Carpenter Ant FAQs

What is the difference between carpenter ants and termites?
While both can cause serious damage to your home’s wood construction, termites and carpenter ants are not the same. The main difference is that termites eat wood, while carpenter ants make their nests in it, so they require different treatment methods. For more help telling them apart, check out Carpenter Ants vs. Termites.

If carpenter ants don’t eat wood, they don’t do much damage, right?
Wrong! Carpenter ants can still cause damage. They weaken the wood in your home by carving out nesting galleries, or smooth hollow tunnels.

What do carpenter ants eat?
Carpenter ants like “people food”, especially sugar. In fact, they have quite the sweet tooth (er, mandible)! However, if there’s no other food source available, carpenter ants will eat each other.

How do I know if I have carpenter ants?
Look for sawdust-like material, known as frass, or try tapping the wood to see if it sounds hollow. You can also contact Nature’s Way for a free inspection.

What is a carpenter ant gallery?
Galleries are smooth tunnels cut into the wood’s grain, which carpenter ants use as passageways between sections of the nest. Galleries are typically found around and under outdoor window sills, roof eaves, porches and decks, where wood can become wet, stay moist, and rot.

If I don’t have a lot of wood in my home, am I safe?
Unfortunately, carpenter ants have been known to nest in other materials besides wood, including insulation, styrofoam, even under an old tarp you have covering your fiberglass fishing boat. Carpenter ants will nest in just about anything they can make their way into: firewood, dying trees, tree stumps, etc.

I found and killed a nest of carpenter ants, so I’m in the clear, right?
No. Carpenter ants often create satellite colonies/nests throughout an area. If you find one, there’s a very good chance there are several other nests/colonies nearby.

How many ants make up a colony?
At least 3,000 workers and one queen. Carpenter ants also live a long time. Workers have been known to live up to 7 years, while their queen can live for up to 25 years.

Is Nature’s Way carpenter ant treatment safe?
At Nature’s Way, we use botanical insecticides to rid your property of carpenter ants, always keeping the safety of your home, family members and pets top of mind.


For more information about our carpenter ant extermination services, call (518) 745-5958 in New York, or (802) 855-2978 in Vermont.

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