When you say big, how big do you mean? There is a black ant that is only about 1.5 mm to about 4 mm, that can get into homes. It is appropriately called the little black ant. If these are the ants you have, you don't have much to worry about. They don't do structural damage to your home. And, although they have a stinger, it is too small to hurt you.
If, on the other hand, you have black ants that run between 3.4 to 13 mm in length, I have some bad news for you. You have carpenter ants. And, despite the name, they have no interest in doing home improvements around you house. They've come to eat and destroy.
"What if my black ants are 3.4 mm in length? Could they still be little black ants?"
Yes. There is an obvious overlapping of sizes here. If your black ants are in the "not so sweet" spot, there is another way to distinguish these two ants one from another. The most notable distinction can be seen near the waist. Carpenter ants have one easily recognizable waist. This is where the body pinches down to almost nothing. Little black ants have two bulges (called nodes) in their waist area, making it much less defined. But usually, these two pests won't leave you wondering. They'll be little or they'll be big.
"Okay. I have carpenter ants. Is that really bad?"
Some people don't think so. They live with carpenter ants in their home for years. But if their walls and floors were transparent, they wouldn't let these little pests stay for long. Carpenter ants don't eat wood, but they can still be considerably destructive as they chew out large galleries inside wooden beams and wall studs. If left unchecked, support structures are weakened and gravity does the rest. This leaves porches sagging in the middle and walls bulging out from the center.
"Alright, I'm sufficiently freaked out."
The goal here isn't to freak you out. The goal is to help you identify the threat and take proper measures to stop these large black ants from costing you thousands in unnecessary repairs.
"How do I stop carpenter ants?"
If you keep your house dry, you can resist this home wrecker. Make sure all your gutters cause water to flow out and away from your home--not down the side and onto the deck. Make sure no puddles form against your exterior walls. Try to eliminate areas where your exterior walls touch moist soil. And keep firewood, construction materials, and other wood products away from your walls.
Can you live with carpenter ants in your house? Yes. Is it a good idea? Not even a little bit. When wooden support beams are weakened, the structure of your home can bend. This kind of damage is unfixable.
Contact a pest control company and have your carpenter ant problem dealt with as soon as you can. This is a pest that should never be allowed to stay.
Here at Big Blue Bug Solutions, we can help you get rid of carpenter ants and other household pests. From customized carpenter ant solutions to year round protection for your New England home, we are the right choice. Contact us today!