Summary: You discover you have carpenter ants and worry that the carpenter ants are hungry and will eat, eat, eat until the wall falls down. Ask the question, "What do carpenter ants eat?" You'll discover it is not your woodwork that satisfies their hunger.
What do carpenter ants eat? You would immediately think wood, right? But, you would be totally wrong, because carpenter ants mostly eat insects and honeydew. Of course, when you find them inside your house they are eating the food you left out overnight on the counter. They require protein and sugar sources, so When available the carpenter ant will, in fact, eat household foods like candy, soft drinks, pet food, honey and various meats.
When living outside the carpenter ant feeds on insects, both dead and alive. They love the sweet liquid produced by aphids as the aphids feed on our trees, shrubs and plants.
So, that leaves the question about all that wood damage you discover and come to find it has been done by carpenter ants. If you notice, nearby the damaged areas there are little piles of sawdust-like wood. Those piles were formed when the carpenter ants chewed into the wood to form their nesting galleries. But, they did not consume the wood. They simply excavated it from their digging sites and moved it out of the tunnels, dropping it directly below the exit holes in the wood.