Conditions Around Your Foundation Can Attract Carpenter Ants

By Chris Williams on August 17, 2015.
Carpenter Ant Tunnels in Wood - Foundation Condition Can Attract Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ant Tunnels in Wood

Like termites, carpenter ants can destroy the wood in your home. They don’t eat the wood, but they can hollow it out to make room for their nest galleries. Carpenter ants prefer to nest in wood that is damp or that has been softened by rot, but they can also move into perfectly dry wood. Carpenter ants are common in our region so anytime you have wet or rotting wood in your home or close by outside, you are inviting carpenter ants (and termites) to move in.


Wood Around the Perimeter Invites Carpenter Ants

Any of these potential damp wood conditions around the outside of your home can be an invitation for carpenter ants or termites. Carpenter ants living in close proximity may choose to forage into your house for food or nest sites.  Note that most of these conditions are also attractive to subterranean termites.

  • Form boards, grade stakes, wood or paper debris left in the crawlspace or under porches
  • Rotting tree stumps
  • Dead branches lying on the ground
  • Firewood stored on the deck or patio, or stacked against an exterior wall
  • Lumber stacked near the foundation or inside the crawlspace
  • Deteriorating landscape timbers or railroad ties
  • Wooden flower bed borders or planter boxes near the house
  • Shredded wood mulch around perimeter of house


Plants Around the Perimeter Can Invite Carpenter Ants

Landscaping around the exterior of your home plays a role, too. Carpenter ants can find their way into homes by following tree branches or shrubs that touch the roof or outside walls. Vines such as ivy growing on exterior walls also provide access for carpenter ants. Thick groundcover plants and other heavy vegetation at the foundation wall traps moisture next to the foundation keeping wood damp.

For more information on carpenter ants, check out these blogs from Colonial Pest





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