Carpenter Ants in House: 5 Most Effective Repellent Help You Maintain A Carpenter Ant Free Home
Carpenter Ants are common in several parts of the world. They are among the largest ants in the United States. As their name suggests Carpenter ants build their nests in damp or decaying wood. These ants live in both indoor and outdoor moist, dead, or hollow wood. In a forest environment, they are the most common ants.
Table of Contents
- Discovering Carpenter Ants in your home
- Locate the Ant in the House
- Getting Rid of Carpenter Ants in the House
- How to Kill Carpenter Ants in the House
Discovering Carpenter Ants in your home
A typical carpenter ant colony has one queen who is also called the reproductive carpenter ant. After mating, the Carpenter ants reproductive i.e. the female carpenter ants begin their search for a new place to scatter the nests. Carpenters ants nest in warm and moist places.
Locate the Ant in the House
Carpenter ants are not hard to miss as they are large dark colored insects. They have bent antennas, and the adult ants have a pair of wings. Carpenter ants do not feed on wood like termites Instead, they make nests by cutting galleries in decaying wood. You can easily locate the carpenter ants by following the sawdust like trails and body of dead ants left behind by them.
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- House damage they cause
There are two types of carpenter ants colonies, namely parent colony and satellite colony. The parent nest is in outdoor places where carpenter ants take birth. Whereas, the satellite colonies are present indoors, made by the adult worker ants. These ants don’t feed on wood like termites, so the carpenter ants damage is not that severe.
Getting Rid of Carpenter Ants in the House
Once you have discovered and assessed the damage caused by the carpenter ants, it is time for you to take necessary steps to get rid of them. Below are a few steps to combat the carpenter ant infestations:
1. Finding the Nest
The first step to treating the carpenter ant problems is to find the old and new satellite colonies first and eliminate them.
- Check the infestation where the wood is likely to be damp and cold
As we have mentioned above that carpenter ants reside in damp and decaying wood; it is time to locate their nest in your house. Carpenter ant nests inside the house in damp places such as badly sealed windows, behind bathroom tiles surrounding the bathtubs and sinks, inside hollow doors, under subfloor insulation, in attic beams, wooden porch supports, and columns. You should do routine checks around your house for old and moist wooden spots because carpenter ants might make it their home.
- Check for infestations by listening for ants in your walls
Sound detection is helpful in finding a carpenter ants infestation. Be vigilant of dry rustling noises, often made by an active colony of ants. Tap on the suspected wood lightly and press your ear to it. The slightest vibration will startle the carpenter ants. You will hear a rustling sound made by ants as they begin to perform random actions.
- Spotting the worker ants help you locate the ant nest
The most efficient way to spot the carpenter ants is to keep an eye out for worker ants in your house. Worker ants can be seen foraging for food. Use a flashlight covered with a piece of red film and follow their trails. If you find one nest, make sure to search for addition satellite colonies nearby.
- Remember that ants will travel far while foraging
The carpenter ants might be coming from the outside. Keep in mind that carpenter ants travel far in the search for food. If you see them foraging for food in your kitchen, they might be coming from your attic, porch, window sills or they might be coming from the tree in your yard.
- Carpenter ants go looking for food primarily when it’s dark
The type of food carpenter ants is attracted to include sweet food, fats, protein, pet food, and honeydew. The carpenter ants are the most active at night time. In the search for food, they leave their nests fifteen minutes after sundown. Most foraging happens between sunset and midnight. A trick to catch the carpenter ants is to place food around your house to attract the ants. Once the ants come to get the food, you can easily follow their trail.
2. Removing the Ant Population
Once you are sure that carpenter ants infest your house, it is time for you to take some action to eliminate the ants. Following are some ways to get rid of carpenter ants:
- Use the toxic bait method
Baits are slow-acting toxin combined with an attractive food source. If you cannot find the nest, then place these toxic baits only around the suspected areas (such as carpets and doorways). Carpenter ants baits can take some weeks or months to work. Do not spray insecticide on the baits, because that will stop the ants from eating the baits. If the carpenter ant swarms the bait, it is a good sign. It shows that the bait method is working. Make sure to clean the bait after 24 hours, whether the ants have eaten it or not. Leaving the baits for a longer period can be a danger to the health of children.
- Destroy the nest with direct dusting
If you want to treat the infestation quickly try directly dusting the nest. If the carpenter ants manifest in the crack of your wooden door ants dust can be used to fill the hollow void. Ant-dust is more efficient in killing the ants as compared to baits. Make sure that you have made enough hole in the infested area for better
- Try a boric acid bait
Boric acid is also a product to combat carpenter ants problem. It is an odorless, non-staining powder readily available in stores. Like toxic baits, boric acid is a powder that contains food substance to attract ants. Eating boric acid kills the ants because it works as a stomach poison. While eating, carpenter ants dabs into the powder which sticks to the ant’s legs, it then enters into their crevices and cracks, gradually leading them to their death.
3. Preventing Carpenter Ants from Coming Back
After getting rid of the carpenter ants, use the following methods to prevent them from coming back:
- Clean up your house to make it a bad breeding ground
The lack of attention is what brought the carpenter ants in the first place. Make sure that there are no damp wooden spots in your house. If there are moist or decaying wood, get rid of it immediately.
- Seal your house
Keep the wooden surfaces in your house painted and sealed. Fill the holes through which wires enter into your house. Provide adequate ventilation to the surfaces that are prone to moisture.
- Remove natural debris from around the home
Remove the debris left by the carpenter ants, also remove natural debris from around 100 yards of your house. You never know if the carpenter ants are residing just outside your home.
- Clean up crumbs and water leaks
Condensation from water pipes and water leaks are one of the main causes of carpenter ants infestation. Make necessary repairs from time to time for any leaks around the house.
How to Kill Carpenter Ants in the House
If the infestation is not that big, then you can kill the carpenter ants yourself. There is no need for hiring a pest control. You can use the following products to kill the ants:
1. TERRO T300 Liquid Ant Baits
Ready-to-use baits which kill every ant present in your house.
- How to use:
Scatter these baits around the area susceptible to carpenter ants activity. Use all the six packs for more fruitful results.
It attracts ants fast, and the design prevents the baits from drying out.
2. Bayer Advanced 700310 Carpenter Ant and Termite Killer
It is useful both indoors and outdoors. It kills all the wood destroying insects.
- How to use:
Mix this liquid formula with water to make a solution. Then use a spray bottle to apply it on surfaces.
It kills a wide range of crawling and flying pests.
3. Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules
It’s delayed action ensures that the ants have plenty of time to eat and share the food. It starts killing the ants within one week of application.
- How to use:
Place small amounts of the bait around the suspected area, where the ants are sure to look for food.
A powerful ant block that kills the queen and the entire colony of ants.
4. TERRO 16 oz. Carpenter Ant & Termite Killer Aerosol Spray
It has a nozzle that makes spraying the area more precise and easy. This spray has a long-lasting effect on the carpenter ants.
- How to use:
Shake the can and direct the nozzle towards the infected are. The spray will immediately kill the ants.
Can be used in both indoor and outdoor environment. The effect of the spray lasts up to 4 weeks. It kills carpenter ants on contact.
5. TERRO T600 Ant Killer Dust
This dust killer reaches and kills ants present in small crack of the door. It is one of the most effective ant killer dust. It is water resistant.
- How to use:
Apply the insecticide directly and uniformly on the infested area with the help of a paint brush.
It kills ants on immediate contact. The effect of the ant killer dust can last up to 8 months. Reaches and kills ants living in cracks and crevices.