Everything You Need to Know About Ants in your Walls

How Strong Are Ants Compared To Humans?

When you look at the size of an ant, you might not think anything of it. While they may be small, that doesn’t mean that they lack strength.

If all of the world’s ants wanted to pick up the entire human race, they could easily carry all of us on their backs.

That’s pretty shocking right? Therefore, you definitely want to consider these little guys a threat. Ants are so strong that we wrote a whole article about it! Read it here: How Strong Are Ants Compared to Humans?

Why do ants nest in walls?

Ants nest in walls for many different reasons, and they’re not the only insect that does this. The reason ants nest in walls is one that varies based on the species, which we’ll get into later, but typically your walls provide great shelter. We’ll be showing you everything you need to know how to get rid of ants in walls.

Why do walls create good shelter for ants?

The walls of your home keep away the harsh elements, the cold, and the outside world in general. For ants, this is a great thing, because it allows them to remain active and safe. Ants are insects that thrive on small spaces and will make tunnels out of virtually anything. Unfortunately, the wood in your walls is excellent for ants as well.

Depending on the ant species, ants will nest in walls for a few key reasons such as:

  • Eating the actual studs within the wall to make a nest/tunnel
  • Hiding from the winter
  • The close proximity of food
  • The ability to come and go as they please
  • The close proximity to a source of water

You should also keep in mind that not every species lives in walls, but the ones that do are definitely going to be a problem.

If you have ants in your walls it’s not the end of the world, you’ll just want to pay close attention when we go over how to remove them.

If you enjoy reading this article, why not check out our articles on Can Fire Ants Kill Your Pets? and What Can Ants Climb? This surprised me!

How do I know if ants are in my walls?

Ants may be small insects, but to be quite honest, they’re a little bit messy. This means that they’ll often leave trails behind, and if they’re eating wood within your walls, you’ll be able to notice the shavings most of the time. Therefore, in this section, we’ll be going over some of the tell tale signs that you have ants living among you. Ants can cause a lot of damage in your home if you’re not careful, for more tips on how to be on top of potential ant infestations, check out What Can Ants Damage?

Wood shavings

Carpenter ants are a species of ant that can actually gain nutrients through the wood in your studs. They can eat it, tunnel through it, and make it much weaker in general. Therefore, if you ever see wood shavings at the base of your wall, you might have ants living among you. They mostly feed on smaller insects, but will definitely go to town on your studs to build a nest.

It seems hollow

If you knock on your wall, and it seems relatively hollow, this is a clear indicator that you have ants living in your wall. Now, this is normal in areas with no studs, but if the whole wall feels hollow you’re in trouble. Another way to notice, which will be the result of you knocking on your wall, is if ants start fleeing your wall immediately after.

You’ll see holes or trails

When ants build a nest for themselves, they’ll usually add in some type of entryway. This can be a hole, a dirt mound, or even a hole in a tree. In the case of your wall, if you see small holes close to your floor, there could be ants. You’ll want to investigate this further, and at times you can even see the trail they’ve left behind.

They’re coming out of strange places

Now, this indicator is a little eerie, because nobody wants to see a swarm of ants coming out of their ceiling. Well, unfortunately, this is entirely possible. Therefore, if you see any ants coming out of an electrical outlet, chances are you have ants in that wall. They might even scurry out of the molding, light fixtures, and other holes within your walls.

If you have ants in your walls, while you might not notice them right away, they will definitely make themselves known to you as time goes on. Make sure you always look out for these indicators, and check on your walls often.

What species of ants nest in the walls?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, not every species of ant will nest in your walls, but the ones that do can be a real problem. Therefore, in this section, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most common ant species that will take up residence in your walls. If you want to know how to get rid of ants in walls, you need to know what species are out there building the nests.

The Carpenter Ant

By Jacy Lucier - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84646998

This is arguably one of the most common species of ant to find in your walls. With that being said, they’re also one of the worst ant species to find in your walls. This is due to the fact that carpenter ants will actually chew your studs to pieces, and can actually damage the structural integrity of your home in order to build a nest. Plus, not only will they set up shop in one wall, but they’ll invest every wall of your home. Carpenter ants can cause a lot of trouble because they love wood so much, learn more about it by reading Where Do Ants Live in Winter?

