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Carpenter ants are well known for nesting within the structural wood of homes and buildings, but most carpenter ant infestations see worker ants invade homes in search of human food sources. In most infestation cases of the latter sort, invading worker ants usually originate from an outside nest, but advanced infestations can see multiple satellite nests become established within concealed areas of a home. These areas include wall voids, beneath baseboards, in crawl spaces and attics. In the natural environment, carpenter ants establish nests within tree hollows, tree stumps, landscaping timbers and wood piles. Carpenter ants only nest within dead wood that is normally damp and preferably decayed, as worker ants are able to tunnel easily through moist wood sources. While carpenter ants prefer to nest within wood, they can establish nests in enclosed moist and dark areas in both natural and disturbed environments. Carpenter ant infestations can only be eliminated if the parent colony is found and removed or destroyed. However, carpenter ants also establish additional satellite nests which are sometimes found in homes. Advanced carpenter ant infestations in homes often see multiple indoor satellite nests that must all be destroyed, and this makes eradicating heavy infestations difficult.

Locating indoor satellite nests is not easy, but once a nest is detected within an indoor area, pest control professionals often drill small holes into walls, or directly into infested wood in order to inject insecticidal dusts that destroy nests. Sometimes, indoor carpenter ant nests can become exposed during renovation projects, and when this occurs, exposed nests can be destroyed with ready-to-use aerosol insecticides. While satellite nests are often located indoors, parent nests are usually located in a natural wood source near an infested house. Carpenter ants often travel in between parent nests and satellite nests, so the location of a parent nest can be pinpointed by following foraging workers. Carpenter ants will only nest in trees that are dead, or they will tunnel through the center heartwood portion of trees. Parent nests cannot always be accessed, as they are often enclosed within wood, and in these cases, a pest control professional must treat the nest with specialized equipment. Making sure to remove dead tree limbs that hang over, or make contact with a home should be removed because they provide carpenter ants with easy access into homes, especially a home’s upper levels and attic.

Have you ever found an arthropod nest of any kind within your home?