What Attracts Carpenter Ants In A Home

During spring, there’s a sudden rise in the sightings of carpenter ants in your home and yard.

You find them crawling on your home’s floor, kitchen, bathroom, and, at times, even on your bed. 

And the ant problem persists all the year-round unless you do something about it. 

Have you ever wondered what attracts carpenter ants in a home?

What could be the reasons?

In this post, you’ll get to know all the reasons that attract carpenter ants in your home. 

Not only that, but there’s also some bonus information on carpenter ants that you must know. 

Like why you see dead carpenter ants in the house even though you haven’t killed them? 

Is it a sign of a carpenter ant infestation problem, or you shouldn’t worry about it at all?

Why do carpenter ants keep coming back even though you’ve gotten rid of them?

Plus, you’ll get answers to some critical questions that you have on carpenter ants!

So, let’s jump in. 

What Attracts Carpenter Ants In A Home

What attracts carpenter ants in a home

Moisture is the #1 thing that attracts carpenter ants in your home. 

But the vital thing to know that there’s specific stuff that stores high quantities of moisture that attracts carpenter ants. 

And that stuff is moist wood. 

Carpenter ants love moist wood. But they love it to make their nests. 

Carpenter ants don’t eat wood. 

Carpenter ants create holes in wood, by chewing through it, to nest and establish colonies inside. 

So, the next thing that you need to know why the wood inside your turn moist?

That’s because of water leakage. 

Water leakage inside your home, like in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and basement, increases the dampness inside your home. 

These places have a higher risk of carpenter ants’ infestation. 

Also, places where there are always high moisture levels, like drains, gutters, and roof vents, are favorite places for carpenter ants. 

Water leakages dampen your home’s foundation and walls, making your home perfect for carpenter ants. 

Outside your home, your yard or garden is a perfect place for the ants to live and breed. 

Suppose your yard is full of foliage and organic debris, has wet and rotting firewood or tree stumps.

In that case, it’s like giving an open invitation not only to carpenter ants but also to termites and roaches. 

Also, lush vegetation around your home’s doors and windows and tree branches touching your homes make it easy for carpenter ants to enter your home. 

Now that you know what attracts carpenter ants in a home. 

But the next obvious question, how do they enter your home?

How Carpenter Ants Enter A Home

How Carpenter Ants Enter A Home

It’s not a big deal for carpenter ants to enter your home, especially when they’re present in your yard or garden. 

It’s because your home has enough holes and gaps that they can use to enter your home.

The entry points are endless, from gaps and cracks on your walls to open windows and underneath the door.

Also, carpenter ants can crawl inside your home through gutters and drains. 

Is it possible to seal off all the entry points? 

No, it’s not.

The only way to prevent carpenter ants from entering your home is to eliminate them and their nests. 

We’ll discuss it later in this post. 

But for now, let us shed some light that once they’re inside your home, how do carpenter ants survive. 

In other words, what do carpenter ants eat inside your home? 

What Do Carpenter Ants Eat

What Do Carpenter Ants Eat

Carpenter ants will eat anything that has protein and cellulose (or sugar). 

Some examples of what carpenter ants eat are meat, fish, pet food, honey, jelly, sugar, and chocolate.

That’s why, once carpenter ants are inside your home, they foray straight to your kitchen and pantry looking for food.

Carpenter ants also feast on other insects and bugs. 

The presence of carpenter ants can also indicate that there can be other types of insects living inside your home. 

You can see carpenter ants on floors and even on your bed.

It’s because they’ve sensed food droppings on these places. 

Food dropping, especially sugary droppings, on the floor and upholstered furniture, attracts carpenter ants out of hiding.

But there are times when you’ll also see dead carpenter ants inside your home.

This where it gets a bit alarming. 

Let’s move on to check out what do sightings of dead carpenter ants mean.

Dead Carpenter Ants In House

Dead Carpenter Ants In House

Sightings of dead carpenter ants in the house should ring your alarm bells, especially when you didn’t do any ant control. 


It’s because it’s one of the signs of carpenter ant’s infestation inside your home. 

Carpenter ants dump the dead carpenter ants from their nests and colonies. 

If the carpenter ants’ dead body doesn’t look crushed and looks dry, then it’s a sure sign that it’s ejected from a colony. 

So, the moment you observe any dead carpenter ants inside your home or basement, you should seriously think about getting rid of carpenter ants. 

Why Carpenter Ants Keep Coming Back

Why Carpenter Ants Keep Coming Back

It’s the most common question that many people ask. 

They say carpenter ants keep coming back even after they did treated their homes for carpenter ants. 

The main reasons for carpenter ants keep coming back are –

  • DIY methods of getting rid of carpenter ants have gone wrong. 
  • The nests or colonies of carpenter ants aren’t destroyed.
  • Either the ants have easy access to their food source inside your kitchen, or your home isn’t clean.
  • Your yard or garden isn’t adequately treated for carpenter ants.
  • There’s water leakage that’s increasing the dampness of the home.
  • There are other bugs like roaches, termites, and silverfish inside your home, which are attracting the carpenter ants.

DIY methods to get rid of carpenter ants work to an extent.

But the effectiveness of DIY methods lies in your ability to find the infestation source, which is the carpenter ant’s nests.

If you only use sprays and other methods to kill the ants without destroying their nests, carpenter ants will keep showing up. 

FAQs On Carpenter Ants

Do Carpenter Ants Live In The Ground

As carpenter ants enter your home from the yard or garden, many people believe carpenter ants live in the ground.

Carpenter ants don’t make nests or live in the ground like termites.

But they make nests in hollow areas in the wall or the ground.

Carpenter ants primarily make nests on moist wood. Sometimes, they can also make nests under heavy foliage or plant debris.

But carpenter ants do make underground tunnels.

They use it to reach their food source, which can be colonies of other bugs like termites and aphids.

Do Carpenter Ants Eat Termites

Yes, carpenter ants eat termites.

Carpenter ants can even make underground tunnels to reach termite colonies.

Once there, carpenter ants can easily wipe out entire termite colonies.

Are Carpenter Ants Attracted To Lights

No, artificial lights like a bulb or LED lights don’t attract adult carpenter ants.

But artificial lights do attract alates (flying ants).

Do Carpenter Ants Eat Dead Skin

Yes, carpenter ants eat dead skin, including dandruff flakes. It’s because there’s the protein in them.

Why You See Carpenter Ants On Deck Or Porch

The reason behind carpenter ants on deck is that there are piles of leave or debris underneath the deck.

These piles of decaying organic matter attract carpenter ants.

They’re there to nest, or there are other bugs in the stack attracting carpenter ants.

Once carpenter ants are on your deck, they can easily sneak inside your home.

So, it’d be best you keep the area below your deck clean.

It’ll reduce the chances of ants sneaking in inside your home.


To summarize, here’s what attracts carpenter ants in a home –

  • High levels of moisture inside the home.
  • Presence of moist wood in the yard or inside the home. Carpenter ants build nests in damp wood.
  • Moist tree stumps.
  • Organic debris like piles of leaves in the yard. 
  • Presence of other bugs that carpenter ants eat, like roaches, silverfish, and termites that carpenter ants eat.
  • Food droppings inside the home. 
  • Uncovered and unclean trash bins with organic and food waste.