Mississauga Pest Control: Comparing Carpenter Ants and Black Ants

Mississauga Pest Control Comparing Carpenter Ants and Black Ants

The sight of ants in your home can be alarming. If they are carpenter ants, they could cause extensive property damage and require carpenter ant removal in Mississauga to find and destroy the nest. However, if they are black ants, such steps are not necessary as black ants are harmless. At first glance, it is easy to confuse black ants with carpenter ants. With careful observation, it is possible to tell them apart. Here are some of the things to look for.


One of the most obvious ways to tell black ants and carpenter ants apart is by their size. The carpenter ant is one of the largest types of ant in North America, and it can be almost twice the size of a black ant. The average carpenter ant is six to 12 millimetres long, with queens being approximately 25 millimetres. The black ant is three to five millimetres long on average and queens only get to be about 15 millimetres in length. You may not see black ants and carpenter ants next to one another for comparison, but if you see ants around your home that seem unusually large, chances are good that they are carpenter ants.


Black ants only come in one colour, and it is right in their name. There are no other variations. Most carpenter ants are also black, but many other colour variations are possible, including yellow, red, and dark brown. You may see carpenter ants with a black abdomen and a red thorax. The head may be either black or red. In other words, if you see an ant that is black, don’t assume that it is a black ant, and if you see one that is not black, don’t dismiss the possibility that it is a carpenter ant.

Body Characteristics

Size and colour are often the easiest characteristics to observe and therefore the most helpful for identification. There are other characteristics that distinguish black ants and carpenter ants from one another, but they require you to look closely. A carpenter ant’s head is heart-shaped with large, prominent jaws that look like pincers in the front. The antennas of the carpenter ant are jointed. Where a black ant has an unevenly shaped thorax, that of the carpenter ant is rounded.


Black ants don’t make nests in human homes. They live outdoors and make homes in the soil. They may come inside a home to forage for food, but then they will leave again. If you notice ants entering and exiting your home, they are probably black ants. You may want to find the entry point where they are getting in and seal it, but that should resolve the problem completely.

Seeing carpenter ants in your home suggests that they have a nest nearby. Carpenter ants make nests in wood, especially if it is damp, soft, or rotten. They do not always nest in homes and buildings, but when they do, they can cause significant property damage. You are most likely to find them in decks, eaves, and window frames. If they are present, you may see small holes in the wood where they get in and out. As they chew up the wood to make tunnels, they push the debris out the hole behind them. Therefore, if you find small piles of wood particles on the floor near the wall of your home, it is a sign of a carpenter ant infestation.

Why Should You Call Truly Nolen for Carpenter Ant Removal in Mississauga

If you are still not sure whether you are dealing with carpenter ants or another species, our technicians can identify them for you. If they are carpenter ants, we can determine a course of action for dealing with them. Find out more about our process and receive a free inspection