Carolina Wrens spend the majority of their time on or near the ground searching for food, or in tangles of vegetation and vines. They also probe bark crevices on lower tree levels, or pick up leaf-litter in order to search for prey. Their diet consists of invertebrates, such as beetles, true bugs, grasshoppers, katydids, spiders, ants, bees, and wasps. Small lizards and tree frogs also make up the carnivorous portion of their diet. Vegetable matter, such as fruit pulp and various seeds, makes up a small percentage of their diet. In the northern portion of their range, they frequent bird feeders.
They are known to occasionally destroy the eggs of other birds nesting in their territory by puncturing the eggshell. Females that sang more songs to conspecifics that were simulated by playback lost fewer eggs to ovicide by other wrens. Female bird song in this species is therefore thought to have a function in competition and is not only displayed by males. They are also known to fill up other birds’ nests within its territory with sticks to make them unusable.