How to Kill Carpenter Ants

How to kill carpenter ants is a question many homeowners will ask at some point. Carpenter ants come in different shapes and sizes. One common misconception about carpenter ants is that they eat and destroy wood similar to a termite. Carpenter ants don’t actually eat wood but they will burrow through wood and make their habitat in wood as well. They typically prefer decaying wood but they will burrow through undamaged wood as well. The bottom line is that carpenter ants won’t cause as much damage to a home as termites but, if left unchecked, there is a potential for serious damage. In other words, a homeowner should know how to kill carpenter ants. The good news is that killing carpenter ants is often something a homeowner can do on their own with a little patience, effort, and the right materials. Dealing with a termite problem is more of a headache and much more expensive.

How to Kill Carpenter Ants: Bait and Dust

  • Bait– Some people prefer to use bait because it is safe and easy to use. It is available in gel or granular form. Simply follow the directions on the package. Bait is applied to crevices or openings such as baseboards, light switch and electric socket covers. It may also be applied in cabinets, under carpets, or any other area of the home. One of the downsides of using bait is that it won’t wipe out the carpenter ant colony.
  • Dust – Dusts are safer and can be more effective than bait. Different types of dust, mineral-base or botanical-based, are available. The best approach is to locate the trail. Carpenter ants are busiest late at night and early in the morning when they are foraging for food and water. They often travel along plumbing and electrical routes. Apply the dust to the trail. As the ants walk through the trail they will constantly clean themselves. They will also carry the dust back to the colony. Another option is to apply the dust directly to the colony if you can find it. One trick is to follow the trail to see where it leads. It may be necessary to drill a small hole in the wall to access the colony.

Two other things to consider if you want to know how to kill carpenter ants are, (1) knowing their typical locations inside and outside the home, and (2) taking a few preventive measures to prevent them from entering the home.

Tips for Locating

  1. Carpenter ants are typically found near a moisture source such as the kitchen or bathroom areas. Other damp areas inside or outside the house are potential sites well.
  2. Some of the other indoor place where carpenter ants may nest include doors, fireplaces, and underneath carpets.
  3. Some of the typical places outside the home include vegetation, tree stumps, compost piles, mulch, and potted plants.
  4. Examine the eaves of your home. Carpenter ants tend to go up into the attic of a home and then back down into the home.

Prevention Tips

  1. ​Seal the cracks and crevices in the structure and foundation.
  2. Eliminate sources of moisture
  3. Move wood materials away from the home.

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