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No one likes to see ants in their homes. Many homeowners wonder where they came from and with over 700 different ant species, it can be difficult to tell which one is in your home. How to find a carpenter ant nest? Tap on the wall and listen for hollow sounds and ant noises. Also, look for wood shavings near the walls. Let’s take a look at carpenter ants so you can get rid of them in your home before they do a lot of damage.

What Is A Carpenter Ant?

A carpenter ant is sometimes called a “flying ant” and is related to bees and wasps. It is a member of a family of insects called Formicidae. Living in large colonies, they have workers, scouts, and a queen. This type of ant can be found in cities, wooded areas, and suburbs. They are also found all over the U.S. and are one of the most common species. Some homeowners may see them and think they are termites as they look alike, but they are different. However, they also cause structural destruction like termites.

Carpenter ants making a nest on wood.

What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?

As mentioned above, carpenter ants look like termites but there are some ways to distinguish the two.

  • Workers – They are either red and black or black in color and are 3/8-1/2 inch long.
  • Waist and Thorax – These ants have one node on the waist and a thorax. The thorax is round.
  • Queens – Queens may be as big as one inch and lose their wings when starting a new nest. Also, they and males are larger than the workers.

Homeowners might mistake carpenter ants for other types of ants or vice-versa. However, if you see an ant with a thorax that is uneven or one or two nodes, then it is not the same. Also, other species of ants don’t like wood and won’t take the time to infest wood.

What Is The Best Way To Find The Nest?

When you want to find a carpenter ant nest, the nests can be located both indoors and outdoors. They are found in wood that is moist and many times already damaged by other insects. Decaying wood that is in areas of chimneys, door frames, windows, sinks, bath traps, and wall voids is where you will find the nest. The colonies will thrive the best when there is a good temperature and safe from predators. Also, damp wood and changes in the environment make their nests safe.

Sometimes finding the carpenter ant nests can be difficult to find so tapping the wood in the home is a good idea. You will be listening for a hollow sound. Hollow sounds are a sign of carpenter ants and mean that there is wood that is damaged. When you tap the wood, the worker ants scatter, you will hear rustling sounds and they may pop out of their hiding places.

If you are concerned that you may have carpenter ants in your home, contacting a pest control company is a great idea.

Two Types of Carpenter Ant Nests

There are two types of carpenter ant nests that you may find in houses and other building structures. These are parent colonies and satellite colonies.

Parent colonies – Which include an egg-laying queen, workers, and a lot of young workers.

Satellite colonies – Which include pupae, larvae that is mature, and workers.

Sealing cracks can prevent carpenter ants in the home.

How Can I Prevent Carpenter Ants In The Home?

There are things you can do to your home or building so the carpenter ants don’t come in through gaps that are under the doors, or cracks that may be in the foundation or through frame joints.

  • Seal cracks and holes in walls and foundation
  • Keep the vegetation in your yard trimmed and especially away from the house
  • Firewood needs to be off the ground
  • Wood that is rotten or infested should be removed
  • Clean up crumbs and food spills in the home and food should be in airtight containers
  • A non-toxic insecticide barrier can be sprayed around the home or contact a pest control company for assistance and recommendations.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you have an understanding of carpenter ants and how to find their nests, you are probably wondering if pest control is worth it. Embarking on this research is important if you want to keep insects out of your home.

Next, be sure to read up on what attracts ants to your home. Knowing this information can help eliminate the need to search for carpenter ant nests. Additionally, you can effectively prevent an infestation of ants.

Lastly, while you are concerning yourself with carpenter ants eating your wood, you should also consider mice. If mice get access to your home, they will chew through everything. Mice love to eat wood and any electrical wiring that they can chew on. Pest control is your best bet.

When Do I Call A Professional?

When you find ants in your home, especially carpenter ants, it is a good idea to call a professional pest control company. Carpenter ants like the wood in your home and want to make their nests so it is important to have them taken care of right away. If you aren’t sure which company is a good one to hire, reach out to a local home inspection team for recommendations. They can inspect your home for ants and recommend a company for you.


As mentioned above, carpenter ants can cause destruction in your home quickly, so taking care of the issue right away is important. Keep your home safe by calling on your pest control company right away to get rid of the carpenter ants in your home. Reach out to Inside and Out Pest Services in Jacksonville, FL, and surrounding areas to get your pest inspection done today.

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