There are many species of ants found in the high desert of the Verde Valley and Prescott Valley. Some, like the Carpenter Ant, can do damage to your home. Others, like the Harvester Ant, can cause damage to your yard or lawn, and can inflict a painful sting to you or your children or pets.
Carpenter Ants damage construction timbers by cutting galleries into the wood with their mouths, creating a sawdust-like material called frass. They don’t eat wood like a termite but tear out and evacuate pieces of wood to create their galleries. They prefer areas susceptible to moisture and often will have satellite colonies off from the main colony. The chewing of the colony can sometimes be heard at night in a quiet room. Carpenter Ants can live in trees and the interior of our homes so a thorough ant inspection is needed to come up with a good treatment plan.
Harvester Ant colonies can live up to 20 years and have around 10,000 ants in the colony. Their colonies often look like craters in the yard or lawn, because they clear out all the vegetation around the entrance. They look similar in size and shape to the Carpenter Ant, except that their bodies are brown or reddish. They are seed eaters and are named because they “harvest” seeds from the area surrounding their colony. You will rarely find them indoors, and they won’t damage your home. Harvester Ants have a stinger and can sting like a wasp, so be careful when approaching their colony.