Carpenter Ants are among the most common ants found in the Northeastern United States, with extensive prevalence throughout many parts of the country. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not actually eat wood, but rather cause damage by excavating tunnels throughout moisture-impacted wood, spitting out the wood shavings in the form of what appears to be sawdust along the way. Wood that has a higher than normal moisture content is most susceptible to carpenter ant intrusion.
In nature, carpenter ants nest in and around dead or decaying wood associated with trees, stumps, or fallen timber. They will also readily nest inside structures particularly in areas of moisture-compromised wood.