Carpenter ant evidence?

This looks like frass from carpenter ants,( fine sawdust material) but there are no dead ants or any body parts of other insects. I dug,and poked, and taped and listened , but I found only one dead ant. I inspected inside the house but only found a few ants walking around, mostly in the kitchen. If this is from carpenter ants shouldn’t there be dead ants or even live ants here?

They may have pushed their dead out the bottom and you’re attacking the top?
There’s enough trouble there to call for pest control. I would just call it ‘insect damage’, ‘insect activity’, ‘possible carpenter ants’, etc. The main nest is probably farther in or moved.

Damage was discovered __(*insert location here) . *Damage appears to have been caused by wood destroying insects, though no live insects were seen at the time of the inspection. Visible evidence suggests that this damage may have been caused by carpenter ants. However, since no insects (live or dead) were seen at the time of the inspection, there is no way to determine the cause for sure. It is also noted that there did not appear to be any indication of past treatment. As such, Inspector has noted the damage, and cautions that hidden damage may also exist. Insector recommends invasive inspection techniques be employed to discover the extent of any current or hidden damage, and that a follow-up inspection be performed by a licensed pesticide applicator. Regardless, NPMA protocol dictates that a WDI infestation be indicated, until such time as treatment is rendered or proof of past treatment is proven. Follow-on inspections, as indicated by Inspector, are crucial.

I am a Certified WDI inspector. You state that you have found both a dead ant and seen several LIVE black ants walking around.

  • I suggest that you use the verbiage that Joe Farestta provided you with and that you STRONGLY recommend a thorough inspection by a Certified WDI Inspector.
  • One more thing…. You did not do an “Invasive Inspection”.
  • I can guarantee you that there is going to be “hidden damage” behind the walls & wallpaper in the photos.
  • CYA…… Be sure to include that “possibility” in your report. :wink:

You are correct Frank, they are there, Carpenter Ants chase moisture and when the moisture is removed, they move camp down to areas of more moisture.

I chase them one day down hill until I found them.


You see one dead or alive, rest assure the colony is not far away. :):smiley:

Thank you all for your help. I did note in my original report about hidden damage being possible. The pixs here are from a second visit to the house when the buyer’s contractor pulled back the carpeting and found this. I went back and looked but like I said did not find much.

Marcel…. GREAT pics!

At our last seminar our instructor a WDI/WDO Certified Inspector / Certified WDI / WDO Instructor with over 30-years experience told us a true story about a lawsuit that HE is now fighting in court.

During a recent inspection he pointed out to a client that there was carpenter ant damage to a 3-foot section of a wall.

He told the client that he could not and would not tear down the wall to see how extensive the damage was but…. He guaranteed that it would extend further. He filed his report and handed it to the client.

  • The client went ahead and bought the house!
  • AFTER he bought the house… The client called in a contractor.

The contractor tore out the sheet rock and they found that the damage extend 27 feet in both directions from the point that our instructor pointed out.

Guess what?

The Client is suing our Trainer / Instructor because he did not “Warn Him” IN WRITING that the damage could extend so far into the walls!
{He “told him” but according to the client he did not “stress” the fact that the damage could be so extensive.}

So…… CYA and be sure to include the fact that the damage could be minor or “extensive”

Good Luck! :stuck_out_tongue:

In Florida carpenter ants are not considered a wdo insect per the dept of agriculture.

I used to live there Gregg almost 40 years ago, I know.
You guys have more Qualified WDI’s down there, that is why the Carpenter Ant remains infamous. :mrgreen:

Black carpenter ants are omnivorous. The ant achieves pest status when a colony invades the wood of a house, damaging its integrity.
They favor moist wood as a habitat.
If winged ants are seen, there is a colony not far behind, so do not ignore this important warning sign. Structural damage can be intense by the time external damage is visible, such as sawdust or bubbling paint.
Unlike termites, they do not eat wood, they just like to tunnel and make a home in the easy to chew wood, because it is moist.

So could one call it a wood destroying insect? Only if given the right opportunity and condition, unlike termites where if it is cellulose fiber, it is free for all. Usually, the water intrusions has already cause more problems and damage than the Carpenter Ants. They just like to make a home in the moist conditions. :mrgreen::wink:

I have been dealing with carpenter ants in my home since I moved in 7 years ago. These suckers are nasty. Big, wings and hard to kill. I have a basement adjoined by a slab and an attached garage. The nest is either in my slab or wood cedar siding.

The products at the home centers like Terro, Home defense are a waste of time. I called on a professional last week and he used some good stuff that only the guys with license to treat can obtain.

Now if someone was to inspect my home they would have a hard time finding any evidence, especially depending on the time of year. No visible damage, Live ants only visible between end of May and beginning of August.

I hate ants. Trained my Dog to kill them. Trying to train her to find them.

I have used everything in the picture. 2 of the items are what the Professional used. (Between the Borax and Home Defense)

The ones up here David don’t appear to like cedar.
They where in the sheathing material behind the Tyvec Wrap.

If the cedar is soft, they’ll move in. I opened up a bundle of 6 cedar planks one time that had been stored near the ground in a shed. The 2 outside planks were paper thin, the rest of it was ant tunnels. :mad:

I love those little 6 legged critters. ha. ha.

They sure love that moisture.

Here are a few pics from this weeks project of replaceing roof edges that was determined to be leaking a year ago by destructive investigation.
Suspect ants, I agree with Frank, recommend a WDI Investigation and remediation protocol.

Here are the pics;

This is what they like, Moisture, makes tunneling a lot easier for them.

Removing the Roof edge gravel stop only to reveal the old gravel stop still in place and showing signs of leakage.

Cut out 24" of the old roof, and there is the evidence. Carpenter Ants are there.

Destruction they can cause of wet leaking roofs.

I think, I found them. ha. ha.


Thousands of them.

Extent of the damage stayed where the moisture and leakage was happening. This shows the roof edge of this pitched flat roof.

Any evidence of WDI, Recommend an expert to evaluate and expect the worse.

Hope this helps. :):smiley: