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Everything Arizona Residents Need To Know About The Two Most Economically Significant Carpenter Ant Pests That Commonly Infest Homes In The State

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Everything Arizona Residents Need To Know About The Two Most Economically Significant Carpenter Ant Pests That Commonly Infest Homes In The State

Carpenter ants are structural pests that are commonly found infesting homes throughout the US. Two carpenter ant species, C. modoc and C. vicinus, are considered economically significant pests in Arizona. The former species is commonly known as the “western black carpenter ant,” while the latter species has not been given a common name. Carpenter ant workers are well known for invading homes from outdoor nests that are located within close proximity to foundation walls, but many infestations see workers establish one or more indoor nesting sites after initially invading a home from a single primary or “parent nest.” Parent nests are always located outdoors within a dead, moist and decayed natural wood source, such as tree hollows, stumps, logs, fallen branches and wood piles.

After leaving a parent nest, carpenter ant workers are known to travel unusually long distances along uniform foraging trails before establishing secondary or “satellite nests” within homes. This is why it is not uncommon for a parent nest to be located as far as 40 to 60 feet away from satellite nests within homes, but parent nests are often found in wood sources located in the yards of the homes that they infest. In many infestation cases, workers will not establish an indoor nest, but will instead invade homes in search of sweet-tasting food sources, making them common pests of foods stored within pantries and cupboards. However, carpenter ants get their common name for their destructive habit of establishing satellite nests within moist and decayed structural wood where they excavate tunnels, eventually causing infested structural wood to become hollow and weak. Satellite nests are also commonly found within wall voids, ceiling voids, and even attic spaces, as workers are known for accessing homes through attic vents by crawling along tree branches that make contact with roofs or exterior walls. Both C. modoc and C. vicinus are easily recognizable pest species due to their relatively large size, which ranges from ¼ to a little more than ½ of an inch in length, and the former is black while the latter is black or reddish in color.

Have you ever found carpenter ants infesting your kitchen?

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