Carpenter Ants - School IPM - USU Extension

    Carpenter Ants

    Camponotus spp.

    Adult Carpenter

    Adult carpenter ant; thorax evenly rounded (April Nobile,

    Ant Damage

    Carpenter ant damage (Edward H. Holsten, USDA Forest Service,

    Ant Damage

    Carpenter ant damage (Joseph O’ Brien, USDA Forest Service,


    • one node (bump between middle and rear body sections)
    • typically black or black with a reddish-brown body
    • ants of different sizes
    • evenly rounded thorax differentiates them from field ants
    • sawdust outside of nests/galleries

    Nesting Habits

    • establish nests in wood, especially decaying wood
    • have a primary nest and separate satellite nests
    • satellite nests may occur indoors
    • foragers—they go out in search of nutrients but return to the outdoor nest


    • living and dead insects, meats, and sweets, such as jelly, honey and honeydew excreted by aphids and other insects
    • DO NOT eat wood but remove it to create galleries and tunnels


    • damage wood, infest food and may bite

    IPM Recommendations

    • Have ants identified to determine damage potential.
    • Find nesting locations by following workers back to their nest, if possible. 
    • Destroy indoor and outdoor primary and satellite nests.
    • Remove and replace water-damaged or decaying wood.
    • Seal potential ant entryways.
    • Remove food and water sources in and around structures.
    • Use ant baits to help eliminate nests that are hard to find.

    Additional Resources:

    Carpenter Ants fact sheet

    IPM for Ants: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)