A Carpenter Ant colony has one wingless queen and many sterile, wingless, female workers. It also has white, legless larvae and, at certain times, winged females and males. The eggs are white and the pupae cocoons are tan. Usually, a colony does not produce winged males and queens (the reproductives) until it is several years old and has about 2,000 to 3,000 workers. When the colony is large enough, winged males and more queens will be produced, up to 200 to 400 per colony in the summer. During the winter months Carpenter Ants are inactive, unless the nest is located near a warm area of a building.
Carpenter ant colonies in a natural environment dwell in both dead and living trees, damp or damaged wooded areas, stumps, rotting logs, etc. However, carpenter ants may also establish their nests/colonies inside of homes or buildings where wood is found. In this case, they prefer to make their nests in areas where the wood has been severely damaged by moisture. Some common areas in a home that these ants may infest include windows, chimneys, sinks, doorframes, or bath traps and in hollow spaces such as wall crevices, electric wires and pipes. Unlike termites, carpenters do not eat wood, they remove wood from the galleries they create and leave deposits of debris in small piles. Given the perfect conditions of damp wood, appropriate temperature and protection from predators, carpenter ants can thrive, causing major problems for home and business owners.