Bug Blog

How Much Damage Can Carpenter Ants Really Do?

We’ve all heard that termites are responsible for billions of dollars in damage in the US every year, but what about carpenter ants? Just how much damage can this pest do to your home? Well, it turns out quite a lot. When left untreated, a carpenter ant infestation can be a significant threat.

The danger of carpenter ants

Carpenter ants are very dangerous insects, but not in the sense that they harm humans. They do have powerful jaws, because they have to tunnel through wood, but they almost always bite in self defense, and they do not do much damage or cause too much pain.

The danger that these insects pose comes in the form of structural damage to the home. Carpenter ants will create their colonies inside wood, and if they find a wooden pillar, or some kind of wooden construction in the home, they will tunnel through it, weakening the home in the process. Although it is a rare occurrence, if a carpenter ant colony does enough damage, the home may collapse.

Are carpenter ants as damaging as termites

Fortunately, carpenter ants are not the most damaging insects that you can have in the home. A termite infestation is capable of doing much more damage much faster, because instead of simply inhabiting the wood, termites will consume and use it as food. Carpenter ants are also easier to detect than termites. Most termite species do not see daylight unless they are in their swarming phase, when winged reproductive members of the colony fly out in search of a new nesting location. Carpenter ants on the other hand need to leave the nest in order to forage for food. Ants will also need to evacuate the chewed wood from their colony, so you will often notice sawdust near wood that is infested with carpenter ants.

If you do see ants in your home, your next challenge is to correctly identify the species. If you have a carpenter ant infestation and you ignore it, or you address it incompletely, the ants will do a lot of damage to your home. There are two ways in which you can identify carpenter ants. First, you have their looks. Carpenter ants are about half of an inch in size, which is larger than most ant species, and they are colored black. Then, you can check any wooden supports or structures in your home for sawdust. If you notice sawdust near their base, that means that the wood is infested. In these situations, you want to contact us right away so we can remove the colony.