Black, or sometimes red and black, 1/4 inch for a worker up to 3/4 inch for a queen carpenter ant.
Carpenter ants can be found nesting in live and dead trees and in rotting logs and stumps. However, they will also construct their nests in houses, telephone poles, and other man-made wooden structures. Carpenter ants are active indoors during many months of the year, usually during the spring and summer. Nests are begun in deteriorating wood which has been exposed to moisture. Often, the colony will extend its nest to adjacent, sound wood. Nests are commonly found in porch pillars and roofs, window sills, and wood in contact with soil.
Each year, carpenter ants become active in the spring (March-April) and remain so through early fall (September-October). A mature carpenter ant colony usually releases reproductive individuals in springtime. The reproductive’s have wings and, like winged termites, are commonly known as “swarmers.” The swarmers’ purpose is to mate and, in the case of females, to fly to a new location, lay eggs and establish a new colony. In winter, most carpenter ant colonies become dormant, although indoor nests may show some continued activity.
Because carpenter ants require a water source, eliminate sources of moisture or standing water. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes these pests use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home. Carpenter Ants like to build nests in stacks of wood.