What is the difference between a regular ant and a carpenter ant?

Question: What is the difference between a regular ant and a carpenter ant?

Answer: Carpenter ants can be black, brown, red or a combination of these colors. They can be easily distinguished from most other pest ants by the carpenter ant’s “heart-shaped” head. They also are larger than most pest ants. Speaking of sizes, the workers are polymorphic, meaning they are in different sizes. Carpenter ant workers also have a smooth thorax. Carpenter ants can be found throughout the U.S. and are named for their ability to excavate nests in wood, creating smooth tunnels or galleries. In the U.S., few other ant species have this behavior.

Carpenter ant damage is sometimes confused with that of termites, which also damage wood. Unlike termites that eat wood, carpenter ants hollow out wood, leaving behind small piles of sawdust. Carpenter ants prefer to build nests within decaying, moist wood – sometimes creating multiple nests in a single area. They are commonly found in porch pillars, roofs, windowsills, dead trees and dead parts of living trees.

These ants can cause structural damage if they nest inside of a home in large numbers. In many states they are listed as WDIs or wood destroying insects. If you suspect you have a carpenter ant issue, contact your local Orkin Branch Office and request to have an inspection of your home and surrounding property performed by a highly trained inspector. The inspector, once completely assessing your issue, will develop a customized treatment plan that best fits your needs.

Carpenter Ant Closeup

Ask Orkin

Get More Answers from Orkin

How Long Does it Take for Roaches to Die After Treatment

Q

How long after an exterminator performs a service should it take for cockroaches to die off completely?

How to Control Ladybugs and Larvae Infestations

Q

Does your company offer a solution for getting rid of ladybugs?

What Do Bed Bugs and Eggs Look Like on Clothes?

Q

What do I do with the clothes?

How Long Does Ant Bait Take to Get Rid of Ants?

Q

Since my initial Orkin service one week ago, my ant problem has gotten worse. The ants are in the kitchen now, where initially they were not. What can be done to keep the ants at bay while waiting for extra service?

Can Bed Bugs Jump or Fly? | How do Bed Bugs Travel?

What is the cost for getting rid of ticks?

Q

What does Orkin charge to inspect a two-bedroom apartment?

How do I stop mice from getting inside the house?

Q

I have children and I'm curious how effective your services are for getting rid of mice once and for all.

How do I get rid of box elder bugs inside?

Q

Can you effectively get rid of box elder bugs from inside the house? Please tell me about the plan and how it works. What is the estimated cost?

What is the cost to get rid of wasps?

Q

How much does it cost to get rid of an infestation of mice in an apartment?

What should I look for when choosing a pest control company?

Q

What should I look for when choosing a pest control company/professional?

Connect with Us

Our customer care team is available for you 24 hours a day.

877-819-5061

Find a Branch

Our local Pros are the pest experts in your area.

Get a Personalized Quote

We will help you find the right treatment plan for your home.

THE BEST IN PESTS.™

SERVICES

Pest ControlTermite ControlPrevent and Protect

PEST LIBRARY

Browse All Pests

© 2022 Orkin LLC

Terms of UsePrivacyAccessibility StatementCareers