Carpenter ants are large ants that can be from 1/4 in-1 in long, and they are found all around the world, and of course right now they're found in or around your home. In nature these ants are a great benefit to the ecological circle of life because they enhance the decay of rotting wood. The problem is these ants to discriminate between the dead trees in the forest and the frame of your house.
In order to get rid of carpenter ants, you need to remove the elements of that promote their existence. In as much as possible eliminate situations that would aid in moisture retention.
* For example, if you have a pile of wood outside that you use for your fireplace, this should be stored in a dry sheltered location. Any wood in contact with the ground can act as an entry point. If it rains, the wood will retain the moisture which acts as a breeding ground for the carpenter ants.
* Another key step in preventing your house from getting infested by ants, in particular the carpenter ant, is to keep gutters clean which prevents water from running down the side of your structure.
* Any leaks you may find in the house could also promote damp conditions favorable to carpenter ants. Make sure any plumbing leaks are taken care of as this will not only cause other household problems, but make conditions for carpenter ants that much more favorable.
Removing moisture is an effective way of preventing carpenter ants from establishing a colony, but it will not eliminate one that is already existent. A common method for dealing with a colony of carpenter ants is the spraying of insecticides to kill them. While this will kill ants that the insecticide comes into contact with, it may not have the desired effect of getting rid of the ant colony. The problem is that many ants (including the ever important queen ant) are hidden deep inside a labyrinth of wood mazes (i.e. their nest). The only way to completely remove the nest and infestation is to completely remove the wood that is housing them. This may make you nervous as this is the frame of your home, but this would is likely not structuraly sound because of the ants and should be replaced in short time before the damage worsens.
To get rid of this main nest, you'll have to be able to locate it. This should not be too difficult as you should be able to track back the trail of foragers gathering food and stockpiling it in the nest. If you're seeing the flying ants, which are generally winged males trying to mate, you should kill them but they likely won't lead you to their nest. They are generally near windows trying to escape to the outside world as they like visible light. Flying ants are a tell tale sign that a nest is nearby. DO NOT IGNORE THIS WARNING! It may seem like one or two, but there are more. Locate the main nest immediately before more extensive damage occurs.
Getting rid of ants is often times a difficult task and may require professional intervention. Do not delay the inevitable as it may only make things worse.