Here are practical steps on how to get rid of red, brown or black carpenter ants inside walls, yard and bathroom of your house.
Carpenter ant infestations are common problems people deal with, especially when such properties are quite old. As the name suggests, these ants live in wood. This is the more reason why you should take urgent steps against them.
Further damage is caused to wooden structures. This will incur additional expenses to repair.
You are reading this probably because you are faced with a carpenter ant problem. We are confident that you’d find the solutions you seek.
Although some insect problems are difficult to combat, they are not insurmountable as you’d find here.
Damage Caused by Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants won’t be considered dangerous if they did little or no damage will they? But that isn’t the case. They cause a series of damage to your home. Especially wooden structures. Every home has some wooden parts. Carpenter ants build their nests in wood. They won’t eat it, but chew out passageways.
When left over time, this continued activity affects your building’s structural integrity. Infestation also worsens with a growing carpenter ant colony. It’s necessary to be on the lookout. Especially when you live in an area which is prone to carpenter ant infestation.
One of the ways to find out is to occasionally tap on wood. Affected wood will give a hollow sound. You are also likely to spot them along your walls. This is a classic evidence of carpenter ants in house.
Carpenter Ant Extermination: Identify Specie
Identification is key feature of fighting back. You need to distinguish if the ants around your home are carpenter ants or not.
The easiest way to find out is to look out for certain features. These include their color. There’s no specific color for carpenter ants. But the most common colors include red, black, a combination of both, and red or yellow.
Additional carpenter ant characteristics include bent antenna, with sizes that vary between 1/4 and 3/4 inch long.
But all of these features depend on the carpenter ant specie you are dealing with. Certain species are more adapted to certain regions within the United States.
An online search should bring out as much pictorial resources necessary for identification.
How to Get Rid of Black Carpenter Ants in the House
Getting rid of carpenter ants, though challenging is possible. You only need to know what to do exactly. This is what we are driving at.
To help you overcome you carpenter ant problem, this section includes preventive measures, home remedies as well as calling a pest technician or exterminator.
You can also purchase a number of chemical and natural carpenter ant repellents in the market. The control method you adopt is entirely up to you.
Call a Carpenter Ant Exterminator
Pest Management services exist for the purpose of pest control.
They are specialists on all types of pests issues including carpenter ants. This is an alternative for persons who perceive the entire process as overwhelming. You get a thorough job, as well as guarantee of satisfaction. There are so many such services to choose from.
However, we recommend that you do some background checks on them. How? By searching for reviews. These are given by customers who have used such services previously. The higher the positive reviews, the better. You be the judge regarding the acceptable number of positive reviews.
Extermination begins with an onsite inspection. This is usually thorough, and the entire property is checked for nesting areas.
Pest management services are more interested in tackling the causes than the effects. This way, you get a lasting solution to your carpenter ant problem.
Consider Using Carpenter Ant Insecticides
There are several brands of insecticides. While some are meant for a wide range of insect pests, others are carpenter ant specific.
Application depends on the type of pesticide you choose. Nevertheless, we advise you focus more on nesting areas than killing them on transit.
This gives much better results.
Also apply along your home’s perimeter. This acts as an invincible wall. Thereby preventing further incursion into your property.
Pesticides used to get rid of carpenter ants come in variants. These include liquid and solid forms. While most insecticides are considered toxic, there are non-toxic equivalents to choose from.
Certain ant baits aren’t toxic. It depends on their active ingredients.
These are efficient, yet slow-acting ant killers. You only need to place these around nesting areas, cracks or their passageways. They pick up such baits and transport the right into their colonies. This is where the major blow comes from. They all feast on it and are slowly killed.
This is control option one of the best ways to get rid of them.
These products include Syngenta Ant Gel Bait among others. It can be used in both outdoor and indoor environments. It also bears safety instructions which must be fully adhered to. There are also instructions for application.
Follow such instructions diligently for best results.
