Bug Blog

How Many Carpenter Ant Nests Are Typically Found Within Infested Homes? Will Destroying These Indoor Nests Ultimately Eliminate An Infestation?

All ant pests that infest homes are foraging worker ants that belong to a colony that dwells within a nest. Some ant pest species are able to establish a nest within a home, while other pest species dwell solely outdoors. Whether the ant pests found in a home originate from an indoor nest or an outdoor nest, ant infestations cannot be fully eliminated without locating and destroying the colony nest, and it is particularly important to kill the reproductive queen. When ant pests within a home originate from an outside nest, worker ants will continue to forage within homes unless the colony that produced the worker ants is destroyed. When a nest is located indoors, detecting and eliminating the nest is the first order of business. Destroying an entire colony is important, as most ant pest species can have multiple queens and many reproductives within one large colony. Some ant pest species, dwell within interconnected nests, and in this case, there is usually one large parent colony nest and many satellite nests. Carpenter ants often establish an interconnected network of nests, and they may establish satellite nests within homes. In order to eliminate a carpenter ant infestation, it is important to locate all indoor satellite nests as well as the parent nest, which is usually located outdoors.

Carpenter ants sometimes nest within structural and cosmetic woods that are saturated with water, and decayed wood sources are ideal nesting sites for the pests. However, most carpenter ant infestations in Arizona do not see the pests nesting in structural wood; instead, worker carpenter ants enter homes in search of human food sources, and they originate from either a satellite nest located in a high-moisture area within a home, often in a wall void, or from an outdoor parent nest, which may be located in a dead tree or tree stump. Advanced carpenter ant infestations can see multiple indoor satellite nests, and these nests contain only worker, and never reproductives, a queen, eggs and larvae. Therefore, removing an indoor satellite nest will not end a carpenter ant infestation; instead the outdoor parent nest must be located and destroyed. In order to locate a parent nest, pest control professionals locate the foraging pathways indoor carpenter ants take to get back to the parent nest. Indoor nests are usually eliminated by drilling small holes in a wall in order to inject pesticide dust.

Have you ever found unusually large ants within your home? If you have, do you think that they were carpenter ants?