Skip to Content

Carpenter Ants

carpenter ants

Brief overview of carpenter ants

Carpenter ants use their extremely strong mandibles to hollow out channels in wood to build their nesting areas. When found outdoors, carpenter ants are not a serious threat to your property. However, once a colony finds its way inside, you want to consider carpenter ant treatment and extermination as these ants can cause significant and costly damages. Unlike termites, they will not eat wood. However, as their nests and colony grows over time, they will weaken the structural integrity of your home. Furthermore, the existence of carpenter ants may be an indicator of rot or moisture which can lead to significant structural damage over time.

What do carpenter ants look like?

Carpenter ants are commonly black in color but may also be red, yellowish, or a combination of colors. They are large ants. Adult workers may grow up to ½ of an inch in length and queens can reach up to one inch in length.

Carpenter ants have oval-shaped, segmented bodies, six legs, and antennae that is elbowed (unlike termites that have straight antennae).  Workers have large, strong mandibles that help them to excavate in wood. These mandibles are also strong enough to cause a painful pinch.

Do carpenter ants have wings? The answer is: some do, and some don’t. Worker ants do not have wings whereas mature, reproductive members of carpenter ant colonies are winged ants. Carpenter ants with wings resemble termites, and often these two pests will swarm together. If you detect a carpenter ant infestation, it’s important to properly identify the pest, as termite treatment differs drastically from carpenter ant extermination.

Where do carpenter ants nest?

Outside, carpenter ants nest inside trees and prefer damp, rotting, or dead wood. Inside homes and structures, it is common to find foraging carpenters in the kitchen, but they may also create satellite nests in wall voids, under floors, in crawl spaces, in wood framing doors and windows, and in other areas where there is water-damaged or rotting wood.

What do carpenter ants eat?

You might think that carpenter ants eat wood, but they don’t. They just tunnel through it to create nests. Rather, carpenter ants consume other insects and honeydew (a sweet liquid that is left behind by aphids and scale insects) in their natural environment. Inside homes, they’ll head for the protein and sugar including meat, pet food, syrup, and honey.

Are carpenter ants dangerous?

When it comes to carpenter ants, the health threat is zero. These ants can bite, but they rarely do so, and they do not spread disease. Carpenter ants are definitely an annoyance when they invade kitchens and pantries and infest food. Plus, seeing a line of ants marching across the floor or carpenter ants with wings attack crumbs on your counter would make anybody feel uneasy.

Though they may not be a threat to your health, the real threat these large ants pose is one to the structural integrity of dwellings and buildings. Carpenter ants are wood-destroying insects, and their tunneling habits will cause damage to support beams, flooring, and other building materials. Left untreated, an infestation of these ants could result in significant damage and costly repairs.

What is the difference between carpenter ants and termites?

Continue Reading Read Less
Resource Center Helpful Pest Control Articles For The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex
Check out our Resource Center to learn more about common household pests, tips & tricks, and what you can do to keep your home pest-free.

Contact Us Today

A member of our team will be in touch shortly to confirm your contact details or address questions you may have.

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please lookup your address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy