Carpenter Ants Attack Foam Insulation

Home Inspector with NICKELSEN HOME INSPECTIONS - Vancouver WA Home Inspector

Carpenter Ants - Vancouver WA

Image Description: this picture was taken during a home inspection in Vancouver, WA.  What you are seeing is Carpenter Ants that have infested rigid foam insulation.  When in the crawl space, the inspector could not see any dead Carpenter Ants, or any blatant damage.  The only thing that inspector saw was fine dust, but it wasn't wood dust.  This lead the inspector to pull back a section of the foam insulation to find the Carpenter Ants.  What is interesting about this situation is that there were no signs anywhere that the Carpenter Ants had actually gone for the wood: they seemed quite happy with the insulation.


Justin Nickelsen, Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC

Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR

360.907.9648 / 503.502.1495

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Nickelsen Home Inspection

If you or anyone you know is in need of professional home inspection services and structural pest inspection/pest and dry rot inspection services in NW Oregon or SW Washington, please consider referring them to us.  We cover the Gorge to the Coast, and Salem to Olympia, including Vancouver and Portland and much more.  

p. 503.502.1495 | cell/text 360.907.9648


Justin Nickelsen, CMI

Nickelsen Home Inspections, LLC

"A Conduit for Educated Real Estate Transactions"

Serving Oregon and Washington From the Mountains to the Coast

Professional Licenses, Memberships and Certificates

  • Certified Master Inspector (CMI) with the Master Inspector Certification Board
  • The American Society of Home Inspectors - ASHI Certified Inspector and Member #246145
  • The National Association of Home Inspectors - NAHI Member
  • The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors - InterNACHI #0073170
  • IAC2 Certified Indoor Air Consultant - IAC2-01-0235
  • Vice President of theOregonChapter of InterNACHI
  • Founding Member of SWWAHI - TheSW WashingtonAssociation of Home Inspectors
  • OregonLicensed Home Inspection Firm CCB# 172294
  • OregonCertified Home Inspector OCHI# 1173
  • WashingtonStateLicensed Home Inspector #415
  • Licensed and Certified StructuralPestInspector through the Washington State Department of Agriculture (71352)
  • Member of theWashingtonStatePestManagement Association
  • Passed the National Home Inspectors Examination
  • Second Generation Inspector
  • Annually Performing 450-550 Inspections/Thousands Performed in Career
  • Past Experience as a Contractor - All Phases of Residential Construction
  • Annually Maintaining Over 50 Hours of Continuing Education (twice the requirements of OR and WA)
  • Past Member of OAHI - TheOregonAssociation of Home Inspectors
  • Past Member of NWOCHI - The NWOregonAssociation of Certified Home Inspectors
  • Past Member of OREIA - TheOregonReal Estate Inspection Association
  • Specializations: Electronic Radon Measurement, Early 20th Century Properties, Early 1990's Properties, New Construction, Log Homes, Structural Pest Inspections (Termites/Carpenter Ants).
  • Advanced Skills: Oral and Written Communication, Advanced Reporting and Detailed Analysis.


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Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


That is a cool photo. I am into those wood destroying organisms and that is a great photo.

Feb 06, 2009 02:25 PM #1
Justin Nickelsen
NICKELSEN HOME INSPECTIONS - Vancouver WA Home Inspector - Vancouver, WA
CMI - (p 360.907.9648), Vancouver/Portland/WA/OR Home Inspector

Yeah, that is a good photo... still sort of hard to make out.  The aluminum was pulled back, which exposed the insulation (and the ants).  You can still see aluminum in the top left of the picture...


It wasn't too fun when I pulled it back and had Carpenter Ants spill all over me.  ;)

Feb 06, 2009 04:28 PM #2

Hey Justin,

Random thing is I was researching foam insulation to get done on my house and came across something you posted. You remember my house you inspected? Is foam insulation a good thing to get sprayed in the walls? My house is always freezing and the walls are actually cold to the touch.
Do you know anyone who is a professional that does this?


Thanks, Allison Cobb

Mar 31, 2009 03:17 AM #3
Deborah Beatty

We have black, so small that I can barely see thwm.  Are these carpenter ants and how do I get rid of them.  I need some advice.

Apr 13, 2011 03:31 PM #4
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Justin Nickelsen

CMI - (p 360.907.9648), Vancouver/Portland/WA/OR Home Inspector
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