argentine ants up close

How can I identify carpenter ants?

It's important to know how to identify pests such as carpenter ants so you can take steps to protect your home from the damage they cause.
Here are a few ways to identify them, allowing you to get help as soon as possible:

  • Carpenter ants are large and may appear black, red, yellowish, or a combination of those colors.
  • Adult workers can grow to between 1/8th and 1/2 of an inch in length; queens grow larger in size.
  • They have an oval-shaped, segmented body.
  • Workers have large, strong mandibles. Carpenter ants can be distinguished from other ant species by their one-node waist.
  • Their thorax that has an evenly rounded upper surface.

Unlike most other ants, carpenter ants are a destructive species of ant. They cause damage to wood (including furniture and structural wood) as they create nests inside homes and other buildings.

Are carpenter ants dangerous?

Carpenter ants do not pose any serious health risks or danger to people, but this is not to say they aren’t dangerous. Carpenter ants have a habit of invading homes and other structures while foraging for food. Once inside they like to create satellite nests inside the home’s structural wood. Over time, the tunnels and nesting galleries that they create can cause extensive damage that is difficult and expensive to repair. Carpenter ants should not be allowed to live in or around your home for any period of time.

Where do carpenter ants generally live?

Carpenter ants are moisture-seeking pests, and usually create their main nest outdoors, inside damp or rotting pieces of wood. Fallen trees, fallen tree limbs, firewood piles, and rotting tree stumps are all common nesting spots for carpenter ants.

Carpenter ants that are nesting inside a home or other structure create their satellite nests in structural wood that is found behind walls, above ceilings, behind wooden trim, or below the flooring. Initially, carpenter ants are usually only attracted to structural wood that has been previously damaged by water.

How can I tell if I have a problem with carpenter ants?

If carpenter ants are nesting in your home, you are likely to see these large ants wandering around your home’s basement, kitchen, bathrooms, and pantry areas. Carpenter ants travel around your home foraging for food and water sources.

A few signs to look for to determine if carpenter ants are present:

  • As they create their tunnels, carpenter ants kick out the wood shavings they create, so you may find small piles of sawdust on the floor underneath walls and beside wooden trim or other wooden objects.
  • Another tell-tale sign of a carpenter ant infestation is hearing “rustling” sounds behind your homes walls that the ants create as they move and work.
  • Reproductive carpenter ant “swarmers” swarm from a mature colony in order to find a mate and create a new colony of their own. If swarmers are present in your home, you may find piles of the reproductive ants' shed wings lying underneath or around window sills, baseboards, and vents.

What should I do if I think I have a problem with carpenter ants?

Controlling carpenter ants is a difficult job. There are many DIY products on the market, but exposure to these products can be dangerous for your family and pets if not used properly. In addition, DIY products purchased from big box stores often do not work. They certainly will not get to the root of the carpenter ant infestation - how and why they are invading your home. If you think carpenter ants have found their way into your home or business, it is important to contact a pest control company that specializes in carpenter ant control.

How does A-1 Pest Control get rid of carpenter ants?

At A-1 Pest Control, we offer highly-effective ant control services in Lenoir and throughout our North Carolina service area. By implementing a year-round home pest control program, you can quickly put a stop to your home’s carpenter ant problems, and any other problems that you are experiencing with common house-infesting pests. Contact us to learn more about our highly-effective carpenter ant control solutions!


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