SYMPTOMS: Most ants do not pose a problem as pests. The Carpenter ant however, is a different story. Carpenter ants may move from decaying portions of the wood into sound lumber in the process of enlarging the nest. They cut galleries with the grain following the softer parts of the wood.

INSECT APPEARANCE: The body of an ant is clearly divided into three sections: the head, the thorax, and the gaster. (The narrow waist is actually within the abdomen, so the part of the abdomen behind the waist is called the gaster.) The waist can be made up of one or two small segments, depending on the species.

LIFE CYCLE: The pupa emerges as an adult. The entire life cycle usually lasts from 6 to 10 weeks. Some queens can live over 15 years, and some workers can live for up to 7 years.

DAMAGE THRESHOLD: Fifteen or more larvae per square foot indicates treatment is necessary.

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