As being described as a very social insect, the Camponotus lives mutualistically with some species and the opposite occurs with others.  In a study designed to find out if ants are predators, scientists placed longhorn beetle eggs onto a tree and then developed a way to detect the beetle’s DNA within the gut-content of Camponotus pennsylvanicus (Mullenburg and Goggin 2008). Within just one hour, the ants carried away 72% of the 380 eggs (Mullenburg and Goggin 2008).4.jpg  The DNA of the eggs was present within the ants for at least 24 hours after ingestion (Mullenburg and Goggin 2008). This study shows that carpenter ants are a leading cause for the regulation of some populations of insects (Mullenburg and Goggin 2008). Ants also provide protection from predators for Chaitophorus pupulicola, more commonly known as aphids. A study completed by Gina Wimp and Thomas Whitman discovered that aphid survival rates declined the further they were from ant mounds (Wimp and Whitman 2001). If ants and aphids inhabit the same tree their combined numbers outnumbered any other arthropod species numbers (Wimp and Whitman 2001). The relationship that ants and aphids have is one of mutualism – both are able to thrive in an9.jpg environment with the help of the other species (Wimp and Whitman 2001).     Aside from working mutualistically with other organisms they may cause extensive damage within trees.  They may burrow their way into the inner core of the tree too far and may create water loss for the tree (Sudd and Franks 1987).  Along with partaking in the damage and nutrition of trees the Carpenter Ants serve as a pest for the normal household.  Worker ants will search for water around the home such as in the bathrooms, kitchen sinks, showers or even the dishwashers (Gordon 2010).  With their great number you will hear them scratching and eating away and the wood within the house (Gordon 2010). The Camponotus pennsylvanicus will also eat away at the wood within the roof and attic creating many leaking problems and possible rotting of the wood (Gordon 2010).  There are many ways to take care of these pests within the home, the most common are baits containing hydramethylnon or boric acid and if neither of those seem to be working the local exterminator can spray the home (Gordon 2010).  The Carpenter Ant is a very innovative species with other organisms in the environment but can be a problem when they venture into the wrong places such as the home or living trees.

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