"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.
The pungent sweetness of a rotting apple on the forest floor, knocked down by the fresh rain, lures a large black ant from a rotten stump. Drinking the sweet juices, the ant suddenly falls on it's back, and stumbles home. Her colony mates, surprised that their peer was such a drunkard, care for her for the next day, where she slowly wakes up. The alcoholic apple juice also contains other chemicals, though, like Tyrosine, which the ants are unable to digest on it's own. Luckily, the Eastern Black Carpenter Ant, and all other carpenter ants, have ecosystems inside them comprised of the bacteria Blochmannia. This bacteria comes into play when digesting such nutrients. It breaks the Tyrosine down into it's key components which can then be absorbed by the ant.
Blochmannia is heat sensitive, so you will find that this species may do better in cooler temperatures.
It prefers low humidity from 30-50%, and slightly higher temperatures at 23-27 degrees Celsius. It's the fastest growing Carpenter ant species with workers ranging from 5-16 mm and queens reaching 18mm.
What's a test tube insert? Find out here!