Have you ever visited a park and saw huge ants crawling near trees and benches? Then you’ve had the pleasure of meeting the humble carpenter ant. It’s normal to find these wood-loving insects at parks and other natural areas, but if you find them near or in your home, you may have a big problem.
Don’t panic – carpenter ants aren’t as destructive as termites. And it’s possible to get rid of them with the right bait and a little patience.
We’re going to answer your most pressing questions about this unique ant species, and we’ll also share the best carpenter ant killers to help you tackle your problem.
NOTE: TOP PICK AND TABLE OF CONTENTS TO BE ADDED HERE.
Table of Contents
- 8 Best Carpenter Ant Killer Products
- FAQs About Carpenter Ant Killer
OUR TOP PICK
Bayer’s Maxforce gel is one of the most effective on the market. Ants are highly attracted to the scent and taste of this gel. They’ll take it back to their nests, where other worker ants and the queen will eat it and die.
- Ready to use
- Easy-to-apply gel that reaches into corners and crevices
- Indoor/Outdoor use
8 Best Carpenter Ant Killer Products
Bayer’s Maxforce Carpenter Gel is largely considered the best carpenter ant bait on the market. This product targets a wide variety of ant species, including carpenter, big-headed, Argentine, acrobat, odorous, honey and pharaoh.
The active ingredient in this gel is Fipronil (0.001%). Fipronil works through ingestion and contact, so ants are killed after eating or even coming in contact with the gel.
One 27-gram tube gives you enough bait to treat 27 different spots. Bayer recommends applying 1 gram per spot. You may not need to use the whole tube to get rid of your carpenter ants, but that’s okay. This product has a 3-4-year shelf-life, so you can save any remaining bait for future infestations (if you have them).
Many users say that this bait is really strong. You only need a few drops to tackle a colony. But the ants are apparently very attracted to this bait, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting them to take it.
Like any other ant bait or trap product, you want to keep this gel away from kids and pets. Maybe apply the gel along a corner or windowsill that’s hard to reach or doesn’t get much foot traffic.
Terro is a well-known and respected brand in the pest control industry. Their carpenter ant spray foam is both effective and easy to use. It works with other wood-loving pests, too, like termites, wood wasps and even carpenter bees.
The foam kills on contact, and it will continue killing for up to a month. The main active ingredient in this product is deltamethrin.
The great thing about a spray product is that you can treat hard-to-reach places in crevices and corners where pests love to hide. Terro includes a convenient nozzle, so you can control the spray.
If you’re worried about stains or smells, don’t be. This ant spray is both odorless and non-staining. It works both indoors and outdoors, it can also kill termites so you can use this product wherever it’s needed.
If you prefer not to have a gel or bait laying around, a spray may be the better option for you.
If you’re looking for long-term treatment, Terro T600 Ant Dust may be a good option for you. The easy-to-apply dust continues working for up to eight months, and it’s waterproof. It won’t just wash away after the first summer rain storm like some other ant dust products.
Like the previous Terro product, the T600 Ant Dust uses deltamethrin to kill the ants.
The T600 dust kills on contact and works on a variety of ant species and other insects, including fire ants, cockroaches and spiders. But most importantly, it kills carpenter ants. It may take three to four days for complete control, but that’s a small price to pay for to get rid of the ants for good.
One thing we love about this product is that it’s so easy to use. It comes in a convenient shaker that allows for both scatter and widespread application. You can use the dust indoors or outdoors. It’s easy to get the powder into corners and crevices where ants may be hiding.
Terro recommends using 0.5lbs of product per 1,000 square feet of space. The dust will start working immediately – and you’ll be able to see it working.
BSF Advance’s Granular Carpenter Ant Bait targets carpenter ants and several other ant species, including acrobat, Argentine, odorous house, little black, pavement, crazy, fire, harvester and more.
The active ingredient in this carpenter ant trap is Abamectin B1. It works by interfering with the ant’s neuromuscular and neural transmission. The insecticide works on a particular type of synapse that is located only in the brain and is protected by the brain-blood barrier.
