How to Get Rid Of
Carpenter Ants
Pest Control
Min Read

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

Discover effective methods to get rid of Carpenter Ants and safeguard your home. Expert tips for Carpenter Ant control. Get started now!

Carpenter Ants
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Coleman Spaulding
August 2, 2023
Last Updated:
November 6, 2023
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Coleman Spaulding
August 2, 2023
Last Updated:
November 6, 2023

Identifying a Carpenter Ant Infestation

Armed with this knowledge, you'll be better equipped to tackle Carpenter Ant issues and safeguard your home. Let's dive in!

Signs of Carpenter Ant Infestation

  • Sawdust: Presence of wood shavings or sawdust near infested areas due to Carpenter Ant excavation.
  • Trails: Observe visible trails of Carpenter Ants, especially during their foraging activity.
  • Audible Activity: Listen for rustling or tapping sounds within walls or wooden structures, indicating Carpenter Ant activity.
  • Winged Ants: Spotting winged Carpenter Ants indoors is a clear sign of an established colony. These ants are used solely for reproduction.

Areas Prone to Carpenter Ant Infestation

  • Wooden Structures: Check wooden structures like decks, fences, and eaves for Carpenter Ant presence.
  • Moisture-Prone Areas: Carpenter Ants prefer damp environments, so inspect areas with water damage.
  • Landscaping: Carpenter Ants may nest in tree stumps, logs, or firewood piles in your yard.

Differentiating Carpenter Ant Species by Signs

  • Black Carpenter Ants: Large, black ants with single-node petiole; nest in decaying or damp wood.
  • Red Carpenter Ants: Reddish-brown ants with multiple nodes; prefer dry and well-seasoned wood.

By understanding the signs of Carpenter Ant infestations, identifying susceptible areas, and differentiating between various Carpenter Ant species, you can proactively address Carpenter Ant issues in your home. Early identification is crucial for successful Carpenter Ant control, so let's equip ourselves with the knowledge needed to combat these pests effectively.

Removal of Carpenter Ants

The best approach to the removal of carpenter ants is hiring a professional pest control expert to identify, target, and prevent Carpenter Ants in your home or business. The Spidexx approach provides you with worry-free protection that is fully guaranteed. 

We start by performing a thorough inspection of your home and property to identify carpenter ant nests, areas prone to harboring carpenter ants, and potential damage to your property. Our main goal is to prevent carpenter ant activity, and we do by applying a repellant barrier around your home’s foundation, doors, and windows. Targeted treatments using a combination of a baiting and non-repellant approach, both inside and out, will help flush out any existing populations within your home. The carpenter ants take both the bait and the product on their skin back to their colonies, which then spread like a disease to the colony. Finally, we stand behind our services and offer a full guarantee. If you have pest activity between visits, we will return and treat at no extra cost.

DIY Treatment Options

There are some DIY treatment options that can help with severe infestations, but should not replace a professional pest control service. Some nox-toxic repellents made with essential oils or plant-based ingredients can be used. Before using any at home products, do your research and follow product instructions carefully to ensure safe and effective use. Another great way to control ants is to introduce natural Carpenter Ant predators, such as nematodes or certain wasp species to the affected areas. These methods work great in home gardens as they don’t involve the use of chemicals on your plants. 

Dealing with Specific Carpenter Ant Species

This section will empower you with valuable insights to identify and address the Carpenter Ant species invading your property, ensuring targeted and successful eradication. Let's explore each Carpenter Ant species and their control methods to safeguard your home from these pests.

Black Carpenter Ants

Black Carpenter Ants are common in the midwest region and prefer nesting in damp or decaying wood.


  • Large, black ants with a single-node petiole.
  • Often nest in areas with moisture issues, such as crawl spaces or wall voids.

Carpenter Ant Control:

  • Locate and eliminate the moisture source attracting them.
  • Apply baits and non-repellants near nesting sites.
  • Seal entry points and cracks to prevent their access.

Red Carpenter Ants

Red Carpenter Ants are reddish-brown ants that favor nesting in dry and well-seasoned wood.


  • Reddish-brown ants with multiple nodes in their body structure.
  • Prefer nesting in areas with dry wood, such as door frames and window sills.

Carpenter Ant Control:

  • Inspect and address potential sources of dry, untreated wood.
  • Use baits and non-repellants to deter their foraging activity.
  • Seal gaps and crevices to prevent their entry.

By understanding the characteristics and behavior of specific Carpenter Ant species, you can target your control efforts more effectively. The methods outlined for each species will help you create a strategic plan for eradicating Carpenter Ants based on their unique traits and nesting preferences. With this knowledge, you can take assertive action to protect your property from Carpenter Ant infestations.

