Carpenter Ants Vs. Black Ants: What’s The Difference?

Carpenter ants and black ants are both the most commonly found ant species in North America. 

However, black ants are more widespread across the world. They are also found in Europe, Asia, and parts American Continent.

Surprisingly, they both look quite alike, which is why homeowners often mistake them for each other. But, surprisingly, there’s one noticeable difference between these two; carpenter ants are much more giant than black ants.

Nonetheless, this article should help you understand the apparent differences between these two.

So, without any further ado, let’s get going.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are usually dark black in color, sometimes with a hint of maroon around their belly. Their colony size is generally tiny, ranging between 2,000 to 3,000.

The Size

As mentioned already, carpenter ants are larger than black ants. An adult male can reach up to an inch in length, making them one of the biggest species of ants.

The Habitat

Carpenter ants, as their name suggests, usually make their home around wood. They prefer making their nest in or around moist, decaying, or hollow wood.

Evidently, they are one of the common pests to attack households in America, causing hundreds of dollars worth of damage to timber and wood. That is the reason why many families seek pest control services to get rid of these ants.

They chew into the wood and carve tunnels that they use to travel and nest.

The Signs

Since these ants chew onto timber and other wood, they can easily be traced by sawdust trails they leave behind. However, it can sometimes be misleading to judge the presence of these ants for termites.

So, it would help if you also tried to learn the differences between carpenter ants and termites.

The most common areas around the house to look for these ants include windows, roof eaves, decks and porches, and wooden floors. They can easily be spotted by the pile of sawdust they create around their nesting hole.

Black Ants

As their name suggests, these ants are also black in color. Besides, these ants are monogamous.

It means that they usually have only one queen per colony. But, the notable fact here is that their colony size is generally bigger than that of carpenter ants. Their territory can contain as many as 7,000 worker ants, apart from the queens and swarmers.

The Size

As mentioned already, these ants are smaller than carpenter ants. The worker ants are usually 0.2 inches long, whereas the queen can grow up to 0.4 inches in length.

The Habitat

These ants usually nest below the surface in soil. Therefore, it is doubtful to find these ants infesting a home from inside.

However, the worker ants can travel large distances searching for food, which can sometimes lead them into homes.

Lawns, pavement slabs, and the base of walls are some familiar places they may nest.

The Signs

Unlike carpenter ants, black ants may not leave trails behind them. The only sign they may give away is if you spot one in your home foraging for food.

Upon spotting, it is recommended to check the property thoroughly.

Indeed, their nests are easy to spot, though. They create huge piles of soil grains around their nesting holes.

The Takeaway

Carpenter ants and black ants have unique characteristics. And yet, they both are not equally harmful to have on your property.

If you spot any signs of infestation, it is better to call in the professionals than tackling them on your own. The professionals would exterminate them from the root.