Finding some carpenter ants in your home during warm weather in summer and fall does not necessarily mean there is a nest inside. First, try to determine whether the ants are coming from an outdoor or an indoor nest, although this can be difficult. If you find carpenter ants in your home during winter, late winter or early spring, that suggests the ants are coming from a nest in the building. If you see activity later in the year, the nest may not be in the building.

Black carpenter ants can vary in size from one-quarter to one-half inch in length. They do not eat wood, but they will create tunnels in it, leaving telltale sawdust behind. They are attracted to wood that has been softened by moisture. They will also nest in rotting trees, stumps and boards left on the ground. You will probably need to work with a professional exterminator to eliminate an indoor infestation.

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