How To Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

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The first thing to consider when trying to figure out how to get rid of carpenter ants is to determine that they are in fact carpenter ants. One way to do this is to find pictures of carpenter ants and compare them to your invaders.

Carpenter ants are unusually large and black-ish in color. Some female carpenter ants have wings and are commonly mistaken for termites. Another way to determine that you have carpenter ants is to analyze their characteristics, habits and dwelling locations. Carpenter ants are generally nocturnal, meaning most of their activity occurs at night.

By activity, we mean coming out of the nest to look for food. They usually build their nests in soft, rotted or rotting wood. They prefer moist conditions. This could include any type of wood, inside or outside.

Once you’ve determined that you do have carpenter ants, you now need to kill them. Carpenter ants differ from other ant species in that they seem to be smarter and more resilient. Placing ant bait traps and hoping that the worker ants will bring poison back to the nest might work, but with carpenter ants you probably want to find the nest and destroy it just to be sure. It can’t hurt to do both.

Find the nest and destroy it and then place ant bait traps just in case there were survivors from possible satellite colonies or ants who weren’t in the nest at the time. (Learn how to make your own homemade ant traps using borax with our easy to follow step-by-step instructions with pictures.) A specially formulated advance carpenter ant bait can be purchased online at or from a local store.

Consider an Exterminator

The seriousness of a carpenter ant infestation should not be taken lightly – and you may want to consider hiring a professional exterminator. If not taken care of properly, carpenter ants could destroy the internal framework of your house (or any other building). The best and easiest way to get price quotes for exterminators is to simply fill out an online form (like the one below). You will get quotes from several companies that are in your area – and you don’t have to look up phone numbers and call a bunch of them yourself!

Simply answer these few simple questions to get multiple quotes from local pest control companies who know what they are doing and want to serve you…

Skip the Exterminator and Try it Yourself

If you don’t think your carpenter ant problem is too serious yet – you very well may be able to take care of it yourself. After all – that’s what this website is all about! Using borax to kill ants! But again – those pesky carpenter ants are usually a little more resilient – so you may want to use something that was formulated by professionals to be sure to kill off those pests. Keep reading if you want to try it yourself.

How To Find Carpenter Ants Nest

Remember that carpenter ants are nocturnal, so this will need to be done late at night. Place some non-poisoned bait (syrup or honey) near where you’ve spotted the ants. Then follow them. Don’t kill these ants. If one finds the bait it will leave a scent trail so others can find it as well. Watch for more ants and simply follow their path. Look for cracks, crevices or holes that they disappear into. Their nest is likely behind the wall somewhere nearby where they enter.

If it appears that they are going back outside, this may be where the nest is located. Look for soft or rotten wood outside near where the ants appear to be entering and exiting the house. Just because you see them inside, doesn’t necessarily mean that their nest is inside.

How To Kill Carpenter Ants

If the nest is outside and easily accessible, simply pour boiling water into the nest. After you do that, it wouldn’t hurt to spray it down with some sort of ant killer product. Just to be sure, place ant bait traps around the area after you destroy the nest. If the nest is inside and not easily accessible (like behind a wall), you may need to drill holes in the wall in order to spray ant killer into the nest.

If you are certain of the location of the nest, your best bet might be to cut out a section of the wall. By doing this, you will ensure  that you spray down every last bit of the nest. Also, you will be able to check for damaged wood that may need to be replaced.

Again, it wouldn’t hurt to place ant bait traps (homemade borax traps or store bought traps) in the area after the nest is destroyed.

Screw It – I’ll Buy on Amazon Instead

Photo Credit

Image from Flickr by ingridtaylar

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