Termites/Wood Destroying Insects » Carpenter Ant

Carpenter Ant


Among the largest of ants, 1/4- to 1/2-inch long. The most common species is black.


Carpenter ants are the most common property pest in the Midwest. Midwest home and business owners are far more likely to face an invasion of carpenter ants than termites, which in the South and other parts of the country do a great deal of damage.

Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests, leaving hollowed-out tunnels. These colonies require a constant source of water to survive, and are often found in wet, decayed wood such as dead limbs and tree stumps. Inside, they can be found in overly wet, poorly ventilated spaces such as crawl spaces or attics. While carpenter ants don’t eat wood, their excavations pose a property threat, making ant control imperative. In the spring, winged reproductive ants called swarmers fly out to start new colonies.


Will feed on nearly anything people eat—particularly sweets and meats. Will also feed on other insects.

Ant control: carpenter ants

Successful carpenter ant control depends on eliminating the parent colony, which is usually located outdoors. Finding and treating as many nests as possible is the key to carpenter ant control. Store firewood away from your house, trim dead limbs from trees, and remove stumps and lumber from around the house. A frequently overlooked ant control measure is to make sure that all plumbing or roof leaks are sealed.

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