what the hell were they thinking?

yet another day of bashing in the yard... was trying to find a spot to put a pad for a composter. Ran to the stone place down the street and bought a 2'x3' flagstone and a bag of sand (regular readers of my posts - right, like my life is some kind of riveting drama, but still - will remember that I still have a 30 gallon trash can full of gravel that I screened out of the topsoil that I removed from the asphalt driveway. Yes, you read that right.) So anyway, I bring this home and go behind the garage to poke around. That area has about 2 feet of excess composted wood chips just laying on the ground; at some point I will advertise some more free topsoil on craigslist to get rid of it, as I don't like that much soil sitting up against a wall that is just sticks 'n' bricks.
So anyway. I start digging, and find that underneath the top layer of soil is just a bunch of scrap wood. Of course it's all infested with carpenter ants. Yay. What the hell was the guy thinking? As soon as I get a pickup I'm going to have to haul all this to the dump, I don't particularly want it around. For the time being I dug through a good amount of the soil and tried to sort out all the big pieces of wood, and piled the wood up separately to hopefully drive out the ants.
Then I decided since I was standing there with a shovel in my hand I'd remove the posts for an old cyclone fence that had been removed years before. First one came out OK; second one I dug down to maybe a foot below the top of the cement and pulled on the post; it was so corroded it broke off flush with the cement. Oops. Guess this will have to wait until I can find a bigass wrecking bar or piece of iron pipe to stick down inside there. I don't want to just leave it as a surprise for someone (probably me.) I don't feel up to running to the store right now as I'm filthy and literally drenched in sweat (it's about 90 degrees outside; I know, not too bright doing hard labor on a day like today, but you work when you can.)
So that was my day so far... now that I've ranted, what about these ants? Is there something I can do myself once the area is cleared out to make sure the garage framing is ant-free, or should I just clear it out and then call an exterminator?
nate
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Lay the wood out in the open, birds and rodents will have a field day.
Then get rid of it.
No need for an exterminator, if the ants can't find damp wood they'll go somewhere else. If you have damp wood the exterminator won't be able to get rid of them.
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<snip>

Carpenter ants like damp wood. Read the labels at Ace Hardware or wherever that sells bug sprays and get the one that is lethal to ants. Use it on areas of the building near the nest that you found. You probably destroyed the main nest and the critters could be gone for good. Satellite nests sometimes are nearby, so proactive spraying could help with those. If you see no more big black ants dashing around when you inspect the area later you may be free of the problem. Good luck.
Joe
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