We're Available 24 Hours a Day! - Immediate Response

Carpenter Ants vs Black Ants: What’s the Difference

carpenter ants vs black ants

Ants are one of the most common pests in homes. Many people don’t know the difference between carpenter ants and black ants.

The two types of ants are different in many ways, but they both can be quite a nuisance!

This article will discuss the difference between carpenter ants vs black ants so that you can determine which type may be invading your home or property.

Carpenter Ants

carpenter ants

Let's begin by looking at the carpenter ant in detail.

Identification Carpenter Ants

To identify carpenter ants, they are generally dark in color, close to black, but sometimes appear with a reddish-brown or black and orange combination. They can attain a length of up to an inch, but they vary in size.

They are one of the bigger ant species in North America. As with all ants, they have six, long spindly legs. More noticeably, carpenter ants have a shiny, hairless thorax and abdomen.

They have elbowed antennae that are bent at the tip in an “elbow” shape. The round thorax of a millipede is spherical, while its midsection is pinched and slim.

Behavior and Damage

A carpenter ant colony will happily live both indoors and out. Entering through tiny cracks and crevices, carpenter ant workers can be found in walls, ceilings, floors, and cabinets.

A large colony may be hidden in the woods, where many dead trees have died. Carpenter ants prefer damp conditions, so they often find harborage in moist logs and stumps.

Carpenter ants, unlike termites, eat wood, hollow out wood, and leave little mounds of sawdust behind. These ants can cause significant structural damage if they nest inside a home in large numbers.

Signs of Infestation

In the case of a carpenter ant infestation, you'll notice ants, either dead or alive. Around your home, this is more likely to happen at night.

Another method for detecting a carpenter ant infestation is to look for sawdust piles. Frass, which is made of wood shavings, is a sign that there is a carpenter ant nest.

You may also inspect the house for ant disturbances by tapping on the walls. They like moist, humid conditions.

The most likely location for a leak inside your home is near bathrooms or kitchens, or anywhere you may have had or previously had a leak that has yet to dry out.

How do I get rid of carpenter ants?

For the prevention of rotting carpenters, prevent sources of water. Disseminate damp odors and remove them from the house. Keep tree branches or other vegetation off of our house.

Be careful not to open the bottom of the doors or window. Seal all openings with the silicone caulk. Keep fireplace fuel and other materials away from your house.

When a worker ants nesting sites have been suspected you can contact our licensed professional at 24h Pest Pros who uses the best pest control services and recommend a remedy to eliminate carpenter ants.

Black Ants

black ant

Let's take a closer look at the black ant.


Black ants are generally black, although they can appear dark brown. They are one of the smaller ant species, with colony workers that are generally less than a quarter-inch in size.

The colony is bigger than carpenter ants, with a range of 4,000 to 7,000 workers. However, if you're unlucky, some have arrived at truly astronomical sums of up to 15,000.

Behavior and Damage

Black ants nest in the garden and come into homes only for food, so their presence is unlikely to cause significant damage.

So, before you grab for the bait traps or ant spray, consider watching how a team searches and locates food as a unit.

Carpenter ants consume protein and sugar, such as live and dead insects, fruit, and plants. They feed on meats, sugars, sweets, and even pet food when indoors.

Some believe that any big black ant is a carpenter ant, which can cause an allergic reaction; however, not all "big black ants" are carpenter ants.

Signs of Infestation

Because they establish a colony within, you are unlikely to encounter multiple nests of black ants in your home.

If ants have previously foraged there and found food, there may be several of them seeking nourishment in your house.

They'll come in and out anyhow, so you can use an ant killer or repair and seal up the entryways.

Do Carpenter Ants Bite?

Carpenter ants do not bite people. Black ants, however, can sting and cause a painful reaction. They are often considered more of a nuisance than carpenter ant workers.

Be careful when removing carpenter ants not to crush the ant; their scent will be left behind which could draw even more carpenter ants to your home or property.


The black ants don't represent a risk for you or your own homes. The carpenter risks the timber it will claim. The black ant can be effectively treated with solutions like baking powder or diatomaceous earth.

But a carpenter, in particular, will likely need the services of a professional to make sure he received the proper order by treating the job accordingly with appropriate treatment.

They appear to like each other but are very different when you go to details about the ants' home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have black ants or carpenter ants?

Carpenter ant jobs typically have a rounded thorax and its one segmented tiles (a part that connects the thorax and abdominal) while other black ants often have an uneven stomach. If wings are present the hind wings are longer than the front wings.

Are big black ants always carpenter ants?

Yes, carpenters ants are usually brown. They may also be black, brownish-black, or a mix of black, brown-red, and/or yellow depending on the species.

How do you tell if an ant is a carpenter ant?

Carpenter ants have bent or attached antennae whereas termites have straight antennae. Carpenter Ant's body usually is dark brown or black while termite body is dark brown or light brown in color.

Carpenter ants have two groups of hind wings but their front wing is longer than their front wings.

Are There Black Carpenter Ants?

Yes, carpenter ants are frequently black. They can also be brownish-black or a combination of black, brown, red, and/or yellow depending on the kind.

About The Author:

Meet Mark Calhoun, a seasoned pest control expert in the realm our pest control company. With over 10 years of dedicated experience and Managing Editor. His primary mission is to furnish you with precise and invaluable DIY insights, ensuring your home remains pest-free while aiding you in distinguishing various household pests.
Recent Articles
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram