There are several different Carpenter ant species throughout the United States. Some are small, and some are large their size differs from specie to specie from 1/4 inch to as much as 3/4 inch. The one main characteristic that separates all other ants is the middle section of the body that has a smooth rounded appearance when view from the side.
Carpenter ants come in a variety of colors from reddish brown to dark brown. Some of them are all one color, while others have a two-tone appearance with the head and middle section one color while the back body section a different color.
Carpenter ants chew through wood to make a nesting site for their young. They originate from a main colony outside. They generally are in the ground 3’ to 5’ below the surface, but can also maintain a main colony in a moisture laden stump or woodpile. After a couple of years the main colony begins sending workers out to look for other places to set up numerous satellite colonies. The queen will stay in the main colony and continue to lay more eggs. The workers, following odor trails, will carry the immature stages to the satellite colonies. The infestation that is in the house is one of many possible satellite colonies. They are usually located in the wall voids throughout the perimeter of the house and sometimes in the attic and, or the crawlspace under the house. To eliminate the infestation from the structure you will need to inject the ground level walls and other levels where ants have been seen. In addition, a perimeter barrier spray should be applied around the outside foundation. The eradication of the ants from the house walls does not mean the problem is over. The main colony is outside somewhere and can live for over 25 years. A regular outside treatment done on a monthly basis will keep these ants in check.