Carpenter Ants: Do You Have Them?

carpenter antWhile most ants are merely annoying, carpenter ants are much more than that. This breed of ant has a habit of nesting inside of wood, chewing through it to make smooth tunnels. While they’re busy creating their home, they’re also putting a lot of work into damaging yours. If you suspect you may have a carpenter ant infestation, read on to learn about three signs you should be looking for.


We’re used to seeing ant infestations manifesting in long, neat rows of small ants marching across our kitchen floors, usually ending on a particularly tasty crumb they’ve found. Carpenter ants are a bit different. Unlike most other types of ants, they don’t travel in those easily recognizable rows; rather, you’re more likely to see just one or two wandering around your home. Be aware, though, that just one or two are usually a sign of a much larger problem.

Most varieties of carpenter ants are large and black, ranging from a quarter inch to a half inch in size. Occasionally, especially in Spring and early Summer, they may be spotted with wings, often looking very similar to termites. If you’re not sure which insect you’re seeing, call pest control as soon as possible regardless, as they can both do substantial damage to your home.


As unpleasant as it is to think about, a large enough infestation is sometimes able to be audibly heard inside your walls. Carpenter ants moving through your walls will sound like rustling or shifting plastic, a sound caused by their chewing through the wood. Knock on the wall you suspect is infested and press your ear to it, listening closely for any sounds of movement inside. If you are able to hear movement, that is generally a sign of a large infestation that should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Wood Damage

Perhaps the most telling sign of a carpenter ant infestation is the damage they leave behind. Look around your home, especially in attics and crawlspaces, for small piles of sawdust, called “frass” by pest control professionals. These piles are left behind by the ants as they tunnel through the wood in your home. If you find some of these pile, check the wood structure nearby for any signs of ants or the small tunnels they leave behind. If you find these signs, call for pest control as soon as possible to help limit the damage these pests will do to your home.

Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different types of pests and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.

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