Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in
order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth
tunnels inside the wood. These are large ants ranging in size from
one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters inch for
All species of carpenter ants mainly attack wood that is or has
been wet and damaged by mold. Even though these ants first invade
wet, decayed wood, they may soon begin building paths through dry,
undamaged wood. They usually come into buildings through cracks
around doors, windows, or through holes for wires. They will also
crawl along overhead wires, shrubs, or tree limbs that touch the
building far above the ground.
Carpenter ants build their nests outdoors in various wood
sources, including tree stumps, firewood or landscaping. They need
a constant water source to survive. Carpenter ants will enter the
house through wet, damaged wood.
Carpenter ants damage wood through their nest building. If they
gain entry to a structure, they pose a property threat.