Carpenter ants often create hidden damage. They need a source of moisture to survive and painters often see the scouts running to and from a nest. Professional extermination is required and then damaged areas are often removed, replaced or patched before painting.
carpenter ant damage --- Carpenter ants do not eat wood but instead construct their nests in wood. Nests are made by chewing an interconnecting series of tunnels and cavities. These galleries are usually smooth and free of mud.