Carpenter Ants are present in North Central Washington but are especially active in areas, like Leavenworth, with a lot of trees. They are a wood damaging pest similar to termites, but unlike termites they don’t actually eat the wood. Rather, they carve out the wood in order to build a nest in the wood.
Carpenter Ants are large (1/4-1 inch), mostly black ants and are mostly nocturnal and will travel up to 100 yards from their nest looking for food. Carpenter Ants eat mainly honeydew from aphids and so unlike the small Odorous House Ant, most of their activity is outside. As a result of their activity primarily being outside and at night it is not uncommon for a Carpenter Ant nest to go years undetected.
The signs that you should have your home inspected for a Carpenter Ant infestation include:
- Seeing five or more large (1/4-1 inch) black ants on the inside of your home in a day.
- Seeing piles of “fras” – small wood shavings and saw dust mixed with dead ant body parts.
- A scratching noise at night from their work at carving out a nest.