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Photo courtesy of National Pest Management Association/Tom Myers

Photo courtesy of National Pest Management Association/Tom Myers


Carpenter Ant Pest Control

Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Size ranges from one-fourth inch for a worker ant to up to three-fourths inch for a queen in the most common species.

Carpenter ants range from red to black in color and build nests in deteriorating, moist wood; often the colony will extend its nest into adjacent, sound wood. They are commonly found in porch pillars and roofs, window sills, telephone poles, live and dead trees, rotting logs, and stumps and wood in contact with soil. Carpenter ants damage wood through their nest building. If they gain entry to a structure, they pose a property threat.

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All species of Carpenter Ants mainly attack wood that is or has been wet and damaged by mold. Even though these ants first invade wet, decayed wood, they may soon begin building paths through dry, undamaged wood. They usually come into buildings through cracks around doors, windows, or through holes for wires. Ants will also crawl along overhead wires, shrubs, or tree limbs that touch the building far above the ground.

Carpenter ants build their nests outdoors in various wood sources, including tree stumps, firewood, or landscaping. They need a constant water source to survive. They will enter homes through wet, damaged wood.

Treatment and Customer Preparation

Graduate Carpenter ant treatment programs come with a full-year warranty. They include an exterior perimeter treatment plan along with an interior initial treatment focused on common carpenter ant entry points and suspect areas with moisture issues. We ask that you be out of your home for a four-hour period from the time we arrive. This allows the treatment time to dry completely before your return. Removing items from your kitchen and bathroom(s) lower cabinets allows for a thorough treatment. Additionally, access to the bedroom and living area room perimeters is important. With the exception of furniture, please move stored items away from the walls. Contact our office for full preparation details.


Because carpenter ants require a water source, eliminate sources of moisture or standing water. Keep tree branches and other plantings cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the foundation-framing interface of your house.