Would you know a carpenter ant if you saw one? Do you know that they're often black and dark red, or entirely black? Are you aware that carpenter ants are the largest type of ants you'll see on your property? Do you know that carpenter ant workers are polymorphic and that this variation in size can be noticeable when you see a bunch of big ants crawling around near your home, or worse, inside your home? Detecting carpenter ant activity early can prevent your Aiken home from being severely damaged. While carpenter ants aren't as destructive as termites, they can still do a lot of damage over time. Here are a few things you should know about carpenter ant detection.

carpenter ant eating mango
carpenter ant on rock

One Ant

If you see one carpenter ant crawling around on your home, or inside your home, it doesn't mean you have an infestation. A carpenter ant worker can travel quite a distance from its nest, sometimes as far as 300 feet. But that doesn't mean you should ignore that one ant. It could be warning you of an infestation in your home. Let that ant inspire you to do a detailed inspection and search for warning signs.

Lots Of Ants

You may be able to find lots of carpenter ants if you inspect potential nesting sites in your yard. Carpenter ants may be inside a tree that has heart rot. They may be in a log, stump, or dead bush. They may be underneath boards. They may be inside the wood of a deck or fence. Turning wooden objects over and inspecting things that are made of wood can uncover these ants.


When carpenter ants carve out galleries inside wood, they have to do something with the shavings. Sawdust is pushed out of carpenter ant tunnels along with insect parts and feces. This material is called frass. Look for frass in dark, damp places, such as underneath your deck, inside a crawl space, or in your cellar.

Changes In Wood

It is a good idea to do routine inspections of the wood of your home. If you see holes or damage to window and door frames, baseboards, wood siding, sill plates, deck boards, and other wooden building materials, you could have a carpenter ant infestation. This should prompt you to have your property inspected by a licensed professional. 

Winged Ants

When a carpenter ant nest gets large enough, the queen begins to produce winged reproductives. These winged ants leave the nest and go forth to create other nests. Seeing large, winged ants on your exterior wall is a sign that your home could be infested. If you find them on the inside of your home, there is little doubt that you have an infestation.

Just Wings

Winged carpenter ants swarm together for about 30 minutes and then break away to find nesting locations. This happens quickly, so you might miss it. If a swarm occurs on your property, the only warning sign you may get are the shed wings. Carpenter ants detach their wings after mating. Look for them on surfaces, walkways, mulch, or in spider webs.

A Few More Facts About Carpenter Ants

  • Carpenter ants cost U.S. property owners hundreds of millions of dollars in repairs each year.

  • Carpenter ants prefer rotting wood but can move to sound wood within a structure.

  • Carpenter ants can be a double threat. Not only can they damage your home, they can get into your stored foods and contaminate them.

  • Carpenter ants can find all the food they need on the outside of your home. When they do, they can infest your home for years without ever appearing in your pantry or kitchen.

  • Available food sources within your home can increase your chances of a carpenter ant infestation inside your walls. When carpenter ant workers scout your home, you should make it difficult for them to find any significant food sources.

  • Carpenter ant damage can be prevented with ongoing pest control service. This is where we can help.

If you live in Aiken, South Carolina, reach out to us. We can help you repel and eliminate carpenter ants, detect carpenter ant warning signs, and reduce carpenter ant food sources. You don't get a second chance to prevent carpenter ant damage.


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