Carpenter Ants

What are carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants are a large species of ant. They are considered one of the largest species of household-invading ants and one of the most common structural pests. Carpenter ants live and work together in large colonies. Carpenter ant workers grow to about ½ of an inch in length, while queens can reach 1 inch in length. These ants are usually black, red, or a combination of black and red in color. Carpenter ants have large, powerful mandibles that they use to tunnel through wood they have invaded to create nesting sites. Carpenter ants, unlike termites, do not feed on the wood they have invaded, they only nest inside it.

a carpenter ant inside a home in rocky mount north carolina

Are carpenter ants dangerous?

Carpenter ants are not a danger to people, but they are considered to be a danger to the structural integrity of homes and other buildings. In nature, carpenter ants are beneficial, helping to break down and get rid of decaying wood, but when they invade homes they become destructive. If a carpenter ant infestation is not eliminated, over time the damage they create can become quite extensive and costly to repair.

Why do I have a carpenter ant problem?

Carpenter ants prefer to attack wood softened by fungus and are often associated with moisture problems. Carpenter ants are highly attracted to properties and homes with moisture issues. Having a carpenter ant infestation may indicate an underlying moisture problem. Carpenter ants are attracted to properties that offer them easy access to food, water, and shelter. Fallen trees, tree stumps, wood piles, decaying fence posts, mulch, open trash cans, gardens, pet food, and compost piles can attract these invasive ants.

Where will I find carpenter ants?

Carpenter ants are moisture-seeking pests and live outside in damp or rotting pieces of wood. While foraging for food, carpenter ants often find their way inside homes, entering through gaps in the foundation, spaces underneath doors, or spaces in and around windows. Once inside they may stay and infest pieces of structural wood (especially wood that has been previously damaged by water). Typical carpenter ant nesting spots include structural wood behind walls, above ceilings, or below floors.

How do I get rid of carpenter ants?

To eliminate destructive carpenter ants, partner with an experienced pest control professional. At Pest & Termite Consultants, we offer the modern services needed to solve your property’s carpenter ant problem. Our qualified professionals provide accurate identification, cost estimates, and perform effective carpenter ant treatments. To learn more about our carpenter ant control services and how they can protect your Raleigh-area home from these destructive ants, reach out to us!

How can I prevent carpenter ants in the future?

To discourage carpenter ants from choosing your home to live in, we suggest doing the following:

  • Maintain gutters.

  • Repair plumbing issues inside or outside your home.

  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels inside your home.

  • Make sure that attics and crawl spaces are properly ventilated.

  • Inspect your home's foundation and exterior walls, sealing any cracks or crevices that are found.

  • Trim tree branches and shrubbery away from the exterior of your home.

  • Place a stone barrier between any soil or mulch and your home’s foundation.

  • Make sure all outdoor trash cans have tight-fitting or locking lids on them.

 

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