You would think with a name like ‘carpenter’ that these ants would do something constructive. Actually, by nature they are destructive rather than constructive. In forests this is good because they break down fallen trees and branches so the nutrients can be re-used. But you sure don’t want them ‘recycling’ your home!
Unfortunately, each colony of carpenter ants often has several nest sites. They will have a main nest and they will also set up satellite nests both indoors and around a home. Colonies gradually enlarge these nests and start additional nesting sites.
Carpenter ants may nest in any protected spot, but they normally choose to nest outdoors in damp or rotted wood, partly because soft wood is easier for them to excavate. Indoor nests are a little different—they may be anywhere construction has left a cavity. Carpenter ant nest-making activities can make a bad structural situation worse. For instance, when they get into an area where there is a roof leak, their tunneling causes far greater damage than just the leak would by itself.
During the months ahead you may see either crawling ants or the winged swarming ants that start new colonies. Carpenter ants are generally most active at night, although you may see some during the day.
If you see ants, call us right away to schedule a professional inspection. In some cases we can apply a special perimeter treatment around your home to prevent them from getting in. If they are already nesting indoors, we need to eliminate those nests before the ants cause damage and spread.