Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not actually eat wood – they simply use it to house their colonies. Instead, they have a varied diet with two main staples – protein and sugar. Let’s take a closer look at these ants and their dietary preferences.
What do carpenter ants eat?
Carpenter ants will find different sources of protein and sugar depending on their environments. When they are outdoors, they will eat dead and living insects, along with any dead animal that they can find. This is how they get their protein. In order to get their sugar, they will grow aphids which excrete a sugary fluid known as honeydew. Indoors, the ants will eat meats, insects, pet food, syrup, jelly, sugar, honey, soda spills, and anything else that has a lot of sugar or a lot of protein.
How to use this information
Knowing what the ants eat can help you in two ways: to prevent an infestation, and to use their favorite foods in baits.
When it comes to prevention, make sure to clean up any sugary spills, or any sugary crumbs that you have in your kitchen. Keeping the kitchen surfaces clean is a great way to avoid an ant infestation. Then, you want to make sure that you do not leave any food out overnight, and that you are careful with the pet food. It’s easy to overlook pet food when trying to prevent pest issues. You might leave some food out in the bowl overnight, or keep the pet food in an open bag. However, pet food is not just a main draw for carpenter ants, it will also attract rats, mice and a whole slew of other pests, so make sure to keep pet bowls clean and to keep pet food in sealed containers.
Controlling carpenter ant infestations
It’s best to work with a pro when dealing with carpenter ant infestations, because carpenter ant infestations can be hard to remove. A pro will be able to identify the species responsible for the infestation, its location, and the most appropriate course of action to get the ants out of the home. Usually, a pro will use baits against carpenter ant infestations, since baits are able to kill off the queen and immediately collapse the colony. If you have a carpenter ant infestation that needs to be removed, contact us today and we will set an appointment.Tags: Ant Control, Ant Exterminator, Diets of an Ant