Damage Caused by Carpenter Ants

Homeowners often compare carpenter ants to termites because the two pests cause similar harm to homes. Termites eat wood from the inside, and some species nest inside timber. On the other hand, carpenter ants damage lumber by tunneling through rotting wood, but they do not eat it.

While it may seem small, this difference impacts the amount of destruction the two insects create. Since carpenter ants damage wood only to make nests, they tend to affect less timber. The pests also need to seek food outside of their burrows, giving homeowners a better chance to discover a problem.

Identifying Carpenter Ant Damage to Houses

Since these pests target weakened wood, carpenter ant infestations typically signal other issues in the home. Spotting them early can save homeowners lots of money in pest control and repairs.

Look for the following signs of carpenter ant damage to the house:

  • Leaky pipes or moisture buildup
  • Piles of coarse, saw-dust like material
  • Winged carpenter ants gathering in the spring
  • Sections of wood that sound hollow when tapped

Signs of Infestation

Carpenter ants do not actually eat wood, but they do cause damage to wooden structures by excavating tunnels to build their nests. The extent of the damage varies and is usually dependent on how long colonies have existed in homes.

Individuals can typically tell when carpenter ant infestations are present from the appearance of:

  • Sawdust
  • Dead ants
  • Remains of insect species carpenter ants feed.

Areas of high moisture in the home foster weakened wood support beams and foundations, which serve as ideal points of entry for the pests.

Preventing Damage

Internal Damages
Most carpenter ant damage is not externally visible, which makes it hard to detect.

As ant colonies grow, the amount of destruction becomes more noticeable and immediate action should be taken.

Common Locations
Carpenter ants tend to infest moist wood in and around bathtubs, sinks, dishwashers, and under roofs. Replacing areas damaged by water helps circumvent future infestations and avoid structural issues.

Call on the Professionals
For large populations of the pest, homeowners should contact trained pest professionals from Western Pest. Our teams remove carpenter ants and set up plans to help prevent future damage.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.


Residents should turn to pest professionals for help with wood-boring insects. The experts at Western Pest Services have the experience to stop carpenter ant damage to homes in its tracks.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857