Why are there carpenter ants in your home?

I’ve got carpenter ants in my home? As a CT exterminator I’m never terribly surprised when people tell me this because, frankly there are a lot of carpenter ants in CT. The reasons vary greatly from house to house, but the ending is always the same. The homeowner has them, they want to get rid of them and prevent it from happening again.

So, now that you have them what brought the carpenter ants to your home? In the Ct pest control industry we call it conducive conditions. Essentially, conducive conditions are those conditions (which can be changed) that “invited” the pest to a particular area. The conditions were favorable enough for the pest to breed, thrive and extend their life cycle. As with most living things the pest had favorable conditions for food, water and shelter. Viola, you’ve got carpenter ants!!!!!!

The conducive conditions most closely associated with carpenter ants are moisture, water damage, dense vegetation, overhanging trees and proximity to established main colonies on the outside. Let’s look at each more closely.


Carpenter ants are attracted to moisture within a home.  One typical area that carpenter ants key in on is an area that has had a re-occurring leak such as a toilet bowl.  Many times if a toilet bowl is installed improperly or there is a slow leak carpenter ants are able to build colonies in the subfloor beneath the bowl itself.

Another scenario that’s very common is a slow leak around a window frame or door frame.  Water is insidious and once wood gets wet its a perfect area for a carpenter ant colony to set up shop.



house dense vegetation
CT home with carpenter ants

Water Damage                                                                

This area is obviously closely related to moisture.  The difference is that water damaged wood is constantly wet and likely replacement is the only option.  The best example of this would be where a wood deck attaches to a home.

The correct way to attach a deck to a home is to install a metal “flashing” piece in between the home framing and the deck framing.  If this procedure isn’t done or done improperly the end result is water damage.  For many people who see carpenter ants running around on their wood decking this is the likely cause.

Dense vegetation over hanging trees

Another common issue that effects many homes is dense vegetation and overhanging trees.  These conditions exist at many homes, but few people take the time to prune away and neaten landscapes until it’s too late.  Then after its to late the job becomes really difficult and gets put off due work and family obligations.





Here’s the problem with each:

  1.  Dense vegetation against the foundation obstructs air flow.  Without the proper airflow moisture is allowed to build and this attracts carpenter ants.
  2.  Overhanging trees allow carpenter ants to by pass materials that were meant to prevent them and they give them direct access to the roof, gutter line, chimney frames etc.

Proximity to established main colonies

This is probably the biggest reason why your home has carpenter ants.  The reason is that carpenter ants are able to forage up to 300 ft from a main colony.  How far is the woods or that old stump out in the front yard?  If it’s less than 300 ft you’re well within the working range of a foraging carpenter ant.

So, trim those trees, pay for great builders, make friends with your plumber and be aware of how close your home may be to carpenter ant colonies.  And above all keep the name of a great Ct pest control company close at hand.

If you live in CT and have carpenter ants Envirocare Pest Control, LLC can help.  Call 1-888-879-6481