AntsThere are a number of ant species that infest homes and buildings. However, the carpenter ant is perhaps the only species that damage wood and are encountered in homes. They do not consume the wood but only build their nests within it. Their foods, similar to those of many other house-infesting ants, are found in kitchens, pantries and other areas where food is stored. Carpenter ants are the largest of the house-infesting ants. Workers within the colony range in size from about 3/16 to 5/8 inches in length. Color varies among species, although black seems to be predominant.
Carpenter ants, like termites, tend to prefer wood that is partially decayed by wood rot. However, they will also attack perfectly sound wood as well. They excavate wood members of buildings, especially when a cavity or enclosed space already exists. Often, these cavities are enlarged to the point that structural damage occurs. Shredded fragments of wood, similar in appearance to coarse sawdust, are ejected from the galleries through preexisting cracks or slits made by the ants. When such accumulations are found (typically containing dead ants and bits of insects which the carpenter ants have eaten), it's a good indication that a carpenter ant nest is nearby.