How To Find Out if You Have Carpenter Ants?

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Carpenter Ant control is critical in and around our homes. But how to find out if you have carpenter ants? These are the most common pests that destroy the wood in the United States. Carpenter ant colonies, if left unchecked, will inflict severe damage to sound wood, potentially jeopardizing a building’s structural safety.

If you notice large black ants in or around your home, it’s time to hire a professional to protect the structure of your property. But before we get to eradication, it is necessary to know how to find out Carpenter Ants In Your Home? So, let us find out.

What Is a Carpenter Ant?

These get their names from their habit of building huge, complicated nests. They are a type of ant that can be found in wood, which typically has the characteristics of dry rot and termites. Carpenter ants infest homes and other buildings where they find food sources like wood, paper, or cellulose.

how to find out if you have carpenter ants

Do you wish to learn about how to find out if carpenter ants infest your home? If yes, look for signs such as dead or dying trees near your house that could indicate where the carpenter ants’ nest is.

Carpenter ants are a variety of ants that live in wood tunnels and chew through the wood to form nests. They don’t typically eat the wood, but rather tunnel through it. Carpenter ants often invade homes because they like warm places with plenty of rotting material to build their nest.

Carpenter Ant Identification

Carpenter ants are black with a redhead and can be identified by their 13 mm length. They have a triangular shape, distinguishing them from other ant species.

Ants, Insects, Camponotus Ligniperda

Carpenter ants have a waist in the middle of their thorax, which is different from other ant species. They also have inverted antennae that are triangular-shaped at the top, and these make them easy to identify when they are present.

As a general rule, Carpenter ants are reddish in color. Worker ants may be red-brown or black with some mixture of the two colors.

Carpenter ant identification is not always easy because they come in various sizes and shapes depending on their species.

What Attracts Carpenter Ants?

Bread Crust, Food, Nutrition, Leftover

Understanding what an invading pest loves and doesn’t like is the first line of defense. The following are the key things that attract carpenter ants:

Soft, wet wood

Carpenter ants are attracted to dead, decaying, and damp wood. It is safe to say that these damp wood are pretty much the reason why they are alive.


Honeydew secreted by the aphids is their primary source of nourishment. Carpenter ants eat plant nectar and tiny insects as well. They’ll happily devour protein and sweet stuff left on counters and in garbage cans inside homes. Carpenter ants are attracted to food in pet bowls and meat juices on barbecue grills in the yard.

Damp and dark places

Carpenter ants are typically seen colonizing beneath dishwashers and air conditioner units, in the backs of moldy cupboards, and near leaking pipes, in addition to lurking in damp, decomposing wood.

What Repels Carpenter Ants?

On the other hand, here’s what carpenter ants despise:

Dry conditions

Carpenter ants require a supply of water to survive and thrive. Half of the struggle will be over once you get rid of the dampness in your home and standing water in your yard.

Strong odors

Clove, cedarwood, lemongrass, citrus, and tea tree essential oils alter their scent trails, leaving them puzzled and perplexed.

Are Carpenter Ants Dangerous?

The wood-eating carpenter ants are not dangerous to humans, but they can cause property damage.

Ant, Ross Ant, Insect

Carpenter ants are typically found in the beige and brown color family, which makes them hard to see against their surroundings. They build nests that tend to be close-knit and located in the attic or basement of a home.

Carpenter Ants create tunnels that look like holes made by drills into wooden surfaces. These tunnels can also connect with other openings and create large colonies inside your home.

If you see holes in wooden surfaces, such as the ceiling or walls of your home, be sure to contact a professional exterminator.

Signs That There Are Carpenter Ants In and Around Your House

There are many signs that carpenter ants may be present in and around your home. Possible signs include dead insect carcasses and wings shed by ants, damaged wood, and sawdust.

Adult Female Carpenter Ant of the genus Camponotus

Carpenter ants are a common household pest. You can find them everywhere, right from the floors to the woods.

The signs of their presence include tiny holes all over your home as well as piles of sawdust outside or inside walls near window sills and doorframes from where they probably must have entered the house.

If you spot these signs, it’s best to call for a professional exterminator who will help remove them from your property without harming any pets or children that may live there too!

How To Get Rid of Carpenter Ants?

Adult Carpenter Ant of the Genus Camponotus

Finding the nest and killing the queen is the most effective technique to get rid of carpenter ants. Here are some ways to assist you in locating and eliminating a carpenter ant nest both inside and outside your home.

Step 1

Carpenter ants often build large nests within walls, under floorboards, and in the attic. They are attracted to moist areas of wood or other materials. Once they have found a suitable location, they will begin excavating tunnels up to 50 feet long.

If you see signs of anthills outside your home, like small piles of sawdust or boards with circular cuts around them, then it is likely that carpenter ants are nesting there.

So first and foremost, try to look for the carpenter ant’s nest.

Step 2

Drill holes into the wall and inject dust. The ants will try to escape but will rather get stuck in the dust and die. If this step does not work, use a bug bomb. Make sure to drench the outside of the nest with the bug bomb.

Step 3

The next step for getting rid of carpenter ants is to put out bait for ants. Put out bait with boric acid and place it in areas where you know the ants are active.

Place bait near the nest. Place slow-acting granular bait near entry points and wet areas where ants are likely to congregate if you can’t discover the nest or it’s tough to access.

Foam or gel baits can also be sprayed into voids, through nail holes in walls, around plumbing gaps, and directly into ant tunnels. Ants will hopefully return to the nest with the bait and kill the entire colony, including the queen.

Step 4

If none of the methods work, contact a local pest control expert specializing in carpenter ant extermination.

How Can You Prevent Carpenter Ants From Getting Into Your Home?

Carpenter ant, Camponotus vagus, carrying an egg

This ant species is big. These ants can be distinguished from other types of ants by their size and the presence of a large head and thorax. Carpenter ants are also very active, meaning they’ll come out at night to find food sources, causing them to invade your home as they’re not afraid of humans or pets.

Signs that show you might have these types of ants in your home include piles of wood shavings near doors or openings where they may enter and an abundance of sawdust.

If you want to prevent them from being uninvited guests in your house, then follow these steps.

  • Clean up the leftover crumbs and store food in sealed containers.
  • Fill up cracks and holes; 
  • Remove any rotten or diseased timber from the house;
  • Spray your residence with a chemical or non-toxic pesticide barrier.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.