The common name “wood ant” is a broad group that usually describes ants that either construct their nests in forested areas or infest wood in the home. While several ant species prefer to live in or near moist wood inside the home, the most common and damaging of these ants are the carpenter ants. Carpenter ants get their common name because they construct galleries in wood to create their nests. Carpenter ants build their nests in moist wood or in wood that is kept damp by water leaks. Carpenter ant workers are among some of the largest ants in the U.S., and depending on the species, can be black, brown, reddish or tan-colored. Carpenter ant workers are not aggressive, but they can bite if disturbed. The homeowner may see carpenter ant workers foraging for food at night. Winged males and females will swarm.
Signs such as seeing foraging workers, winged swarmers and wood shavings from the ant’s wood boring to create nest chambers in the wood may indicate a carpenter ant problem. Your pest management professional, a person who is trained to locate and treat infestations, should conduct carpenter ant control.