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Carpenter ants are large, about a quarter of an inch to 1 inch in size. These ants are found in many parts of the world including the USA. They like dead or, damp wood to build nests. They do not eat this wood unlike termites. Sometimes carpenter ants will hollow out a section of a tree. Most likely if you have an ant infestation in your house it is the black carpenter ant. However, there are over a thousand other species of ants.
Carpenter ants are capable of damaging the wood used in the construction of buildings. They can leave behind a material like sawdust that gives clues to where their nest is. Carpenter ant homes are smooth and not at all like termite-damaged areas, which have mud forced into the hollow areas of their nests.
The pavement ant, is a common household pest. The name "pavement ant" comes from the fact that they usually make their homes in some sort of pavement. It has distinguishing marks including one pair of spines on its back, and grooves on the head and thorax . This ant was originally found in Europe, but was introduced to North America in the 1700s.