Carpenter Ant Identification

What are carpenter ants? 

Large, wood-destroying insects, carpenter ants are pests that no homeowner wants to discover on their property. Inside our Florida homes, they tunnel through and nest within structural wood, causing costly and difficult to repair damages over time. 

Like other ants, carpenter ants have narrow waists, elbowed (bent) antennae, and winged reproductives have hind wings shorter than their front wings. These large ants are typically black, red, or black and red. Another way to identify carpenter ants is through the smooth, clean tunnels they create. Their tunnels are clean, smooth, and free of debris. 

carpenter ant up close

Are carpenter ants dangerous?

Carpenter ants have high moisture needs, which is why they are so successful in Florida; our warm, humid weather allows them to thrive. Drawn to areas of moisture, carpenter ants are most problematic on properties and in homes with moisture issues.

Like other ants species, carpenter ants gravitate to properties that offer them places to forage for food. Things like open trash cans, gardens, outdoor eating areas, and compost will produce odors that attract these pests to our yards. As they forage for food, it is common for them to move into our homes through cracks in the foundation and gaps under doors. Once inside, if moisture is present, they may decide to stay and build a satellite nest within your home’s structural wood.

Where will I find carpenter ants?

Outside, carpenter ants are most prevalent on properties with or near a lot of vegetation. Things like fallen trees, tree stumps, and woodpiles provide carpenter ants with the moisture they require and wooden structures that are easy for them to tunnel through. 

When carpenter ants move into our homes, they seek damp or water-damaged wood to nest in. The structural wood in bathrooms, kitchens, and near windows and doors are most susceptible to carpenter ant invasion. 

How do I get rid of carpenter ants?

You should never ignore carpenter ants, hoping they will just go away. If you see large black or red ants wandering around your yard, gardens, kitchen, or crawl spaces, it is best to contact a professional who can accurately identify them and provide effective treatments to minimize the damage they can cause. At Empire Pest Defense, we will protect your home or business from ants and other pests through detailed inspections, effective interior, and exterior treatments, and ongoing services.

Empire Pest Defense is a local company with a deep commitment to our community and providing our customers with top-notch services. All of our technicians are licensed, insured, trained, and dedicated to helping West Palm Beach home and business owners keep their properties free of pests. Contact us today and learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services and how to eliminate carpenter ants from your property once and for all!

How can I prevent carpenter ants in the future?

Avoid problems with carpenter ants with the help of the professionals at Empire Pest Defense, our effective pest control solutions, and our practical prevention tips:

  • Remove leaf litter from your yard that allows the soil to stay moist, which attracts carpenter ants.

  • Remove tree stumps, fallen trees, and unnecessary woodpiles from your yard.

  • Rake mulch, weeds, and other debris back away from your home’s foundation.

  • Keep gutters in good working order to ensure rainwater is being directed away from your home’s foundation and is not overflowing into its roofline.

  • Place weatherstripping around windows and doors to keep rainwater from seeping into your home’s walls.

  • Repair cracks in the foundation, place door sweeps on exterior doors, and seal spaces around utilities that ants can move into your home through.

  • Replace any wood in your home damaged by water. 


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