Carpenter ants get their name from the fact that they chew through wood to make nests. However, they do not eat wood like termites. They eat sweet foods, pet food, and other insects. Carpenter ants are commonly found in wooded areas, nesting in trees, logs, and stumps. Carpenter ants may also be found in man-made structures, including wooden doors, ceiling beams, floor joists, under bathtubs, and attic eaves.
Homeowners commonly mistake winged carpenter ants for termites. However, it is very easy to tell the difference. Carpenter ants have sharply bent (elbowed) antennae while termites' antennae are straight. There is also a difference between the types of damage they cause to wood. Carpenter ants produce sawdust as a result of their chewing activities while termites produce little pellets. Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service for more information on carpenter ants in your area.
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Through its county agents, the Cooperative Extension Service gives individuals access to the resources at land-grant universities across the nation. These universities are centers for research in many subjects, including entomology (the study of insects) and agriculture. Each county within the United States has an Extension office, which is staffed with agents who work closely with university-based Extension specialists to deliver answers to your questions about gardening, agriculture, and pest control. You can find the phone number for your local county extension office in the local government section (often marked with blue pages) of your telephone directory or by clicking on the map below.
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