General Info
  • Carpenter ants gnaw into wood to make or expand their colonies, not to eat wood
  • These ants have large and powerful jaws and will bite if disturbed
  • Carpenter ants are found all over the U.S. but are particularly troublesome in the Pacific Northwest
Where They Nest
  • Carpenter ants commonly build indoor colonies in wall voids, attics, and water-damaged or rotting structural wood
  • Common outdoor colonies are found in sheds, firewood, deck woods, tree trunks, gutters, and soffits
  • Look for ants going in and out of a hole with small bits of sawdust around the opening – this is a sign that the colony is nearby
What They Want From You

When seen indoors, they are looking for:

  • Food in the form of insects which is their main diet
  • Moisture found in and around the sink, shower, leaky pipes, and spills - these are ideal locations for building new, indoor colonies

Carpenter ants can enter the home:

  • Via a tree branch or utility lines that are touching part of the home
  • Through cracks in the foundation, gaps, or openings around windows and doors
  • On firewood brought inside to burn
Why They’re A Problem
  • The presence of carpenter ants can be a sign of water or moisture problems in your roof, gutters, porch, deck, floors, or walls
  • Large colonies that are left untreated can be as destructive to homes as termites
Tips & Tricks
  • Search for leaks in and around areas where you see these ants. These leaks/moist areas will need to be repaired/corrected
  • Remove limbs/shrubs that touch the house, particularly the roof – ants use these contact points to gain access
  • Remove stumps and dying trees within 50 feet of the house/garage – these are perfect spots for new colonies to start
  • Store firewood off the bare ground and away from the house
  • Consider using inorganic mulches (stone, gravels) in areas where you have had problems with ants, or where ground moisture is a re-occurring problem
  • Inspect older trees carefully for signs of outdoor colonies


Carpenter-Ant size bar

1/4 to 1/2 inch long


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