4 Common Signs Of Carpenter Ant Infestation

In case you didn’t know, carpenter ants are most active at night and during the spring season. It is not strange for these creatures to invade your home and do some damage.

You need to be on the lookout for them, which is why I this article, I’ll be discussing signs of carpenter ants in the house.

Do Carpenter Ants Bite?

Yes, carpenter ants bite, and they are equipped with strong jaws to do so. These bites can be quite painful, and they can use them to inject formic acid into the wound, which will leave you with an unpleasant burning sensation.

Not to worry though, the pain goes away pretty fast and it poses no threat to your health.


All species of carpenter ants attack moist or wet wood. They can also build tunnels inside dry wood.

They are very active at night and they usually enter your house through cracks in the doors or via plumbing installations.

These insects also love crawling along wires and tree branches that make contact with your building above the ground.

Carpenter ants can build their nests in different types of wood. It could be your office desk or the tree stump outside. They can also build in old logs of firewood and decayed fence posts.

The main colony of ants is usually found outside and harbors the queen, the eggs, and other young ants.

Insect honeydew is the preferred choice of food for carpenter ants. They also love fruit juices and they feast on other insects, like cockroaches.

If they have built a nest in your home, then they wouldn’t mind feasting on your sweets, eggs, cakes, meats, and grease.

The workers can forage up to 300 feet away from their nest. Some workers are active around the day, but most of their activities reach a peak just before dusk, going all the way to dawn.

Their main habitat is any outdoor source of wood. Including tree branches and old tree stumps. They are heavily dependent on a constant supply of water and they prefer their surroundings to be moist.

Threats to Structures

Even though carpenter ants do not eat wood, they damage it as they build their nests. If they manage to get into your structure, then they can cause all sorts of damage to your furniture.

Common Carpenter Ant Signs In Homes

Looking for how to tell if you have carpenter ants?

Swarmer ants have a habit of shedding their wings, and you can find them around your baseboards and windowsills. They can also be seen coming out of vents and scouting around the windows and doors.

Below are a few major signs of carpenter ants in your house.

Wood Shavings

If you observe piles of sawdust or wood shavings, then it’s most likely the carpenter ants at work. They usually build nests inside wooden furniture, so that could be a major sign.

If you notice this, then you need to conduct a thorough inspection of the pieces of furniture with wood shavings around them. You have the option of hiring an exterminator to come and take a better look.

Rustling in the Walls

Carpenter Ants are not the quietest insects they are fond of making sounds when they are building their nests inside the wood.

If your ears catch any soft rustling noise around your walls or furniture, then you may have some carpenter ants to deal with.

Hollow Wood

When you knock on your walls, you are supposed to pick up solid sounds. But if you knock on the wall and you’re getting hollow sounds, then you probably have a carpenter ant problem.

A termite-infested stud will produce hollow sounds when knocked on. If there is a nest in there, then you may also pick up some rustling sounds.

Wet Wood

Wet wood is a favorable place for carpenter ants, they love it. You can find wet wood around the bathroom or kitchen area.

Take a close look at areas that have leakages or other damp areas. You will probably find carpenter ants there.

Carpenter ants and termites both destroy wood, the main difference being that termites can eat up the wood, while carpenter ants only destroy it.

Should I Ignore Signs Of Carpenter Ants In My Home?

I would describe carpenter ants as innocent creatures looking for comfortable places to nest. However, those comfortable places might be inside the wooden structures you have in your home.

To build these nests, they have to destroy your woodwork from within until their nest is complete. The destruction of your wooden structure is a slow and steady process, and most times will take years before the damage becomes significant enough to repair.

Since the damage happens slowly, carpenter ant infestation may go unnoticed at the initial stage. Eventually, the destruction will become very obvious.

With that being said, the answer to the above question is NO, you shouldn’t ignore any signs of carpenter ants in your home. If you do, you will pay for it in the future, by the way of woodwork repair or replacement. To spare yourself of the expense, tackle the situation as soon as you pick up the signs.

The signs of carpenter ant infestation are many, some can only be seen after the damage has been done. However, there are signs that you can pick up at the early stages of infestation. One of which includes rustling sounds in wooden furniture or the walls.

When you notice such a sign, don’t ignore it, instead, you should call on your local pest control service to get rid of them before they cause more damage, not only to that portion of wood but to other pieces of wooden furniture in your home.

Another early sign you can spot before any major damage is done is the wings of swarmer ants.

They are known for shedding their wings, so do not ignore them if you find any ant wings around your windows or doorposts. This is a clear sign that you have carpenter ants in your home.

What You Should Do After Seeing The Warning Signs

It is known that carpenter ants are very dependent on water sources for them to thrive. This means if you want to make life uneasy for them, you need to fix all leakages around your house. You should also get rid of moisture as much as you can, and don’t forget to dry up any standing water.

Another tip is to cut back tree branches away from your house. These branches act as a bridge that these pests will gladly use to get into your home.

You need to be certain that there are no cracks or small openings around the doors or windows, as those are easy gateways for them to come in.

You can seal off all cracks using a silicone-based caulk. Keeping firewood and other wooden building materials away from your home is also a good idea. This is because carpenter ants love building their nests in piles of wood.

Contacting a licensed pest control professional to come and inspect your premises is a good idea. They can assess the situation and pick up the signs quickly since they have a wealth of experience doing so.


Now that you’ve understood the warning signs of carpenter ants in the house, you can do yourself a favor and guard against them. Here is a guide on getting rid of them.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment
  1. The large black ants that have been making their way to my home have alarmed me quite a lot. If these are carpenter ants, it could be extremely detrimental for us to avoid them any longer as they might cause permanent damage to this place. I’ll ask for help from a local pest control expert so it’s much easier for us to track down and exterminate them.

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