Carpenter ants may be an unwanted guest in your home, and you might not even know they are there. They can wreak havoc on your home. The ants, which may be between ½” to ⅝” in size, could be black, brown, or even red.

Common Signs of Carpenter Ant Infestations in Homes 

A developed carpenter ant colony may contain as many as 10,000 ants, and only 10-15 percent of the ants work outside the nest! 

These ants venture out when the temperature reaches 45 to 50 degrees. You may see them early in the morning or late at night. When the weather is dry, the ants venture out for food.

Here are some signs that your structure may have a carpenter ant infestation.

close up of carpenter ant trails on a white wall

Ant Trails

You may see columns of these large red or black ants in the grass near your home. Ants secrete a pheromone so other ants know to follow along behind them.

Discarded Wings

You may find “swarmer” ants’ discarded wings in tiny cracks in your home. You may also find them in floor joists, ceilings, and walls. Or a winged ant may emerge from these areas.


Carpenter ants are clean when constructing their tunnels, and they push out dirt and sawdust. This is called frass. It may be found around the foundation of your home, in crawl spaces, or at the base of a wall. 

Faint Rustling Sound

Carpenter ants make a rustling sound when they dig at the wood in your wall. You can hear this when you press your ear to a suspected piece of wood.

Carpenter Ant Prevention: Do’s and Dont’s

carpenter ant workers and swarmers on a tree stump

Here are some of the do’s and don’t’s of ant prevention. 


  • Identify whether you have carpenter ants or another type of pest, like termites
  • Find a way to keep the ants from coming back
  • Use caulk to close up any crevices or tiny openings
  • Call a pest control company to solve the problem with their skill and expertise


  • Ignore the problem
  • Leave food or dirty dishes out
  • DIY methods shouldn’t be your only course of action
  • Don’t place plants, trees, and wood chip mulch around the outside edge’s your home’s foundation

Carpenter Ants FAQs

close up of one carpenter ant on a wooden surface

Do you still have questions about carpenter ants? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their responses. 

Do carpenter ants eat wood?

Carpenters ants don’t eat wood, but they make their nests out of moist, damaged, or wet wood. These ants eat grease, plants, and other little pests. 

What does carpenter ant damage look like?

You will typically see piles of wood shavings or the actual ants.

How are carpenter ants different from termites?

Termites are white with large heads. They eat wood and may also cause structural damage.

Professional Ant Control and Removal Services

a pest control expert spraying insecticide for infested wood

Phenom Pest Control embraces Integrated Pest Management (IPM.) Our company uses inspection, treatment, and prevention. We identify signs of carpenter ants and look for entry points.

For treatment, we apply a pesticidal dust material. We also treat the perimeter of the structure and the carpenter ant’s nests. 

For prevention, Phenom Pest Control will discuss issues of moisture. We offer professional services for pest control to keep ants away. Contact us today for more information.