How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants | DIY Ways to Try


It is very unlikely that you haven’t heard about ants. Not only is it pretty out of the box, but it is also going to be a lot to take in. However, when we are talking about ants, there are two primitive categories that you can differentiate them into. You have your standard non-harming variants and the ones that leave behind redness and itchiness on the skin. 

The warmer months are the time that you find ants crawling all around the house, either making it difficult to put a speck of food outside or needing to be extra careful with the process. If your house is infested and looking for ways to get rid of carpenter ants, we have a few tips to share.

Unlike the black sugar ants that are practically harmless and come around your home to eat the crumbs you forgot to clear off the floor, carpenter ants can be a pain. Not only do they bite, but they also damage the furniture and woodwork around your home. So, getting rid of them is not a choice but a necessity.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Crickets? | 8 Effective Ways

What are Carpenter Ants?

If you aren’t sure, carpenter ants, like the carpenter bees, attack the wood in and around your home. They tend to chew on the wood and excrete in them to make their way inside for shelter. So, unlike termites that eat away at the wood furniture, carpenter ants are doing it for shelter and warmth.

Finding wood shavings and powder around the wooden furniture that wasn’t there before is reason enough for you to realize that it is likely an infestation of carpenter ants that you need to get rid of immediately before it eats away at all your furniture.

How Do Carpenter Ants Gain Entry Inside the Home?

If you think that the infestation of carpenter ants came from the ground beneath your home, that is not always the case. They tend to be attracted to moisture-induced areas, which means that you will find them in moldy and wet patches around the house.

Aside from that, if you have cracks and openings in your home that you haven’t repaired yet, the chances are that it is one of the leading openings for them to enter your home.

Most of the time, the indoor carpenter ants tend to build their home near the water sources, so make sure you check those out without fail. So, check around the sites of air conditioners, sinks, dishwashers, etc.

List of Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

Unlike the standard ants that you see around your house, spotting a carpenter ant and getting rid of it isn’t as easy as it seems. They live in large colonies, which means that you have to wait things out and ensure that you get the entire colony to prevent them from coming back. Killing just one or two stray carpenter ants will do you no good in the long run. So, you need to come up with a fix that tackles the entire thing for good.

Following are some of the effective ways you can do so:

1. Make a Bait

Since spotting carpenter ants is extremely tough, the first thing you need to do is find their shelter and which wood furniture they have drilled a hole into. One of the best ways to do so is by leaving food bait out on the floor that the ant can take into their shelter. What you can do is be observant and check where they take their bet and follow the trail to find the colony. 

If that bait doesn’t work, you can make a solution with sugar, water, and baking soda and leave it out in the open where the ants can smell them. The sugar will attract the ants, while the baking soda will kill them once they lick into the solution.

2. Keep Your Home Clean

As routine as it sounds, the more crumbs you have on the floor, the more likely you will attract a trail of carpenter ants around. The best way to avoid doing that is by ensuring that you clean the floor with antiseptic liquids and get rid of any food crumbs as soon as possible. It might sound tedious, but doing this will ensure that you don’t have to worry about the carpenter ants eating away at the furniture.

3. Seal the Food Jars

Ants are smart and on extremely high alert all the time. If they can smell a jar of cookies opened on your kitchen counter, the chances are that they are going to infest them and eat away at the cookies. The best way to avoid that is by ensuring that you seal the food jars. Switch to durable plastic or glass jars for the process because those have been found to have better impacts than the standard wooden containers since the carpenter ants will get into them eventually.

Along with that, you also need to ensure that you never leave crumbs of food on the dishes that you have stalked up in the sink.

4. Try Direct Dusting

If the simple baits aren’t working, direct dusting with insecticides can help eliminate the infestation. However, you need to ensure that you do bring out the ants from their hiding spot before you think about spraying the powder on them. A few different brands in the market sell carpenter ant dust that you can directly apply to the nest.

5. Try Boric Acid

Boric Acid

Another effective way you can tackle the carpenter ant infestation is by opting for the boric acid bait. Setting up this bait isn’t as difficult as it seems. All you need to do is take a part of boric acid, sugar, and water and make a solution out of it. In a shallow dish, transfer the solution and wait for the ants to be lured into it. Boric acid gets into the ant’s body and dissolves it from within, killing them in the process. So, if you are looking to get rid of carpenter ants, this is one of the most potent ways.

6. Eliminate Unnecessary Moisture

Since carpenter ants are attracted to moisture and try to find wet areas around the house, you need to find one of the primary things they require. If you find moisture-filled areas, get rid of the moisture immediately. Moisture build-up is often seen inside wooden doors and furniture too. So, make sure you check around the house for those signs and get rid of them before it takes a turn for the worse.

7. Damage the Nest

As bad as it sounds, carpenter ants tend to make their nests inside the furniture and other wooden materials. This means that you need to find the nest and then damage it to get rid of the entire colony. One of the easiest ways is to spot the nest, treat it with some chemical insecticides and then let the ants crawl out of the nest on their own. Once they are out, you can clean the hole and stuff it with some chemicals and close the holes with metal fillers to prevent the ants from getting into the spot again.

8. Take the Trash

Ants, like any other insects, tend to be attracted to trash and food particles. This is where you need to attack as well. If you are lazy and not taking out your trash regularly, it is always better that you do so more frequently and clean the trash can as well. Sanitizing the trash can ensures that you wouldn’t have to worry about the creepers and the damage to the wood.

Also, if possible, get rid of any kinds of lumbar or firewood from inside your home since the carpenter ants tend to live in the more predominantly.

Still wondering how to get rid of carpenter ants? Well, we hope these natural DIY ideas help you get rid of the infestation for good. However, if nothing works out, we’d recommend that you switch to a professional and get the entire house treated for pests and insects. The last thing you want is for the entire house to be infested.

Also read: 10 Best Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants?

If you are tired of the damage the carpenter ants are inflicting on your home; you must take immediate steps and start with bait first. If those don’t work, boric acid is a good alternative too.

Do Carpenter Ants Go Away On Their Own?

Although highly unlikely, they will likely move to a different spot if they find their current shelter inhabitable. So, it depends on the situation they are in.

Does Vinegar Kill Carpenter Ants?

Yes, since vinegar has a degree of acetic acid in it, it is quite effective in getting rid of the carpenter ants from your home. You can mix it with dish soap and water and use it as bait.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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