As noted in member posts in the discussion forums, the city has seen an increased presence this spring of a particularly large species of ant known as the carpenter ant.
According to Dave Lane, Branch Manager of Brandon’s Poulins Pest Control location, not only has there been an increase in calls relating to activity of the insect locally this year but their prevalence is a full month earlier in the season than what would be typical.
Carpenter ants are said to more typically top out at about 5/8 of an inch long with member reports placing some at as much as an inch. They are said to need decaying organic material to survive and as such are likely to be found in or around rotting wood such as old tree stumps or old ties. According to Lane a call in the city’s North End last week turned up a hill that had been constructed by a colony thousands of ants strong that had snowballed to both two feet wide and deep. In that case the hill was underneath a spruce tree next to an old stump and had presumably been a work in progress for a couple years.
They are said to not be naturally aggressive but have been known to bite in self defense or if for example a child or pet gets into a hill. Other than limiting the presence of old wood on one’s property, control may first be attempted by product available at many stores in town with Poulin’s themselves offering an assortment of do-it-yourself products.
For further details the Government of Canada maintains a page on Carpenter Ants at https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/pest-control-tips/carpenter-ants.html
You can share your thoughts on observations in your neck of the woods, read that of others and see a couple more pics in the attached discussion thread.
Updated June 7, 9:05pm. Updated pic