Did you know: some ants tunnel through wood? It’s true. Carpenter ants get their name for their unique method of nest construction. While they don’t eat the wood as termites do, they chew through it to excavate their nests. Unfortunately, carpenter ants may choose the wooden parts of your home for their nesting sites. Their wood-infesting nature can cause significant damage over time.

Carpenter ants in the Bay Area are a common problem, but there are ways to prevent and get rid of them. In this article, we’ll cover how to identify carpenter ants, the signs of an infestation, how to deter them, and more.

dozens of carpenter ants damaging wood
a carpenter ant in a kitchen

What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?

The first step towards protecting your property from carpenter ants is knowing how to identify them. Like all ants, carpenter ants have a segmented, oval-shaped body, six legs, and antenna. Carpenter ants are often black but are sometimes red, brown, or a combination of red and black. They are also larger than many other species of household ants, at ½ to ⅝ inches long. Carpenter ants have a small node in between the thorax and abdomen, but this can be difficult to observe with the naked eye.

One of the best ways to identify carpenter ants is through their behavior. Carpenter ants most often infest moist or rotten wood. Outside, you may find them in stumps, logs, or dead trees. You may also discover carpenter ants in your house or on your deck. Large ants crawling in and out of holes in wood are most likely carpenter ants. Carpenter ants on your property can be problematic, especially if they find their way inside your home. Next up, we’ll explore how to tell if carpenter ants are in your home.

How To Tell If Carpenter Ants Are In Your Home

Since they nest inside wood, carpenter ants can sometimes go unnoticed in Bay Area homes. While you may not lay eyes on the ants themselves, there are some other signs of carpenter ants to be on the lookout for. Here are the most common indications of a carpenter ant problem in your home:

  • Entrance holes in wooden structures

  • Carpenter ant frass - deposits of wood particles found near entrance holes

  • The presence of several winged ants inside the house, especially in the spring

  • Shed wings left by swarmers found near windows and doors

  • Rustling sounds coming from inside wooden elements of your home

The presence of one or more of these signs may indicate a carpenter ant infestation. Pay special attention to areas in your home that have moisture issues. Common locations for carpenter ant nests include around utility entrances, firewood, or where tree branches contact the house’s exterior. If you discover a carpenter ant nest, be sure to seek professional ant control in the Bay Area as soon as possible.

How Much Damage Can Carpenter Ants Do To Your Home?

Carpenter ants can infest wooden structures both outside and inside your home. Outdoors, they may nest in your deck, wooden fence posts, firewood, and structural wood. Carpenter ants in outdoor colonies may invade your home and establish satellite nests. They often enter through small openings around windows and doors, through air ducts, or along branches or power lines that touch the outside of your home.

Once inside, they will search for nesting sites, particularly in areas with moist or water-damaged wood. You may discover carpenter ants around your kitchen or bathroom plumbing, in poorly ventilated areas such as crawlspaces and attics, or window sills and door frames.

The extent of carpenter ant damage depends on the size and duration of the infestation. Carpenter ants excavate tunnels and galleries inside wood, weakening it over time. As the nest expands, the impact becomes more severe. This process is typically gradual, sometimes taking a period of years before significant damage has occurred. However, left untreated, a carpenter ant infestation can eventually result in severe property damage.

To avoid carpenter ant damage in your home, it’s important to stay alert for signs of an infestation. Early detection of carpenter ants can greatly reduce the extent of the damage.

How To Deter Carpenter Ants In The Bay Area

If your home has carpenter ants, the most efficient way to eliminate them is through professional treatment. For expert ant control solutions in the Bay Area, look no further than Bay Pest Solution. We provide our customers with the most effective pest control in the Bay Area. We put our customers first, provide free, no-risk inspections, and offer a pest-free guarantee for unlimited follow-up visits. Get rid of carpenter ants today - contact Bay Pest Solution for your free inspection.


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