The large grit size of these granules is attractive to carpenter ants, and it contains a proprietary blend of attractants. This bait is ideal if you need protein/fat to attract the ants.
These granules have a long shelf life, so you can keep this product on hand for future use if needed.
Unlike most of the other ant killers on our list, this one will kill the entire colony from the inside out. The ants will carry the granules back to their nests, where they’ll share it with other worker ants and the queen.
DuPont’s Advion Gel Bait comes in a convenient plunger, and is easy to apply to ant trails or entryways. The company says its product is better than Maxforce and Terro, but users might disagree. That’s not to say that this bait is not effective, but it uses a different active ingredient:
- Indoxacarb (0.5%)
Ideal for indoor use, Advion gel bait can be applied to cracks, crevices, floorboards, windowsills, behind appliances and other hard-to-reach places that carpenter ants love to hide. This product also works well in bathrooms.
While not as fast-acting as a spray or foam, this product will kill the entire colony. The worker ants will eat the bait and take some back to the nest to share with the others – and the queen. It takes a few days (or up to a week) for the entire colony to collapse, but you won’t have to worry about the ants returning.
Want a spray that kills on contact, but will also offer residual ant control? Bonide’s Termite & Carpenter Ant Killer spray comes in a ready-to-use bottle, and offers up to 4 months of ant control.
The spray contains deltamethrin (0.2%), which is 10 times more active than permethrin.
Unlike other insect sprays, this one has a pleasant smell, and the non-mixing formula takes the guesswork out of ant control. You can use this spray indoors or outdoors – wherever there’s ant activity.
The spray kills on contact, and will continue killing the ants when they return.
If you want an ant killer that’s easy to apply, this product may be what you’re looking for. But it’s important to remember that the spray is toxic to people and pets. Be careful about where you spray because this product doesn’t have a controlled nozzle like the others.
Spectracide’s Terminate is designed for serious carpenter ant invasions. The included extendable wand allows for more precise application and continuous spraying.
The active ingredient in this spray is lambda-cyhalothrin (0.03%).
The spray kills on contact, and will also kill termites and carpenter bees. One application will give you up to nine months of control when used indoors. When used indoors, the spray can be applied to cracks and crevices in walls, behind baseboards and underneath appliances. Outdoors, the spray is ideal for use around decks, foundations, porches and fences.
The clear formula is non-staining and odorless, so it can be applied near wooden fences and decks without fear.
The only real downside to using this product is that the applicator requires batteries (4 AAs). If your batteries run out of juice, you’ll need to replace them or you’re out of luck. With that said, the spray applicator is a nice convenient way to treat your ant problem.
Bonide’s 569 Concentrate is a bit more complex than other carpenter ant killers we’ve reviewed. This isn’t a ready-to-use product. You’ll need to mix with water to your desired dilution before applying. You’ll also need to supply your own sprayer or spray bottle.
But there’s an upside to these extra steps: the product offers long-lasting protection.
The 32 ounces of concentrate targets carpenter ants, termites and other ant species. The key active ingredient is permethrin (13.3%). Keep in mind that this is a concentrate that needs to be mixed with water, so the percentage of insecticide is much higher.
Do not skip the step of diluting this product with water.
One bottle makes 6 gallons of finished product, and the trenching residual can last up to five years if the soil is left undisturbed.
While a bit more complicated than other products we’ve reviewed, this one provides the longest lasting control. Imagine not having to worry about carpenter ants for the next five years. This product may be able to save you a lot of time and money, especially if ants are a continual problem in your home.
FAQs About Carpenter Ant Killer
Carpenter ants can be more than just a nuisance – they can cause real damage to your home. It’s important to act quickly and start treating the problem immediately. If left unchecked, carpenter ants can cause expensive structural damage. The products we’ve reviewed can help you tackle your insect problem and get rid of those pesky carpenter ants for good. From sprays to granules, dust and gels, you’re sure to find a product on our list that suits your needs.