Carpenter Ant


Actual Size: ⅝”

Characteristics: Large; red, black, or a combination of both.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Carpenter ant swarmers have two sets of wings.

Habitat: Carpenter ants have a preference for damp, moist wood, where they build their nests. These nests can be found in hollow trees, logs, posts, landscaping timbers, as well as wood utilized in homes and other structures.


  • Wood-destroying pests that are often mistaken for termites.
  • Attracted to damp wood that is damaged by moisture.
  • Only nests in wood, but does not eat it.

Carpenter Ants in Memphis TN Metro Area

Carpenter ants earned their name because they dig their nests in wood, forming sleek tunnels and passages. They can be confused with termites at times, as they look similar and both harm wood by tunneling through it to build their homes. However, carpenter ants only nest in the wood, while termites also use it as a food source. Regardless, both pests can cause considerable damage to homes and buildings, even leading to weakened structural integrity. Instead of consuming wood, carpenter ants consume honeydew, plant and fruit juices, and other insects.

Carpenter Ant Habitat

Attracted by moisture, carpenter ants have the ability to establish nests in various places. These locations can be either indoors or outdoors, usually close to wet or decaying wood. In gardens and forests, the main nest is typically situated outside in a tree, stump, or pile of firewood. Indoors, nests are more commonly discovered in wood that has been dampened by water leaks, such as attic rafters, roof edges, empty spaces within walls, hollow doors or columns, as well as crawl spaces and areas behind dishwashers. Indoor infestations of carpenter ants are always linked to problems with moisture in homes or businesses.

Carpenter Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Homeowners face a significant threat from carpenter ants. Despite their infrequent biting and generally non-threatening nature, their excavation activities undermine and compromise the structural stability of homes and businesses. The presence of carpenter ant swarms, typically observed in spring, is a clear indication of nearby nesting colonies. The sight of small mounds of sawdust or faint rustling sounds within walls serve as signs of a carpenter ant infestation. While carpenter ants are not as destructive as termites, if their presence is ignored, they gradually dismantle homes and valuable wooden belongings. When suspecting a carpenter ant infestation, it is advisable to seek assistance from a professional ant exterminator.