Carpenter ants are generally large black ants. They have two distinguishing factors from other ants: They have a smooth, rounded thorax; and They have one node, or bump, in between their thorax and abdomen. Damage Main colonies of carpenter ants are usually outside, where they may have easy access to some sort of rotten wood that provides them with easy nest building material. Their nest galleries are seen as tunnels in wood. These tunnels will have a smooth appearance to them. The wood that they use for their nests is generally already damaged and/or needs to be replaced anyway. If a carpenter ants main colony is inside, there is probably a moisture issue. Carpenter ants do not actually eat wood as they cannot digest it like a termite can. They only hollow out as much wood as they need for nesting. Control It is important to find the main nest to control carpenter ants. They might establish satellite nests inside of a house in a variety of different places. The main nest will be somewhere where moisture is consistent. Most of the work involved with controlling carpenter ants is finding the main colony to treat. If found, the main nest can be treated directly. This nest is generally always outside. Next, the satellite colonies are treated if they can be found. Then, outlet covers are removed and treated with a dust insecticide. The reason for this is that the electrical lines make great runways for these ants to travel. A perimeter treatment is also done to treat for ants coming in and out of the building for food and water.