The carpenter ant can travel alone or along trails for more than 300 feet from the nest. “Trunk trails” between parent and satellite nests are clear of vegetation usually crossing lawns. Normally the carpenter ants enter buildings around door and window frames, through eaves, along plumbing and utility lines, and over branches touching the structure.
Outside, nests are typically located in rotting fence posts, stumps, old firewood, and dead portions of standing trees.
The carpenter ant nest is usually found by a rustling sound coming from the wall voids or from wood where the colony is located. In other cases the sight of swarmers inside the structure indicates and indoor colony.