Get rid of carpenter ants with Ehrlich

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How to get rid of carpenter ants

Although carpenter ants don’t spread disease, they can be a considerable nuisance and can cause damage to your home.

Often confused with termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood but tunnel through it to build nests. Unlike other ant species, carpenter ants can be difficult to locate and require professional treatment because of the damage they cause to wood elements and foam insulation in your home.

Big black ants

Have you noticed big black ants around your property? They could be carpenter ants, often located in logs and trees or in beams of ceilings and wood doors. How can you tell these ants apart from termites? Carpenter ant antennae are bent. If you see carpenter ants inside your structure in winter, this could signify a colony is located inside.

Damage from black carpenter ants, a common carpenter ant in the eastern U.S., can be done in summer. It is important to watch for signs that these critters could be residing in your property. Ehrlich can help you get rid of big black ants. Reach out to us if you’ve got a carpenter ant problem and a friendly specialist will take care of the issue.

Carpenter ant inspections

Due to the structural damage carpenter ants can create, it is important to detect them early. Getting a carpenter ant inspection with Ehrlich is a smart way to see whether you’ve got an issue.

When we visit your home or business, a carpenter ant inspection may include examining walls outside the property along with spots inside such as a crawlspace, the attic and the basement. In particular, places with moisture and wood can be inspected because moisture makes wood weaker and therefore more open to attack.

The inspector will also speak with you about the carpenter ant problem to gauge how many ants you are noticing. Of course, we know you have a busy schedule and try to inspect the property efficiently; however, we seek to complete thorough carpenter ant inspections. After the inspection, you will receive a quote from how much treatment will cost. Treatment may occur on another date.

Carpenter ant swarmers

Carpenter Ant Swarmers

Carpenter ant swarmers are winged ants that leave the colonies to mate and start their own colonies. Larger than the average carpenter ant, swarmers are 3/4 inch in size. If you spot carpenter ant swarmers, it may be indication that a colony is located nearby. 

Carpenter ant workers

Carpenter Ant Worker

The vast majority of carpenter ants in the colony are workers. Worker carpenter ants can vary in size between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch in length. The workers have a number of duties, including feeding the queen and larvae and defending the nest. 


Confirming that your house is being infested by carpenter ants is crucial to successfully ridding your home of these wood-destroying pests. Carpenter ants require specialized treatment solutions that differ from other types of ants. 

What do carpenter ants look like?

  • Carpenter ants are one of largest ant species found in the United States.

  • Carpenter ants are usually most active during the spring and summer months and forage for food at night. They vary in color but are generally black or dark bodied and range in size from ¼ - ¾ inch in length.

  • Although they’re generally larger than other ants, size can’t always be used as an identifying feature with carpenter ants.  


  • Carpenter ants are polymorphic which means they can come in a variety of sizes.

  • For the most part there are three size classes, each with different job classifications. The major workers are the largest ants in a colony and contain most of your large soldier ants.  

  • Media carpenter ants are mid-sized ants and minors are your smallest size category.  Media and minor ants do most of the food gathering and colony construction.  

  • Winged Carpenter ants (also known as ‘swarmers’) are sometimes mistaken for termites.

  • Carpenter ants feed on living and dead insects as well as anything people consume.

Where do carpenter ants live?

Carpenter ants live in nests. They can create parent nests and satellite nests. The parent nest is typically found outdoors - the ant queen and eggs are found here. The satellite nests include worker ants. For black carpenter ants, multiple satellite nests can be present in separate spots around your premises. Their nests can be present both indoors and outdoors.

Carpenter ant nest

The majority of carpenter ants create the initial nest in wood that has decayed. Nests indoors can be found in wood, voids of walls, and insulation; nests outdoors can be found in stumps, firewood, and fence posts that are rotting. Carpenter ants favor using moist wood for nests.

You may discover pieces of wood gathered up that look like sawdust, and they can include dead ants and parts of insects eaten by the carpenter ants. This signifies that carpenter ants may have made a nest in that area. If a carpenter ant nest is inside your premises, you will want to get it treated as soon as possible.

Do carpenter ants bite?

Carpenter ants are indeed able to bite. The positive side is they don’t typically bite people; however, it can be painful. Biting occurs when they defend themselves. Carpenter ants can get formic acid into the bite as well, which brings on a burning feeling.

What do carpenter ants eat?

Carpenter ants that are outside use live and dead insects for nourishment as well as honeydew from scale insects and aphids. Carpenter ant workers actually feed larvae as well as the queen ant. Carpenter ants that are indoors feed on sweets such as honey and jelly as well as meats.

