Carpenter ants are a type of ant that can cause damage to wood structures in homes and buildings. These ants get their name from their habit of tunneling through wood to create nests. While they do not eat wood like termites, the damage they cause can be significant.
Carpenter ants are typically black or reddish-black in color and can range in size from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch long. They are most commonly found in the United States in the Pacific Northwest and along the East Coast.
One of the main signs of a carpenter ant infestation is the presence of small, sawdust-like piles near wood structures. These piles, called frass, are a mixture of wood chips and insect body parts and are a telltale sign of carpenter ants at work. Other signs of an infestation include the presence of winged ants, or "swarmers," and the sound of ants moving inside walls or other wood structures.