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Carpenter ants are primarily wood nesting ants. Their nests can be found in a variety of locations-but they are most often found inside trees, stumps or moist wood both inside and outside buildings. Carpenter ants are hardy durable insects and have several special attributes that help them survive; They can survive harsh winters at temperatures of 7 degrees below zero or more because they have a natural "anti freeze" in their bodies called glycerol, which prevents them from freezing. They can also withstand immersion under water up to 70 hours without drowning. In addition they can go without food for six months during their dormant periods.
Queen carpenter ants can live 10 to 25 years under ideal conditions. Carpenter ants are "social insects" that interact as a community or colony, and there is a "division of labor" that exists between adult forms. These ants have three sizes of workers; Major, Intermediate and Minors. All these workers are sterile females Queen ants and the smaller male ants are born with wings and are known as reproductive ants. Their wings are discarded after mating and the males die soon after.
Carpenter ants are also bait shy when it comes to over the counter preparations such as ant cups. They can detect most poisons in parts per million. They will sometimes sample these cups and then stop feeding. Even special prescription baits are sometimes turned down. This is partly because ants have specific nutrition requirements that vary month to month through out the season. I.E.: Prescription baits seem to work best early in the spring and not so well towards the end of summer.
Carpenter Ants usually have a main nest either outside or inside and they frequently can have one or more satellite colonies. They nest in many places such as;