Sightings of large dark-colored ants inside your home usually points to the first sign of a carpenter ant infestation. However, on the bright side, this does not necessarily mean a carpenter ant nest is present indoors, as the location of a carpenter ant’s nest may actually be outside, near your home.
Foraging workers generally enter homes in search of food and water. Worker ants, usually nocturnal, will forage in search of meats and sweet, fatty foods. Homeowners can search for indoor nests using a flashlight to look for foraging workers at night. From May through July, between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM, homeowners can check basements, attics, garages and their home’s exteriors, with the intention of following carpenter ants back to their nest or to discover where they are entering your home. Finding a number of winged reproductive ants at windows inside your house indicates you might have an indoor nest.
Indoor nests may originate from one or more parent colonies outdoors in a log, a hollow tree or a moist lumber or another woodpile within 100 yards of your house. Worker ants travel regularly between the satellite and parent colonies. To eliminate carpenter ants, finding and removing the parent nest and all of the satellite nests is the key to successful eradication of carpenter ants.
Indoors, porch pillars and supporting timbers, sills, joists, wall studs, window and door casings, and under insulation between ceiling joists or wall studs make common nesting areas.