Preventative Measures for Carpenter Ants

Implementing these preventative measures, you can create an inhospitable environment for Carpenter Ants, effectively deterring them from infiltrating your living spaces. Let's explore these preventive steps to fortify your home against Carpenter Ants and ensure a pest-free environment.

Regular Cleaning Practices

Keep indoor spaces clean and clutter-free:

  • Regularly sweep and vacuum floors, removing any food debris or crumbs.
  • Store toys, pet food, and other attractants in sealed containers.

Address moisture issues promptly:

  • Repair leaks and maintain proper drainage to prevent damp conditions that attract Carpenter Ants.

Proper Food Storage

Securely store food items:

  • Seal all food in airtight containers to deny access to Carpenter Ants.
  • Clean kitchen surfaces and countertops thoroughly after food preparation.

Sealing Entry Points

Inspect and seal cracks and gaps:

  • Check doors, windows, and foundation for openings through which Carpenter Ants can enter.
  • Use caulk or weather stripping to seal potential entry points.

Carpenter Ant-Repellent Plants

Utilize natural repellents:

  • Plant Carpenter Ant-repellent plants around your property, such as mint, garlic, or lavender.
  • These plants emit odors that deter Carpenter Ants from approaching.

Natural Solutions

Use vinegar or citrus-based sprays:

  • Spray vinegar or citrus-based solutions near Carpenter Ant trails or entry points to deter them.

Regular Property Inspection & Maintenance

Frequently inspect your property:

  • Regularly check for signs of Carpenter Ant activity, such as frass (wood shavings) or ant trails.
  • Address any issues promptly to prevent infestations from worsening.

Pest Control Subscription

Consider professional pest control services:

  • Opt for regular pest control subscription plans to maintain a pest-free environment.
  • Professional pest control experts can proactively address potential Carpenter Ant threats.

By implementing these prevention measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of Carpenter Ant infestations and protect your property from potential damage. Regular maintenance and vigilance are essential in maintaining a Carpenter Ant-free environment in your Midwestern home.

How to Choose a Carpenter Ant Control Service

  • Your home's age and location will be important when determining the type of service you will need. Homes with heavy carpenter ant populations need recurring pest control. 
  • Choose a service that is a start-to-finish approach and includes a service guarantee.
  • Check Google, Bing, and NextDoor for reviews
  • Call and speak with a friendly member of the team

The Different Species of Carpenter Ants

Recognizing these distinctions, you can tailor your Carpenter Ant removal strategies to target specific species more efficiently. Let's explore the different Carpenter Ant species and equip you with the knowledge needed to combat these pests effectively.

Camponotus pennsylvanicus (Black Carpenter Ant)


  • Black coloration with reddish-brown legs and segmented antennae.
  • Sizes range from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch in length.


  • Typically nests in decaying wood and tree stumps.
  • Known for creating satellite colonies in and around buildings.


  • Forages for food at night, seeking sweet or protein-based substances.
  • Can cause structural damage to wooden structures.

Camponotus sayi (Florida Carpenter Ant)


  • Black coloration with a reddish-brown thorax and legs.
  • Workers are around 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch in length.


  • Nests in moist and decaying wood, often in tree hollows or fence posts.
  • Prefers outdoor environments but can venture indoors in search of food.


  • Forages for food both day and night, scavenging on various food sources.
  • Can occasionally invade homes, becoming a nuisance.

Camponotus chromaiodes (Red Carpenter Ant)


  • Reddish-brown coloration with black abdomen and legs.
  • Workers are around 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch in length.


  • Nests in both moist and dry wood, including trees, stumps, and buildings.
  • Commonly found in dead or dying trees.


  • Forages for food at night, primarily on honeydew from aphids and plant juices.
  • Can cause significant damage to wooden structures.

Understanding the characteristics and behaviors of these different Carpenter Ant species is essential in formulating effective control measures. By tailoring your approach to the specific Carpenter Ant species infesting your property, you can achieve better results in eliminating these pests and safeguarding your home from potential damages.

Everything you should know about Carpenter Ants

Gaining insight into these aspects, you can make informed decisions on effective Carpenter Ant control measures and protect your property from potential infestations.

Life Cycle of Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants go through a complete metamorphosis, consisting of four stages:

  • Egg: Tiny, oval-shaped eggs laid by the queen in secure locations, such as within galleries or crevices in wood.
  • Larva: After hatching, the larva is cared for by worker ants and undergoes several molts, growing in size.
  • Pupa: The larva spins a silk cocoon and transforms into the pupal stage, where it undergoes further development.
  • Adult: Upon reaching maturity, the pupa emerges as an adult Carpenter Ant, ready to join the colony's workforce.

