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Carpenter Ant


Actual Size: Approximately 5/8″

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

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Carpenter ant swarmers have two sets of wings.

Habitat: Prefer areas in Salina with damp, moist wood. They will construct their nests in hollow trees, logs, posts, landscaping timbers, and wood in homes and other structures.


  • Carpenter ants are wood-destroying pests that are frequently mistaken for termites, but they don’t eat wood – they tunnel into it to create galleries.
  • Drawn to moisture, they can live both inside and outside of structures.
  • Heavy carpenter ant activity in the home often indicates a moisture issue within the structure.

Carpenter Ants in Salina

Carpenter ants get their name because they’re the woodworkers of the ant world. They excavate their nests in wood structures, creating smooth tunnels. Sometimes mistaken for termites, carpenter ants are wood-destroying pests that tunnel through wood to construct their galleries where they live. Over a long span of time, these activities can ruin the structural integrity of homes and businesses. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat and digest wood, but instead, bore through the wood and hollow it out. Carpenter ants feed on a wide variety of plant foods including their favorite, the sugary honeydew excreted by plant-sucking insects.

Carpenter Ant Habitat

Drawn to moisture, carpenter ants will make their homes in a variety of locations. These locations can be inside or outside of a structure but generally they will chose a place near damp, decaying wood. When they come into homes and buildings, there is usually a parent nest located outside in a tree, stump, or stack of firewood. Attic rafters, roof overhangs, wall voids, hollow doors or columns, crawl spaces, and behind dishwashers, especially if the wood has been weakened by moisture, is attractive to them. Indoor carpenter ant infestations are almost always associated with moisture issues.

Carpenter Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Even though carpenter ants rarely bite, they pose a serious threat to homeowners because their burrowing activity weakens and destroys the structural integrity of homes and businesses. Swarms usually occur in the spring and are a sure sign that a colony is nesting nearby. If you see tiny piles of sawdust or hear faint rustling noises in walls, it may be an indication of a carpenter ant infestation. While carpenter ants are not as dangerous as termites, if left unchecked, they can systematically destroy a home along with any wood objects found inside. If a carpenter ant infestation is suspected, contact a professional ant exterminator.

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