Carpenter Ants

Quick Stats

  • Carpenter antLatin Name: Camponotus spp.
  • Size: From 3-13mm long
  • Color: Most are black but some are dark brown, reddish, or even yellowish.
  • Found in: They live in every state but they’re the most common among the Northeast. Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut are all prone to Carpenter ant issues in particular.
  • Overview: Carpenter ants are among the largest ants in the United States and are characterized by their long, thin mandibles.

About Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants live both indoors and outdoors. They prefer to build their nests in moist, pliable wood through which they can easily tunnel and burrow to a secure location in which to lay eggs and rest. In fact, a queen Carpenter ant can live for up to 25 years undisturbed and lays increasingly more eggs year over year. Because of these ants’ burrowing technique they often leave wood shavings and skeletons in their wake; these are often mistaken by homeowners for signs of a termite infestation.

Facts About These Ants

Carpenters got their name thanks to their propensity to “build” their nest out of wood. They flourish outdoors in cool, moist weather but they can make their way inside in an attempt to avoid harsh weather. Most common indoor infestation spots include crawlspaces and basements. Carpenter ants are some of the cleanest ants in the world, polishing their nest tubes as smoothly as sandpaper and never using mud or organic material to pack the nest.

Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood like termites do. They prefer to feast on human food like sweets and even meat and are usually first noticed in swarming groups rather than singular ants. Since this species build two types of nests (satellite colonies and parent colonies) it’s often difficult to detect all related nests without professional training. To effectively get rid of a carpenter ant problem it’s imperative to locate the parent colony and take out the queen which is why it’s advisable to bring in an exterminator to get the job done right.

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