How Can Ants as Pests Damage a House?

Of the many species of ants, few make their nests in homes.

Moist Wood

Of those that do nest in homes most don't do damage to homes at all, instead they are merely a nuisance. One exception is the carpenter ant that gets its name from its preferred nesting site: inside of wood.

Attracted to moist wood because it is easy for them to tunnel in, carpenter ants often begin a home infestation in areas of moisture damage and wood parts of homes that make ground contact.

Damaged Wood to Good Wood

Tunneling often leads carpenter ants into undamaged wood to gain space for an increase in the colony size. They don't eat wood like termites; instead they simple hollow it out for nesting.

Structural Damage

Boring from their original infestation point often leads the ants to structural timber, which can compromise the structural integrity of the home and lead to costly repairs.

Many Colonies

Diversity is a key attribute of carpenter ants that makes them difficult to control. They have multiple colonies and can damage a home in several different locations at one time.

Peripheral Damage

Woodpeckers will pursue carpenter ants as a food source, damaging exterior wood in the process.

About the Author

Stephen Robinson specializes in health and fitness writing. He was first published in "Inside Kung Fu" magazine in 2001 and continues to write online, primarily for Demand Studios. He is currently completing a degree in health, physical education and recreation at Walters State Community College and plans to seek a Bachelor of Science in exercise science at East Tennessee State University.