The Acrobat ant

These ants are not exactly doing gymnastics, because they’re probably too busy nesting in your walls. If you’ve already had a termite problem, these ants will likely be more inclined to nest in your home. This is due to the fact that they thrive on premade tunnels, and the most common location for these ants is your door or window frames. So if you see ants on your windowsill, chances are they could be Acrobat ants.

Black Ants

Black ants are one of the most common ant species, and what they like in size, they make up for in numbers. While these ants may nest in your walls, they won’t do too much damage, but they’ll eat you out of house and home. If you see a swarm of these little guys in your home, there is a good chance they’re in your walls.

Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants are another species that will nest in your walls, and while the name may sound fancy, these ants are far from fancy. They prefer walls close to water sources, which include your bathroom and kitchen.

Argentine Ants

If you thought your walls were secure due to insulation, then these ants might just ruin your day. Argentine ants love insulation, and can actually make quite the nest out of it. Plus, aside from providing shelter, these ants will use insulation to trap moisture and eat smaller insects. That insulation that keeps you warm will also keep these ants active in the winter, so they can become a real problem.

Some other honorable mentions are:

  • Ghost ants
  • Odorous ants
  • Citronella ants
  • Crazy ants

Not every species of ant will nest in your walls, but the ones that do, you should definitely watch out for. Removing them should be your top priority, and the sooner the better.

How to get rid of ants in walls?

When it comes to removing ants from your walls, this process can become quite tricky. Now, while there are natural ways to go about this, you can also hire a professional. Luckily, if you want to do this the old fashioned way, this section is for you. So in this section, we’ll be showing you a few natural ways to remove ants from your walls.

Mint is your friend

If you don’t mind your home smelling fresh, you might want to plant some mint plants around your house. This is due to the fact that ants dislike the smell, and applying it to your walls will be sure to make them scurry off.


Vinegar really is a miracle substance. It can cook your food, clean a grill, and it can even get rid of ants. When it comes to ants, you might want to use a spray bottle to spray the entryway to their nests. This may not always work, but it should cause some level of disruption. A 50:50 ratio of water to vinegar works best here.

Pest repellent

You can always hop on the internet, or make a drive to your local department store to pick up some pest repellent. You should look for the best one designed for ants, and follow the instructions clearly and fully. This will help you remove and prevent future ant infestations.

While these options may do the trick, you need to consider the possibility that these won’t always work. Luckily, that’s what the professionals are for. If you want to know about how to get rid of ants in walls, you’ll want to focus on the next section as well.

Should I hire a professional to do this?

Getting ants out of your walls can be done the natural way, but if you want the job done right, you should always seek out a professional. This is due to the fact that professionals tend to be experts in this area, and will also make sure they don’t come back as well.

Pest control is not just pest removal, but can also be about pest prevention.

So even if you don’t have ants in your walls, it can be a good idea to have a professional make sure that they never make a home out of your walls. Prevention is key, and while it may be a hassle, it doesn’t have to be.

To be honest with you, professionals are the best way to remove ants from your walls. Expertise and effectiveness will always be better in professionals, and nobody wants ants to come back either. If you want to know how to get rid of ants in walls, look no further than a professional.

Final Thoughts:

Ants may be strong, but you don’t have to worry about them moving your entire home. Unfortunately, on the flip side, you do have to worry about them using your walls as a nest. While it may be hard to notice them, trust me, it will be even harder getting them out.

If you want to do a thorough job, and make sure they don’t come back, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional.

Ants may not always nest in your walls, and some species will even use planters, the back of your fridge, and even furniture as a nest. You should always know the signs, and always get rid of ants as fast as possible.

Now that you know the facts, if you’re not nervous, why don’t you give your wall a good knock?

If you enjoyed reading this article, why not check out our articles on What Can Ants Eat? Let’s Find Out and Tiny Ants in the Bathroom? The EASY way to get rid of them

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page https://schoolofbugs.com/about-steve-foster/

Recent Posts