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Finding Carpenter Ant Nests

Carpenter ants prefer to nest in moist wood or structures already damaged by other insects. As a result, most carpenter ant nests are found in decaying wood in areas such as windows, chimneys, sinks, doorframes or bath traps and in hollow spaces such as wall voids. Provided with the ideal conditions of damp wood, appropriate temperatures and protection from predators and environmental changes, carpenter ant colonies can thrive.

There are two types of carpenter ant nests: parent colonies and satellite colonies. Parent colonies contain workers, numerous broods and an egg-laying queen, while satellite colonies may have workers, mature larvae and pupae. Any of these nests can become a problem in houses and buildings.

Carpenter ants may establish their nests indoors or outdoors. When carpenter ants nest outdoors, they are often found in hardwood trees that contain holes and other imperfections. Because carpenter ant nests require consistent temperature and humidity, they often seek moist or rotten wood. When carpenter ants nest in non-wooden areas, they have located an alternate site that offers them steady temperature, security from natural enemies and protection from environmental conditions.

Indoors, carpenter ant nests may be found in wood suffering from moisture damage. Unlike termites and beetles, carpenter ants do not eat wood. Although workers burrow through wood with their mouthparts, they excavate galleries for nests.

The potential damage of carpenter ants to a home, building or other structures may depend on the number and size of nests that are present within one area. The longer the infestation remains untreated the more damage can result. For that reason, it is important to locate carpenter ant nests early.

Although carpenter ant nests are difficult to find, most experts recommend tapping into wood surfaces and listening for a hollow sound, which can indicate damaged wood. Using this technique may cause ant workers to panic and appear from their nests. If you are concerned you have a carpenter nest infestation within your home, it is best to contact a pest control professional to develop a customized solution to control the infestation.

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