Carpenter ants or wood ants? Similar to termites, they damage wood. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood for food. They bore and tunnel their way into it to establish a nest. Spraying pesticides can make them many times worse. Learn how to control and get rid of Carpenter ants for good!


Florida Carpenter Ants Size: 3/8 " to 1/2 " Color: red and black

Carpenter Ant Workers Size: 3/8" - 1/2" Color: red, brown, black

Carpenter Ant Worker Size: 3/8" to 1/2"

They Don't Eat Wood

Most people think carpenter ants eat wood just like termites. They don't eat wood at all. They "excavate" wood to make their nest and establish their colony. Carpenter ants do consume plant juices, honeydew, aphids and other sweet sugary insects for their food source. Aphids are Carpenter ants #1 choice of food. They take care of Aphids to harvest their honeydew. These ants will care for, groom, raise and nurture aphids within their colony in special "aphid" chambers. Aphids secret honeydew which is the Carpenter ants favorite food. It's nature's way of allowing ants and aphids to live in harmony with each other. What happens when the Aphids stop secreting honeydew? They become carpenter ant food! It has often been thought that in order to get rid of Carpenter ants, all you have to do is to get rid of the Aphids. This is not true. Carpenter ants will feed on many plant juices and other insects. They require not only a carbohydrate food source (honeydew), but also protein. Carpenter ants get their protein from the insects and plants they feed on. As any vegan would tell you, their is a lot of protein in plants. Getting rid of Aphids by spraying plants, shrubs and trees can help eliminate Carpenter ants, but can also complicate control strategies since the worker ants will also be killed. An overall spray method to control Carpenter ants is seldom recommended. In most cases, spraying everything outdoors with a liquid pesticide or doing what is known as an "outside wash" results in the Queens laying eggs and reproducing faster. Carpenter ants will also "split" or bud their colonies into several new colonies for survival. Unless you know exactly where the nest is and can kill all of the ants directly, without any getting away, baiting is the best control measure short term and long term to get rid of and control Carpenter ants.