During home inspections, one of several things we look out for is the existence of wood-boring insects. While many of these pests are beneficial in converting deadwood into the soil, having them in your home can be dangerous as they compromise a house’s structural integrity. The prevalence of wood-boring insects is heavily dependent on the region’s climate. In Michigan, carpenter ants thrive due to the relatively colder environment. While carpenter ants don’t consume wood, they chew and chop it up using their mandibles, preying on moist, damaged wood, to construct their colonies in the portions they’ve tunneled out.

If you notice piles of “frass,” which looks like sawdust, this is the excavated wood shavings that carpenter ants have tunneled out near the nest entrance. Also, the presence of large black ants, especially those that are winged and fly, consider this a red flag and that you potentially have a carpenter ant infestation. The nest may not necessarily be inside your house, however. Instead, carpenter ants may have a nest outside but enter your home searching for food and water. Carpenter ants usually emerge at night, feeding on sugary and fatty foods.

How To Check for Carpenter Ants:

  • May through July, use a flashlight at night to look for foraging workers.
  • After dusk, pay close attention to the attic, basement, and garage. You may be able to follow the worker ants to their nests.
  • Always check for carpenter ants in areas with damp wood, possibly due to leaks, poor ventilation, defective flashing, and condensation.

Over time, the outdoor parent colony will fill capacity and send their winged, reproductive ants to find new colonies, this time – they may be in your home. To get rid of carpenter ants, you need to locate and eliminate the parent and satellite nests. It’s imperative to reach all the ants in the colony, as a few stragglers will create a new settlement.

A carpenter ant colony will not go away on its own. If you notice any of the above-mentioned warning signs of a pest invasion, it is imperative to seek professional insect control services. At Northern Pest, our professional extermination services will not only prevent future infestations by sealing up cracks and open voids, but we go the extensive length to make sure that no ants are left behind (as just a few can rehome a new colony.) We are also licensed, bonded, and insured to make the necessary repairs caused by wildlife damage, bringing back the integrity of your home or office to pre-pest condition.  


Northern Pest is a local, family-owned, and operated insect and wild animal control company spanning six counties in Michigan’s central upper peninsula. We’ll help you find the least invasive and most cost-effective plan to handle any irritating pest problem affecting your home or business. We are licensed and insured to provide pest control services, building maintenance, and repair work caused by wildlife damage. As a comprehensive animal and insect control company, Northern Pest is honored to give our customers peace of mind by providing solutions for troublesome wildlife. Contact us today at www.northernpest.com or call 906-553-4841 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.