"Will it chew through my house?" is the first question I hear from a first-time ant-keeper or any ant-keeper's parents when they look at carpenter ants.
A quick disclaimer: your house will be safe as long as it's not made from a crumbly and rotting foundation. There will only be ants if there's water leaking through.
A black and orange ant scurries up a tree trunk looking for food. It stumbled upon a small beetle, but is quickly runs away as a group of Acrobat Ants streams up the twig. Luckily for it, the tree benefits from any pests it eats, and provides "nectaries" on the base of leaves, which are glands secreting a sweet liquid to entice the ant to stay. The ant takes a sip, and returns home to it's nest in a crevice in the tree with just a few hundred other individuals. This timid species is Camponotus nearcticus, the smaller carpenter ant. Camponotus nearcticus is the ant equivalent of a small elephant or a dwarf whale. Despite being a species of carpenter ant, Camponotus nearcticus is comes fun-sized, with queens being as small as 8mm, and the workers as small as 3.5mm. With a smaller colony size, it's also far more shy, and being arboreal, is rarely seen by the people it often lives so close to.
This product also includes the much rarer Camponotus caryae (Hickory Carpenter Ant) for ease of navigation.
Like other carpenter ants, it prefers low humidity from 30-50%, and slightly higher temperatures at 25-28 degrees Celsius, though it surprisingly is one of the slowest growers.
What's a test tube insert? Find out here!