Carpenter Ant


Actual Size: ⅝”

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

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings:  Swarmers have two sets of wings.

Habitat:  Wood-destroying pests that build their homes inside of logs, hollow trees, and other structures. Drawn to damp or rotting wood.


  • Known for causing significant damage to wood and are often mistaken for termites.
  • Needs dampness to survive. Infestations could indicate a moisture problem indoors.
  • May build nests inside or outside of wooden structures.

Carpenter Ants in Anaheim

True to their name, carpenter ants are known for digging into wood to create nests and tunnels. Though carpenter ants are frequently misidentified as termites because of their wood-destroying habits, these ants don’t actually consume the wood; instead, they just use the wooden structures for shelter. Carpenter ants primarily feed on sugary honeydew that is produced by plant-sucking insects. Though these ants don’t eat the wood, they are still capable of causing significant damage by hollowing out important wooden components in homes and businesses. 

Carpenter Ant Habitat

Here in Anaheim, carpenter ant swarms begin in the spring and are a surefire sign that there’s a colony nearby. Carpenter ants may build their nests indoors or outdoors, but they almost always search for water-damaged wood. Soft and damp wood is easier for them to build tunnels and galleries in, and it provides them with the moisture they need to survive. Since these ants are usually found in rotting wood, their presence indoors could be a sign that there’s a leak nearby. Carpenter ants often hide in wall voids or crawl spaces near water pipes or water-producing appliances, like dishwashers. When outside, these pests are usually found in firewood stacks or old tree stumps.

Carpenter ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Like termites, carpenter ants are a serious problem for residents in Anaheim. Though they don’t pose a direct health threat and rarely bite, their habit of tunneling through wood can destroy the structural integrity of your home or business. Since they primarily stay inside of the wood, it can be challenging to identify an infestation before it has caused significant and costly damage. However, if you see tiny piles of sawdust (called frass) or notice small entry holes, you may have carpenter ants. To get rid of these pests before they can cause even more damage, it’s important to contact a professional ant exterminator as soon as you notice the signs of a carpenter ant infestation.