Contrary to popular belief, carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they do burrow through it to build their nests and shelter for themselves. The first warning sign that you have carpenter ants are areas of wood damage and what looks like sawdust piles around your home. These ants don’t eat wood as termites do, but they do tunnel through it.
Many structural areas can be target points for carpenter ants, areas like your deck, the interior walls of your home, trusses in your attic, and floor joists in your basement or crawlspace and wood furniture. Carpenter ants damage to wood can weaken it’s stable nature and strength so that structural components become potentially dangerous. Especially if they’re targeting things like staircases or decks that get a lot of foot traffic. The most significant warning sign is going to be weak or flakey wood that will crumble easily in your hands. You’re going to find little sawdust piles where the ant’s paths have made entry points to those spots.