Do Ants Eat Wood

Do Ants Eat Wood? How to Get Rid of Them?

Wood is an excellent material to use. It looks clean, and you can work your way around it. Many homeowners prefer to add wood accents to their wood. However, the natural wood is prone to many crawling insects. When these insects decide to make a nest in your wood, they could damage it very badly.

One of the most vicious of these insects is the carpenter ants. You might wonder, do ants eat wood? They like to target your wood walls and furniture. These carpenter ants work quickly. Before you know it, they have already occupied a big part of your wood. You won’t have any choice but to remove the wood.

Help keep your wood safe by knowing what to do with the carpenter ants.

Do Ants Eat Wood?

No, they don’t. The carpenter ants, or any ants, do not eat wood. Yet, a lot of people think these carpenter ants do eat wood. If you carefully assess the damage they give, you would think they eat all that wood to give way for their tunnels. However, they don’t.

Instead, these ants chew through your wood to build their nest. That is why you can see piles of wood dust near their nests and tunnels. Depending on how big their colony is, there could be tens to thousands of carpenter ant workers that diligently work their way through the wood, creating these complicated tunnels.

If you aren’t too annoyed with these ants, you may have the time to admire their work of art. Yet, these ants are not here to play. When you get too close, they might start biting you. If you haven’t experienced it, a carpenter ant’s bite is one of the most painful among ants.

These vicious insects have strong jaws, and they are known to excrete a kind of formic acid to the bite, giving it a burning sensation. Though extremely painful, their sting is harmless and not deadly.

Now, if ants don’t eat your wood, what do these insects eat? Well, you will quickly notice it by checking your house and kitchen. Ants like to nib on sweet food and those that are plenty of protein. They can get attracted to the meat and even your pet food.

Your sugar and honey containers will get swarmed with these ants. They love to find food at night, so chances are, you may not notice them at all. It doesn’t matter how far their food source might be. Those ants will travel anywhere to get their supply.

Once you see even a couple of these carpenter ants, observe where they will travel. They may belong to a colony that is already in your house. These carpet ants are enormous than the usual ones, so you will surely see them easily.

Check your wood walls and furniture as well. Once you find sawdust pilling up, the carpenter ants have already started building their home inside your house. You do not want to waste time after seeing them. Remember, they work diligently. Before you know it, they have already chewed through your wood furniture or walls.

How to Get Rid of Ants?

The priority is getting rid of these carpenter ants. Be careful, or you will suffer their painful bites. Thus, here are some safe yet effective ways on how to get rid of carpenter ants.

Use Sweet Food as Bait                 

To help you know where the ant’s nest is, bait them using their food. They quickly find sweets all over the house. Thus, you can expect them to take the bait without any hesitations. But this isn’t your regular food bait.

Mix some sugar and baking soda. Use equal parts for both and place them in a small shallow dish. The sugar attracts the carpenter ants, while the baking soda kills them. Then, you can discover their nests and quickly get rid of them all.

Get Rid of the Scent Trail

Carpenter ants give off a pheromone that helps in building trails and finding their food sources. It can help them quickly travel from their nest to their food. When you clean the surfaces and get rid of these scent trails, the ants will fail to remember the way to your house or their nest.

Using a simple mixture of dish and water, pour it inside a spray bottle. Spray it around the nest area. It helps kill the ants and get rid of their trail at the same time. An equal part mixture of white vinegar plus water is an effective solution as well.

If you have several essential oils at home, you can use them to get rid of these ants. Cedarwood, tea tree oils, and lemon are effective essential oils to help get rid of the scent trail. You can use pieces of cotton to wipe the oils into surfaces.

Time to Destroy Their Nest

Once you observed and assessed the nest, get ready to destroy it. You will need a more effective solution to eradicate the nest. Luckily, there are many ant killer products available in the market. You can use boric acid or any ant killer products you prefer. Your local store will have a lot of options for you.

However, getting off these ants, especially when there are too many of them, will take time. You have to repeat the process all over again. But your patience will get rewarded once you finally get rid of them. So, continue using these products as often as you deemed necessary.

If you feel like you don’t have progress in getting rid of them, it is time to call for the expert’s help.


Well, do ants eat wood? Well, maybe they don’t, but they may as well do. Looking at the damages the carpenter ants did to your wood can get highly frustrating and annoying. Thus, the first step you can do for prevention is to make sure you have your sugar, honey, and sweat food covered tightly.

These ants appear out of nowhere, and they rise in number fast. Daily cleaning will help get rid of these insects. But if you suddenly find your wood infested with these ants, you know how to stop them from ever coming back.



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