Carpenter Ant Removal: How the Extermination Process Works

Carpenter ants are miniscule insects that pose almost no threat when there is only one of them, but when they infest your home or business in the thousands, they can do what no human carpenter would: Damage the wood in the structure, weakening its dimensional stability and possibly causing visible damage to aesthetic elements, such as millwork. The sooner carpenter ant removal is performed, the less damage occurs at the infestation site.

How are Carpenter Ants Detected?

Carpenter ants tend to stay out of site, except when they feed. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat wood. Instead, they burrow “galleries” into wood and seek sustenance elsewhere. In a home or a building, foodstuffs and other insects are often primary food sources. Consequently, one of the first signs of infestation is consistently seeing ants forage for food in open spaces.

A second way carpenter ants are detected is through the presence of piles of wood dust and wood shavings that are mixed with dead ants. Because the ants cast off the wood they pulverize, the piles are often found directly below the insects’ colonies. When the collections of refuse are behind the surface of walls, ceilings, or floors, the colonies can be difficult to detect, unless other signs are present.

A third way carpenter ants are detected is through the appearance of winged carpenter ants, which are worker ants that leave the original nest to build satellites. Carpenter ants aren’t shy about searching out new nesting sites, so it isn’t uncommon for home or building owners to see migrating worker ants out in the open.

How are Carpenter Ants Removed?

pest-control-servicesCarpenter ant removal begins with locating the nest site(s). Because the nest is the source of the infestation, it’s most efficient to eliminate the nest first instead killing ants that appear in plain sight. After nests are exterminated, the structure can be treated to kill stray ants that weren’t in the nest when it was removed.

As a part of the extermination process, a thorough pest control company will also recommend eliminating sources of moisture that moisturize vulnerable wood. In nature, carpenter ants like to inhabit wood that’s been deeply moisturized, such as the wood of rotting logs. When they enter a home or building, they have the same preference.

Once ant removal is complete, the exterminator should also recommend that you seal up areas on the exterior where ants could reenter, and recommend that sources of water damaged wood surrounding the structure, such as railroad ties and tree stumps, be removed, as well. Once the ants are eliminated, insect entry points on the exterior are sealed, and sources of moisturized wood are removed, reinfestation becomes unlikely.

Having Trouble With Carpenter Ants?

If you’ve noticed what you think are signs of carpenter ants in your home or building, but you aren’t quite sure whether the structure is infested, contact Holper’s Pest & Animal Solutions to schedule a free inspection. If the ants are present, we’ll perform carpenter ant removal quickly yet thoroughly to minimize damage to wood in the structure, destruction that could compromise its safety and real estate value.

To set up an inspection, please call us at (314) 732-1413, or email us at

We have 25 years of experience in performing carpenter ant removal in the St. Louis metro area. Let us put our experience and expertise to work for your home or building today.