Carpenter Ants

Quick Facts

Risk Factors

  • Family
  • Home
  • Pet


  • season Summer
  • season Spring



0.5 - 0.625 inch

Inch Long



What do Carpenter Ants look like?

Carpenter ants are a large species of ant; workers can grow to be 5/8 to 1/2 an inch in length. Queens can grow up to 1 inch in length. The workers have strong mandibles that they use for creating their tunnels and nesting areas. Carpenter ants can be black, red, or a combination of both colors.

What are the signs of Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants need to build their nests in areas of high moisture; their developing eggs have specific moisture needs. Carpenter ant colonies start with one main colony, which can take 3-6 years to fully mature. Once the colony matures, they will start to build new satellite colonies.

Outside, carpenter ant nests can be found in rotting trees stumps, fallen trees, standing trees, in landscaping, and in firewood piles. Inside, carpenter ants prefer to attack wood that has previously been damaged by water or mold. If an infestation is allowed to continue for a long period of time, the carpenter ants will eventually attack undamaged sound wood as well.

Carpenter ants usually enter homes accidentally while they are foraging for food. It is a common misconception that carpenter ants eat wood like termites; in reality, they only create tunnels and nesting areas within the wood and do not actually eat the wood. Carpenter ants feed on a wide variety of food like other insects, honeydew, pet food, meat, and sweets like syrup and honey.

What Damage do Carpenter Ants cause?

They are dangerous to the structures of homes and other buildings. A carpenter ant infestation can negatively affect the structural integrity of a building. Damage from carpenter ants can be very time consuming and costly to repair which is why getting help for a carpenter ant infestation sooner rather than later is so important.

How do you prevent Carpenter Ants?

Along with putting into place a year-round pest control service, there are a few things that you can do to protect your home from a carpenter ant infestation:

Inspect the exterior perimeter of your home and makes sure that any cracks or crevice in the foundation of your home are sealed.

Caulk any spaces found around exterior windows and doors.

Make sure that gutters are working properly to direct water away from your home. Fix any leaky pipes or fixtures.

Place outdoor trash cans (make sure they have tight-fitting lids) and woodpiles away from the exterior of your home.

Reduce humidity levels in your home by using dehumidifiers.

Keep food stored in sealed containers or in the refrigerator.

Quickly clean up spills and crumbs; and regularly wash dirty dishes.

How do I get rid of Carpenter Ants?

Getting rid of carpenter ants is not a job for your DIY homeowner because this ant can have several satellite nests and thousands of workers.

Can Carpenter Ants hurt me?

Carpenter ants do not typically carry diseases. However, their legs can capture bacteria as they walk across trash and feces. This could then contaminate food with Salmonella and various diseases.

They also have powerful jaws so their bites can be painful. They can inject formic acid into the bite wound, causing a temporary burning sensation. However, there is no significant health threat.

Our total protection plans cover
Carpenter Ants!

What to Expect when Suburban Exterminating Arrives

Suburban Exterminating can help eliminate a carpenter ant infestation. We understand just how much damage carpenter ants can inflict to your decking, fencing, and home. Our technicians can provide the safe and effective solutions needed to completely eradicate carpenter ants from your property through our home pest control services.