Carpenter AntHere is a link to an informative article about "Carpenter Ants". It touches on

Characteristics
Life Cycle
Signs of Infestation
Prevention
Treatment and Control

Here are some bullet points of the article:

 

 

 

Characteristics:

  • Among largest species
  • Queen 9/16"
  • Workers 1/4 - 7/16"
  • Adults vary in color
  • Black carpenter ant most common that nest in home

Life Cycle

  • Capenter ants swarm in spring
  • After 3 - 6 years colony will contain 2,000 - 3,000 workers and will start to produce "swarmers".
  • Swarmers produced in autumn (wait until spring to emerge)
  • Mature colony usually contains one queen with 200 to 400 winged swarmers

Carpenter Ant TunnelsSigns of an Infestation

  • Swarmers found inside house is a likely sign of a nest in or under house.
  • Swarmers found outdoors or on porches sign of nearby colony.
  • In early spring worker ants may be found looking for water around sinks
  • Ant trails may extend 300 feet from nest
  • Can hear sound from a colony that infest house
  • Sawdust is tell-tale sign of carperter ant infestation
  • Damage appears as slit-like opening
  • Do not eat wood; they tunnel while building nest
  • Perfer wood with 15% moisture content
  • Invade through foundation cracks, windows, doors or heating/AC vents
  • Primary food for Carpenter Ants is honeydew
  • Water is also important

Prevention

  • Nearby trees or tree stumps breed potential for carpenter ant infestion
  • Inspect property
  • Insecticides OK but don't overdo
  • Key is to remember Carpenter Ants are usually associated with moisture and wood

Treatment and Control

  • Carpenter ants found in home does NOT necessarily mean there is nest inside
  • Step 1 - determine if nest is indoors
  • Alternative to spraying - bait ants outdoors
  • Concentrate on first on areas around home most vulnerable to moisture
  • In general, baits are best approach to dealing with ants
  • May require full week before activity declines
  • Do NOT spray where you place bait

Much more can be discovered by reading the full article on Carpenter Ants