Carpenter Ants

Actual Size: 1/8″ to 0.5″

Characteristics: Carpenter Ants are among the largest ants in the U.S. They are commonly black, however, some may be brown.


  • A single queen resides in a secluded nest where she continuously breeds worker ants.
  • Colonies range up to 15,000 ants and they may produce satellite colonies.
  • Carpenter ants prefer to nest and excavate water-damaged wood.
  • Heavy carpenter ant activity in the home usually indicates a moisture problem within the structure.
  • On the outside, they may be present on railroad ties, woodpiles, and the base of trees.
  • Carpenter ants do not eat wood but prefer sugar solutions, especially honeydew produced by aphids.


With more than 1,000 species in existence, carpenter ants are wood-destroying insects that are often confused as termites. If they aren’t discovered in time, carpenter ants can tunnel out support beams and make their way through entire buildings, sometimes causing entire walls to collapse. The difference between carpenter ants and termites is the fact that carpenter ants do not eat wood, simply tunnel and nest through it—this is something that can help identify a carpenter ant infestation.

Carpenter Ant Habitat

Carpenter ants prefer damp or moist wood. They prefer to infest rotting or dead trees or logs but have also been found in rotting fences, under stones, and more. Once they’ve begun to nest in a damp location, carpenter ants are able to hollow out any surrounding wood, even dry or hardwood. Although carpenter ants are often found outdoors, they typically make their way inside a building through cracks in a foundation, or even by climbing through plumbing or electrical openings into the home.

Behaviors of Carpenter Ants

A carpenter ant colony contains a queen and young ants. Once they grow to a certain size over the course of a couple of years, satellite nests will begin to form and branch out from the original colony. Similarly to termites, carpenter ants will swarm at a certain point in order to mate and establish new colonies. Seeing these winged, flying termites in your home is a bad sign you have an infestation. The other main sign of an infestation includes hearing rustling sounds inside of walls or other sources of wood.

What You Can Do About Ants

Can you get rid of ants yourself? Most do-it-yourself ant control products only kill the ants you see, not the colonies themselves. Also, home remedies don’t account for the fact that different kinds of ant infestations require different treatments. The best you can do is to eliminate any potential food sources by keeping your home or business clean. However, if you’re still having issues, you’ll need to contact a pest control specialist like New Mexico Pest Control to seek out and destroy nests to help prevent these pests from returning.

Ant Control Solutions

For residential pest control, we offer our year-round pest control program, which covers common pests to ensure your property and home are protected throughout the entire year. Commercial pest control customers can also benefit from our extensive industry experience.

When you schedule ant control service with New Mexico Pest Control, your technician will:

  • Determine the type of ant
  • Conduct a full property inspection that includes your yard, attached & detached structures, driveway and home
  • Directly treat all nests and trails on the outside
  • Install ant stations to monitor activity
  • Discreetly apply ant baits for interior nests
  • Seal small common entry points if they are contributing to the infestation
  • Create a full report describing the treatment and how you can protect your home from further infestations

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