Keep in mind that eliminating sources of food can lessen an infestation of carpenter ants.

Get rid of carpenter ants professionally

Ehrlich specialists have many years of experience in carpenter ant control. You can book our free inspection service online or over the phone at 1-800-837-5520 for your home.

Ehrlich prides itself on fast, responsive service every day. We are always available 24-hours-a-day for any emergency pest concerns that may develop and all appointments are scheduled at times that are convenient for you.

Ehrlich Pest Control specialists are:

  • Skilled, experienced professionals
  • State certified
  • Licensed applicators
  • Knowledgeable - they understand carpenter ant habits and use that knowledge to develop a carpenter ant control program for your home

Unsure if you have a carpenter ant infestation in your home? Call Ehrlich Pest Control at 1-800-837-5520 or contact us online for further information on how to get rid of carpenter ants or to arrange a free inspection service by an Ehrlich representative.

Carpenter ant removal methods

Ehrlich Pest Control recommends the below carpenter ant control methods depending on the specific nature of your infestation.

  • Dust material treatments - A very effective treatment method for carpenter ants indoors; pesticidal dust materials both flush out hidden ant nests and remove the carpenter ants.

  • Nest & barrier treatments - The most common method of treatment for carpenter ants is the treatment of nests and barriers with residual insecticides.

  • Perimeter treatments - In addition to applying a treatment to any carpenter ant nests/barriers, a treatment is applied to the perimeter of  your home with a liquid residual material.

  • Year round pest management - Regular inspections of your home by a pest control professional throughout the year is the best method to identify and prevent any issues in your home with carpenter ants or any other pest. The Ehrlich year round protection plan offers regularly scheduled preventive services every four months. Contact your local Ehrlich office for more details on the year pound protection plan.

Signs of carpenter ants in your home

There are a number of signs, which may indicate a carpenter ant problem in your home.

  • Winged carpenter ants (swarmers) - Emerging from around baseboards, window casings or vents. They usually emerge in spring or summer and if you see any more than 20, it may indicate the presence of a large colony.

  • Noise - If you hear a crunching sound it could be the sound of rustling from their nests in wood in your home. Nests are usually built in wood structures and can also be found in wall or ceiling voids.

  • Sawdust - As nests become established in wood, carpenter ants often leave behind a trail of sawdust, which usually leads back to the nest.

  • Damaged wood - Carpenter ants tunnel through wood to create their nests, creating ‘galleries’ in wood, which have a clean, smooth and sandpapered appearance.

Avoiding carpenter ant infestations

Are you worried about carpenter ants invading your home? Carpenter ants often enter your home in an attempt to find food, and they are particularly attracted to sweet substances. There are a number of steps that you can take to prevent them entering your home, by eliminating the conditions that are attractive and supportive to these ants.

Tips to prevent carpenter ants:

  • Always cover food and store food in containers.


  • Clean up food and liquid spills immediately.


  • Seal any cracks and crevices in your home which may serve as entry ways.

  • Eliminate moisture problems in and around your home – carpenter ants prefer moist places to dry environments.

  • Replace any decayed wood – nests are often found in rotten wood.


  • Store firewood away from your home and keep it dry and elevated to allow air circulation – firewood is one of the easiest ways to carry these ants into your home, so make sure you check the wood for signs of infestation.


  • Remove nearby rotting or dead trees in your backyard – these often provide ideal conditions for a carpenter ant nest and a good base from which they can explore the area closer or even inside your home. Carpenter ants are known to travel great distances for food.

How to get rid of carpenter ants in your home

The most effective way to get rid of carpenter ants is to find the nest and destroy it.
Common places to find carpenter ant nests include hollow doors, window sills, roof areas and wall voids. However, it can sometimes be difficult to find the nest for a number of reasons:

  • Carpenter ants are nocturnal, you will often have to wait for night time to find a trail, which could lead to the nest. To make this more difficult, carpenter ants do not tend to travel in large numbers, so a trail may be even harder to spot.
  • Carpenter ants don’t usually just set up one nest, but a whole series of ‘satellite’ nests too, which ensures the colony’s survival even if one nest may be destroyed.
  • Carpenter ants can do considerable damage to timber in your home – it may be necessary to replace timbers if they have been very badly damaged. You should ensure that all the ants have been destroyed, before you begin to replace damaged wood in your home.

For these reasons, we recommend that you contact a professional pest control company to get rid of the carpenter ants for you to be certain of a thorough and complete job.

Call Ehrlich Pest Control at 1-800-837-5520 for further information on how to get rid of carpenter ants or contact us online to sign up for a free inspection service by an Ehrlich representative.



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