Carpenter ants are on a mission to destroy and take over wooden structures on our property. Most active in the evening hours. These pests do not eat wood like termites. However, they will seek out moist wood and create a satellite colony within it.

Identification: What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?

A closer view of what a carpenter ant look like

  • 1/8 -1/2” inch in length
  • Usually black or brown in color
  • Wood shavings found near activity areas
  • Some ants possess 2 pairs of wings (2nd pair of wings are smaller)
  • Slender waist
  • Bent antennae

Source of Carpenter Ant Problems

These ants are in hot pursuit of wood damaged by water or moisture.  The most common attractions are tree stumps, railroad ties, wooden decks & fences, wood-soil contact, leaky plumbing in the home, warped wooden windows, stored firewood, pet food, sugary plants, bushes & flowers.   For more information relating to this pest, you can learn more from the University of Minnesota Entomology Department.

Carpenter Ant Control

Pesticides will control the ants for the short term. Exterminating all present ants will provide structural control.  The negative, new ones will appear in the future.  The long-term solution is to identify & eliminate the source drawing them near the dwelling. 

Ant extermination

Carpenter Ant Prevention

  • Remove all railroad ties, firewood, old tree stumps, and roots from the property.
  • Replace the old rotting wooden deck, fence, or shed.
  • Ensure gutters are clean and draining properly.
  • Extend gutters or bury downspouts to redirect water far away from home.
  • Replace mulch with rock in flowerbeds.
  • Confirm zero wood-to-soil contact on your property, except for trees and bushes (and possibly mulch).
  • Monitor sprinkler systems, and avoid water hitting non-target areas like wooden structures, decks, fences, sheds, firewood, and homes.
  • Avoid overwatering lawns, trees, bushes, and flowerbeds.
  • After any home flooding, replace moist or warped wood within the structure.

Common Questions about Carpenter Ants

I found the queen!  It’s the black ants with wings, right?

Usually, the queen is protected and far away from us.  More times than not, the winged ants we see are swarmers.  What’s a swarmer?  These ants are in charge of seeking out new attractive locations to set up a “satellite colony”.

A carpenter ant queen 

Do Carpenter Ants bite humans?

These big monster ants in your home are capable of biting humans.  However, they are not actively seeking to attack us.  Their primary instinct is to expand & manifest their territory.  The main concern is the devastating damage they cause to wood within a structure.

Will Carpenter Ant Bait eliminate the whole colony?

Bait is definitely a great tool to use when fighting carpenter ants.  Some baits are capable of eliminating a whole colony or satellite colony if used correctly.  However, the success of baiting treatment hinges upon many variables such as weather, the season of the year, placement & food preference of the ant.    

If ever you are having issues with carpenter ants in house in winter or wondering if can ants live in the winter, A.N.T. Pest Control has your back and will help you solve the problem.

A.N.T. Pest Control is a licensed, certified, and insured company. We serve New Lenox, Manhattan, Joliet, Frankfort, Mokena, Tinley Park, Orland Park, and the surrounding suburbs.

Contact Us

1200 S Cedar Rd #2D/E
New Lenox, IL 60451


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