Carpenter Ant against a white background - Keep Carpenter ants away from your home with Kona Coast Pest Control in Kailua Kona

Carpenter Ant

Actual Size: ⅝”

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

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Carpenter ant swarmers have two sets of wings.

Habitat: Common outdoor nesting sites include dead trees, stumps, logs, and wooden structures such as fences, decks, and tree limbs. Indoors, they often nest in wall voids, attic spaces, crawl spaces, and around windows and door frames.


  • Frequently mistaken for termites, carpenter ants excavate wood to create galleries and tunnels for nesting.
  • Feed on a variety of food sources, including insects, honeydew produced by aphids, plant sap, and human food scraps.
  • They have powerful mandibles that can deliver painful bites if threatened, and may also emit a defensive chemical secretion when disturbed, which can be irritating to humans.

Carpenter Ants in Kailua Kona

Carpenter ants are named for their tendency to carve their nests within wood, crafting smooth tunnels and galleries. Often confused with termites, they are wood-damaging pests that tunnel through wood to establish their colonies. Their nest-building efforts compromise the structural stability of residences and commercial properties. While carpenter ants do not consume wood for nourishment, they excavate it to create nesting sites. This continuous activity can cause significant wood damage over time, transforming sturdy structures into hollow shells. Additionally, carpenter ants have a diverse diet, favoring the sweet honeydew produced by sap-sucking insects.

Carpenter Ant Habitat

Attracted to moisture, carpenter ants can establish nests in various locations, both indoors and outdoors, typically close to damp or decaying wood. In residential and commercial settings, the main nest is typically situated outdoors, often in a tree, stump, or pile of firewood. Indoors, nests are frequently found in wood affected by water leaks, such as attic rafters, roof overhangs, wall voids, hollow doors or columns, crawl spaces, and behind dishwashers. Indoor infestations of carpenter ants are consistently linked to moisture problems within homes or businesses.

Carpenter Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Carpenter ants present a significant concern for homeowners. Despite their infrequent biting and generally benign nature, their excavation activity compromises and undermines the structural stability of residences and commercial establishments. Swarms of carpenter ants typically emerge in spring, signaling the proximity of a nesting colony. The presence of small piles of sawdust or faint rustling noises within walls serves as telltale signs of an infestation. While not as destructive as termites, if left unaddressed, carpenter ants systematically damage homes and valuable wooden items. If a carpenter ant infestation is suspected, it is best to contact a professional ant exterminator.