Some ant extermination methods may be considered toxic and therefore dangerous around kids and pets. This is where carpenter ant traps come into play. They provide a penetrable enclosure but this won’t be accessible to pets and kids, thereby providing the necessary protection.
But what lures the ants in? The bait of course!
You only need to buy these and place the around ant infested areas. The number of traps you need will depend on the size of your home or property.
Traps are particularly effective if you are looking at how to get rid of carpenter ants in ceiling. This removal method can also be used in addition to other strategies.
Baits are commercially available in local stores.
Home Remedies for Carpenter Ant Control
There’s also the home remedy option. These are largely non-toxic, yet efficient in exterminating carpenter ants.
Do you have little kids and pets? If your answer is in the affirmative, then this option should be considered if you need to kill carpenter ants naturally.
Several pet-safe home remedies for carpenter ants are available as show below;
Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Food-grade diatomaceous earth is an effective non-toxic way to rid your home of carpenter ants. This comes in a powdered form and available in stores.
It is a desiccant that works by piercing the bodies of insects. This results in severe fluid loss from their bodies. But this substance needs to be sprinkled round affected areas. It shouldn’t be hurriedly cleaned, but must be left for some days.
While they go about their daily duties, carpenter ants pass through this substance. The resultant effect is the piercing of their bodies that leads to their doom.
Remove Damp and Rotten Wood
Over time, leakages lead to damp wood. With more time, this will eventually lead to rot.
Such conditions will need to be checked periodically. Without inspection, you may be creating the perfect nesting condition they need. First, remove all forms of leakage around your property as this helps you arrest the problem early enough.
Leaving damp wood long enough attracts carpenter ants. Affected and rotten wood should be remove and replaced.
However, this doesn’t apply to building structures. Having piles of wood around is another recipe for disaster. Your yard or garden needs to be cleared of such.
White vinegar is a readily available staple product in homes. This is also used as a cleaning agent, but what you may not know is its potency in ridding carpenter ants.
While this product is effective, the “how” is equally important. Its 5% acidic content makes it ideal for the job. It also gives off a strong smell which carpenter ants will rather avoid.
Better still is its use as a spray. The liquid will have to be mixed with water. An equal part of water and white vinegar is made.
For more potency, consider adding any essential oil available. This mixture is then sprayed along affected wood surfaces.
What makes this combination a great alternative is that it does no harm. In other words, white vinegar is a great non-toxic strategy to get rid of carpenter ants.
Clear Your Outer Walls of Plants
It’s important to take care of your home surroundings. This includes grasses and plants growing too close.
Apart from the moisture they attract, these plants will act as ladders. Before long, they get access to your damp wooden outer walls. This is where the problem begins, from the ground up! So, consider keeping the sides of outer walls free of growing plants.
These should be removed and adequate spacing allowed. In the event of persistence, consider using additional strategies. Consider using some gel baits or diatomaceous earth. This increases the firepower and decimates carpenter ant populations.
Liquid Castile Soap
Liquid Castile soap can be used for the job. This is readily available. But if you can’t get it, consider using liquid dish soap. This is a worth replacement and has similar effect.
In both of these (liquid Castile or dish soap), water is required to make a soapy mixture. This should be mixed and applied using a spray bottle. A double part of water is needed for 1 part of liquid soap.
When sprayed on carpenter ants, it works by creating a film on their body. This results in suffocation. This solution should be sprayed whenever ants are spotted. But the best way to use it is by find their nests.
The contents should be sprayed as often as possible until there are visible results.
Boric acid is an ideal ingredient to use for a carpenter ant poison. Don’t be misled by the word “poison” as used here, especially when we’re talking about home remedies.
Boric acid is non-toxic to humans. In fact, it is used in most toothpastes.
To make a bait, mix this with some sugar and sprinkle along their paths. Carpenter ants will experiment with whatever they find. This ends up killing them when ingested.
We hope these tips on how to get rid of carpenter ants, remain helpful to anyone facing this challenge in their homes.