Abarb Pest Services Blog

This is the official blog for Abarb Pest Services.

What is the Difference Between Carpenter Ants and House Ants?

So, you have an ant infestation in your home or business. Your first concern is eliminating the problem as quickly as possible. It’s also important, though, to know what species of ant you’re dealing with. Are they carpenter ants or odorous house ants? Mother Nature equipped each with different tools to infiltrate and wreak havoc in different ways. Read on to learn how these two species differ from one another. 

Size and Shape

Carpenter ant workers grow to be about a fourth of an inch to a half-inch long. Some workers are large and have oversized heads, while others have proportional heads. Variety in shape and size allows them to do specialized tasks. They bite and spray formic acid if threatened; both are painful to humans and pets.

House ants workers tend to be the same size at one-sixth to one-eighth of an inch. Their small size allows them to squeeze into many places in search of sweet things to eat. They bite, but most people are unaffected by bites unless they are in sensitive areas or are allergic.

The Damage They do

Carpenter ants do not eat wood. However, they create expansive tunnels in wood and compromise its structural integrity. You can see how extensive their tunnels are by the large piles of sawdust outside of the holes to their nest.

Carpenter ant tunnels also introduce moisture and space for fungi to grow and break down the wood even further. 

House ants will not damage your house, but they will find their way to your food. They nest outside and will track all manner of bacteria and contaminants into your home when foraging. They earn the name “odorous house ants” because of the rotten coconut smell they leave behind when crushed.

Colony Growth

Carpenter ant queens lay eggs in batches and will take breaks in between laying batches. Workers grow slowly from eggs to adults. It may take upwards of two to three years before a colony explodes in size.

Their slow growth rate works to your advantage. Spot the colony early on and eliminate it before it can do significant damage.

House ant queens continuously lay eggs and produce more and more workers. Unlike the carpenter ant colonies, house ant colonies may have multiple queens and all must be eliminated.

Contact Us

Store-bought remedies may stop them, but will they return? Don’t fight alone when you can contact the pest control experts at Abarb Pest Services. Our team of knowledgeable and well-trained technicians recognizes that no two infestations are the same and use their expertise to get the job done right. We’d be happy to team up with you to put an end to your pest problem!

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