Though there are many species of ants found in Calgary, cornfield ants, also known as moisture ants, are the most common species found in residential homes and commercial structures. The black carpenter ant remains the largest and the most destructive. The insects may gain entrance into a building virtually anywhere through small cracks or openings. Scouts initially enter an area to determine if a location is suitable. If a home or other structure proves appropriate, one or more queens find mates and establish colonies that gradually number in the hundreds or thousands. Once indoors, ants survive on sugars, starches and proteins from any available food sources. The insects chew through electrical cables, insulation and wood in order to create nesting chambers. Pharaoh ants and some other species have been implicated in carrying diseases that can affect humans. Effective eradication requires locating all of the nesting sites and properly identifying the species.