The life cycle duration varies, affected by factors like temperature, species, and availability of food.

Foraging & Feeding Habits of Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants are primarily omnivores, feeding on a variety of food sources, including:

  • Sugars and sweets: Honeydew, nectar, and other sweet substances.
  • Proteins: Insects, dead animals, and protein-rich foods.
  • Carpenter Ants forage extensively, especially during warm months, searching for food within and outside their nest.
  • They establish foraging trails, often visible during early mornings or late evenings.

Seasonal Behaviour of Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant activity can vary seasonally:

  • Spring: Increased activity as colonies grow and establish satellite nests.
  • Summer: Peak foraging and nest expansion, with potential intrusions into homes seeking food and water.
  • Fall: Preparations for winter, storing food and decreasing outdoor activity.
  • Winter: Reduced foraging and nesting activity, but not necessarily inactive.

Carpenter Ants in the Ecosystem

  • Carpenter Ants play a crucial role in ecosystems by aiding in the decomposition of dead wood.
  • They assist in recycling nutrients and contribute to the health of forested areas.
  • However, when Carpenter Ants infest homes and structures, they can become destructive pests, requiring proper control and management.

Understanding the life cycle, foraging habits, seasonal behavior, and ecological role of Carpenter Ants will empower you to implement targeted strategies for effective Carpenter Ant control in the midwest region. By adopting proactive measures, you can prevent infestations and protect your property from potential damages caused by these pests.

Impact of Carpenter Ant Control on the Environment

Examine the use of chemical pesticides, eco-friendly alternatives, and sustainable practices to strike a balance between effective control and environmental preservation.

Eco-Friendly Pest Control Methods

Eco-friendly pest control methods prioritize non-toxic and sustainable approaches:

  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): A holistic approach combining multiple strategies to reduce pesticide usage.
  • Biological Control: Introduction of natural predators or parasites to manage Carpenter Ant populations.
  • Physical Barriers: Sealing entry points and using mechanical traps to prevent ant access to buildings.

These methods aim to minimize harm to the environment while effectively managing Carpenter Ants.

Sustainable Practices for Carpenter Ant Control

Sustainable practices emphasize long-term solutions that promote coexistence with Carpenter Ants:

  • Habitat Modification: Altering the environment to make it less conducive to Carpenter Ant nesting.
  • Exclusion Techniques: Sealing cracks and gaps to prevent Carpenter Ants from entering structures.
  • Education & Monitoring: Educating residents on Carpenter Ant behavior and encouraging regular monitoring to catch infestations early.

By adopting sustainable practices, we can address Carpenter Ant issues while preserving the ecosystem's health.

Implementing eco-friendly and sustainable Carpenter Ant control methods can effectively manage infestations while minimizing the impact on the environment in the Midwest region. By making informed choices, we can strike a balance between effective pest control and environmental responsibility.

How to stop Carpenter Ants coming into my home?

To prevent Carpenter Ants from entering your home, follow these preventive measures:

Seal Entry Points:

  • Identify and seal any cracks, gaps, or openings in doors, windows, and walls.
  • Use weatherstripping and door sweeps to ensure a tight seal.

Trim Vegetation:

  • Keep tree branches and shrubs trimmed away from the house to prevent ants from using them as bridges.

Proper Food Storage:

  • Store food in airtight containers to eliminate potential food sources for Carpenter Ants.
  • Clean up spills and crumbs promptly.

Remove Attractants:

  • Don't leave pet food dishes out overnight.
  • Clean up fallen fruits from trees or plants near the house.

Regular Cleaning:

  • Vacuum regularly, especially in areas prone to food crumbs or spills.
  • Wipe down surfaces to remove residue that might attract ants.

Carpenter Ant-Repellent Plants:

  • Plant mint, lavender, or other ant-repellent plants around the home's perimeter.

Use Borax Baits:

  • Create a mixture of borax and sugar water as a homemade bait to deter Carpenter Ants.

Remove Decaying Wood:

  • Carpenter Ants are attracted to decaying or damp wood. Remove any old logs, firewood, or wood debris from around the house. Store wood at least 20 feet away from any structures on your property (home, shed, garage, etc.)

Professional Inspection:

  • Schedule regular pest inspections with a professional to catch potential infestations early.

Trim Landscape:

  • Avoid letting trees or bushes touch the exterior walls of your home, as this can create a pathway for ants.

By implementing these preventive measures, you can reduce the likelihood of Carpenter Ants entering your home and minimize the need for more aggressive control methods. Remember to monitor your property regularly for signs of Carpenter Ant activity and take action promptly if you notice any infestations.


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