Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants Identification

What do carpenter ants look like?

Carpenter ants are known for their large size. Worker adults can grow up to ½ an inch in length, and queens can grow even larger - up to an inch.  Their exact coloring depends on the species; but, in general, carpenter ants are black, red, yellow, or a combination of both black and red.  They have a one-node waist, and the workers have very strong mandibles that they use to tunnel through wood. 

Why do carpenter ants infest structures?

Carpenter ants naturally live and nest outdoors; however, like most ant species, they will enter your home while foraging for food and water. Typically, they can be found roaming around kitchen and bathroom areas.   Once inside your home if they find easy access to suitable food and water sources, they may decide to stay and create a satellite nesting area in structural wood behind the walls.  They are mostly attracted to wood that has been previously damaged by water because their developing eggs need very specific moisture levels.

Are carpenter ants dangerous?

Carpenter ants are not dangerous to people or pets; but they are dangerous to the structural integrity of your home.  Carpenter ants will damage wood as they create intricate tunnels and nesting areas.

Damages caused by carpenter ants

Carpenter ants do not feed on the wood that they are tunneling through; they are simply creating nesting areas within the wood.  If carpenter ants are left untreated, their tunneling can create significant damage that can weaken the structure.  These large black ants may initially be attracted to and infest water damaged wood, but they will eventually expand their efforts to healthy wood.  Damages can be quite significant, time consuming, and costly to repair.

Signs of a carpenter ant infestation

The most tell-tale sign of an infestation is finding workers foraging in and around your home.  You may also see winged reproductive members flying around after they have emerged from the colony to mate and start a new colony of their own.  In the case of a large infestation, you may hear rusting or chewing noised behind the walls and/or find piles of wood shavings on the floor underneath walls or other wooden items.

Carpenter ant control

Implementing a home pest control plan is the best way to curb existing carpenter ant activity and to prevent these wood-destroying ants from re-infesting your property.  At Pine State Pest Solutions, we offer customized pest control programs that target carpenter ants as well as other common house infesting bugs that are completed in a timely manner by highly trained, experienced and friendly pest control technicians.

To protect your home against carpenter ants, contact Pine State Pest Solutions today!

Carpenter ant prevention

The best way to prevent carpenter ants from infesting your property is to eliminate the conditions that are attracting them.  To that end, our team recommends the following carpenter ant prevention tips: 

  • Reduce moisture around your home by fixing leaky faucets and pipes indoors and out. Also, make sure that gutters are not clogged by leaves and other debris and are properly directing water away from your foundation. 

  • Replace any water damaged wood.

  • Use dehumidifiers in basements and crawl spaces.

  • Store firewood away from the outside of your home. 

  • Trim trees and shrubs away from the exterior of your home.

  • Caulk gaps found around windows and doors; seal cracks in the foundation.

  • Store food properly.

  • Clean up spills and crumbs especially in kitchen and pantry areas.

Pine State Pest Solutions serves the following counties, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Sagadahoc, Oxford, Cumberland and York. See a complete list of areas we serve in Maine.