Carpenter Ant

Actual Size: ⅝”

Characteristics: Large; red, black, or a combination of both.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Carpenter ant swarmers have two sets of wings.

Habitat: Prefers to nest in damp, moist wood. Builds nests in hollow trees, logs, posts, landscaping timbers, and wood used in homes and other structures.


  • Carpenter ants prefer to nest and excavate water-damaged wood.
  • Heavy carpenter ant activity is an indication of a moisture issue within the structure.
  • Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood but prefer sugary solutions, especially honeydew produced by aphids.

Carpenter Ants in Santa Fe and Albuquerque NM

Carpenter ants are wood-destroying pests and are often confused with termites. Termites eat wood, however, carpenter ants do not eat and digest wood. They bore through the wood to create cavities to raise their young. In the Santa Fe and Albuquerque areas, carpenter ants burrow through wood and wooden beams as they construct nests, destroying the structural integrity of homes and businesses. Over time, wood elements in a home or building can be seriously damaged, reducing solid structures to hollow shells. Two indications of a carpenter ant infestation are ants crawling out of holes or crevices in structures and the sound of faint rustling noises within walls.

Carpenter Ant Habitat

Carpenter ants prefer damp wood and nest outdoors in rotting tree stumps, firewood, and wood fencing. Although they feed on a variety of foods, carpenter ants prefer the sugary honeydew excreted by plant-sucking insects. Carpenter ants are most often found outdoors, however, they typically make their way inside a building through cracks in foundations, or even by climbing through plumbing or electrical openings into the home. Carpenter ants will infest any area in a structure where wood and water come together to produce rotting wood. Indoor carpenter ant infestations are always associated with moisture issues in homes or businesses.

Carpenter Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Carpenter ants rarely bite and are not typically thought of as dangerous. The real concern with an infestation of carpenter ants is their ability to damage homes and buildings. Their nesting and tunneling activity weakens and destroys the structural integrity of homes and businesses. Swarms of carpenter ants are common in spring as they mate and establish new colonies. Seeing winged, flying ants in your home is a sign of an infestation. Carpenter ants are not as destructive as termites, however, over a period of time, they methodically destroy homes and valuable wood objects within them. If a carpenter ant infestation is suspected, it is best to contact a professional ant exterminator.

Don’t wait until your home is overrun by ants. Contact the Ant Experts at New Mexico Pest Control today!