation should not be taken lightly. Orlando Pest Control must be contacted to get rid of these ants professionally!
In this article, you will find how to identify Florida Carpenter ants, their habitat, lifestyle and life cycle, and the signs that you need to look for their infestation.
If you have specific questions about Florida Carpenter ants, check out our FAQ section.
Did you know?
Contradictory to popular belief, Carpenter ants do not eat wood. Florida carpenter ants don’t even destroy the wood; they make their nest in already excavated or damaged wood.
Florida Carpenter Ants Quick Facts
orangish-brown and black
Workers: up to 7 years
Males: dies right after mating
Orlando Pest ControlCall All American Pest Control (321) 559-7378.
Warm and humid places that are hidden
5 – 20 mm
Is It A Florida Carpenter Ant? – Identifying A Florida Carpenter Ant
Florida Carpenter ants are bi-colored insects, with an orange to brown colored head and thorax, and dark-colored abdomen. The worker ants can range from 5 to 10 mm in length, whereas female alates, which later become queens, can reach up to 20 mm long. The swarmer males are smaller than the queens and have smaller heads.
A key feature of Carpenter ants is their evenly convex thorax. The two antennas are segmented and have long golden-brown hair on them. A circular ring of golden-brown hair can be seen at the end of the abdomen. The waist consists of a single node.
The male and female alate can be mistaken for Termite alate. However, there are some key physical differences between the two. Unlike Termite alates, Florida Carpenter alates have elbowed antennas, constricted waists, and fore wings larger than those of the hind wings.
Habitat of the Florida Carpenter Ants
Florida Carpenter ants usually nest in moist, humid areas that are near a food source. Their colonies can be found in dampened woods or other structure that provides the right temperature, protection from the predators, and best possible environmental conditions.
In houses, nests of Florida carpenter ants can be found in the damp areas. The nest can be located in the attics, or the cracked ceilings, gaps in the walls, wood log piles, plumbing, vents, sheds, doghouses, or gutters.
Did you know?
Florida Carpenter Ants have two kinds of the nest. The “parent” colony houses the egg-laying queen with the worker ants and broods, whereas “satellite” colonies can be found nearby housing worker ants along with mature larvae and pupae.
The Lifestyle of the Florida Carpenter Ants
Florida Carpenter ants are nocturnal and will often be seen forging food during the dark hours. Their trails are loosely defined; some worker ants can even be seen wandering alone. These ants are omnivores and feed on other insects as well as flower nectars. Like sugar ants, these bi-color ants also have a sweet tooth. In your house, these ants may feast on syrups, cookie crumbs, meat, or pet food.
Florida Carpenter ants may use their saliva to pass along chemical signals to their nestmates when it comes to communication. They use their antennae for smelling and communication as well. In general, ants use pheromones to communicate among themselves. Different types of pheromones are released to signal danger, attract mates, or guide other worker ants to the food source.
Life Cycle of the Florida Carpenter Ants
Florida Carpenter ants belong to the order Hymenoptera. This means that a Florida Carpenter ant egg would go through complete metamorphosis to become an adult. These ants reproduced through swarming. The lifecycle of these ants starts in the mating season, which extends from April to November.
During spring, the swarmer ants perform nuptial flights. Attracted by the production of pheromones by the males, winged females fly to look for mates. Swarms of females can be seen during spring, mostly after the rainfalls.
The female-only needs to mate once in her life, as they store sperms. Shortly after the mating, the male ant dies, whereas the female ant sheds its wings and starts looking for a nest.
Stage 1: Florida Carpenter Ant Eggs
A small crack in any wooden structure is perfect for laying eggs. The queen ant lays the first batch of eggs. Using her fat reserves and wing muscles, the queen provides nourishment for the first brood. This brood turns into adult workers and is responsible for the nourishment of all the subsequent broods. It can take about 6 to 12 weeks for a carpenter ant egg to turn into an adult. During the colder season, it may take up to 10 months.
Stage 2: Florida Carpenter Ants Larva
Small, legless, and white, larvae of a Florida Carpenter ant look like a grub. The larvae are essential for the development and survival of their colonies. They process the solid food, foraged by the worker ants, and disgorge it in liquid form for the consumption of the other ants.
Stage 3: Florida Carpenter Ants Pupa
Pupae of a Florida Carpenter Ant reside in a white silk cocoon. They are often mistaken for eggs.
Stage 4: Florida Carpenter Ants Adults
The pupae turn into one of the three castes of the ant community:
- Worker ants: Non-breeding ants responsible for the protection and nourishment of the colonies. They forage food for the young, tend to them, and burrow galleries to propagate their nests. The worker ants can live up to 7 years.
- Queen ants: The alate females shed their wings after mating to become a queen. The primary role of a queen is to lay eggs once the first brood matures into worker adults. Alate males and females are only produced under the right conditions, after two or more years. A queen Florida Carpenter ant can live up to 10 years!
- Male ants: All the male Florida Carpenter ants are winged. Their primary role is to mate with the alate females, and they die soon after it.
Florida Carpenter Ants Infestation
Florida Carpenter ants can find their way into your house through wires and cables. The firewood that is often stored against the house wall could become a nesting ground for these uninvited invaders. Tall trees that touch the houses and buildings can often act as a bridge for these ants into our dwellings. In apartment buildings, Florida carpet could find their way into your apartment through vents, plumbing, and gaps between the doors and windows.
A commonly asked question by the homeowners is: How do they know if there is a Florida Carpenter Ant infestation?
There are signs one must look for:
- You may find worker ants on forging mission or swarmer ants during flight season.
- A mixture of wood shavings and dead ants.
- Sawdust in the attics or crawlspaces.
- A ‘rustling’ sound can be heard as they burrow through the wood.
Threats Of Florida Carpenter Ants Infestation
Florida Carpenter ants are non-stingers; however, their bite can be quite painful. This is because as they break through the skin with their large mandible, and release formic acid into the bite. Though painful, formic acid is not harmful.
Eradication Of Florida Carpenter Ants
If you are worried that these little invaders have infested your house, professional help from Orlando Pest Control can get rid of the Florida Carpenter ants. All American Pest Control gives the best Pest Control packages in Orland! You can reach them at (321) 559-7378.
How long does a Florida Carpenter ant live?
It depends. The queen can live up to 10 years, and worker Florida Carpenter ants can live for seven years. The males, however, have a small life span, and they die right after mating.
What do Florida Carpenter ants eat?
Sweet food! Florida Carpenter ants are omnivores, which means they can eat flower nectar as well as dead/live insects. In homes, these ants may feast on food crumbs, pet food, and syrups/
How do Florida Carpenter ants get into my house?
Florida Carpenter ants can find their way into your house through gaps in the walls, plumbing systems, wires, and cables. They can form their dwellings in the firewood stored near your home.
Do Florida Carpenter ants bite?
Yes! Bites of Florida Carpenter ants can be very painful! They pierce through the skin using their large mandibles and spray formic acid into the bite. Formic acid, though non-threatening, can cause irritation or mild allergic reaction in some ants.
How can I get rid of Florida Carpenter ants?
Orlando Pest Control can help you get rid of the Florida Carpenter. All American Pest Control is the best Orlando Pest Control company! You can call them at (321) 559-7378.
All American Pest Control
2014 Edgewater Dr #250, Orlando, FL 32804