Carpenter ants are highly social insects who form a well-developed colony structure. Workers do various tasks, while reproductives keep the colony going. Carpenter Ants undergo a complete metamorphosis, beginning life as an egg, hatching into a larvae (or grub-like worm stage), then into a pupa or cocoon, out of which emerges an adult to repeat the life cycle.
The complete life cycle can take 60-70 days, with a fully developed nest made up of two to three thousand ants.
Carpenter ants normally live above ground in tree stumps, logs and in dead and decaying trees. They prefer wood that is partially rotten or decayed, although it is not uncommon for them to infest clean dry areas. They will further hollow out this wood to make nesting areas. In the home they are commonly found in areas where moisture problems exist.
These ants are truly omnivorous and, while they generally feed on other insects, will feed on fruits and vegetables found in the ground as well as the many scraps of food found in the kitchen.
When seen in the open, the ants are foraging for food. Most of their time is spent in the hollows and voids where the nesting occurs.
Effective control of carpenter ants is best achieved after a thorough inspection is made and the homeowner interviewed relative to their ant problem.