What they look like:
Carpenter ants are polymorphic, meaning a colony will contain workers of many different sizes. Depending on the species, carpenter ants may be black or red and black in color and ¼ to nearly ½ of an inch.
Where to look for them:
Carpenter ants nest primarily outdoors in decaying or hollow wood but can also nest indoors if conditions are favorable. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t usually damage sound wood; they do however excavate water damaged wood to provide a colony with living space. When rain causes damage to roofs, eaves, windows, chimney chases and doorways, carpenter ants frequently find harborage in our homes.
What they eat:
Primarily nocturnal, carpenter ants forage at night for protein during egg production but more frequently feed on carbohydrates.
What to look for:
Small wood particles, produced while excavating nest sites, and dead insect body parts can be an indication of carpenter ant activity. Swarms of carpenter ants, an indication of a mature colony, may be observed from May to November.
To avoid unintentionally inviting carpenter ants in as guests make sure to keep gutters free of leaves, maintain caulking around windows and doors, make sure water does not collect and stand around the base of doors and repair roof leaks as soon as possible.