Get Rid of Carpenter Ants
Ants, Guides

Practical Guide How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

Looking at them, carpenter ants are harmless. They go about their business quietly, and many homeowners don’t consider them a risk. However, these small insects can cause extensive structural damage to your property. They make their nests in wood, and if a colony infests your property for a long time, you will have to deal with thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.  A carpenter ant bite is also painful and can even break the skin. For these reasons, it’s crucial to learn how to get rid of carpenter ants as fast as you can.

This guide examines different ways of dealing with these pests immediately you notice signs of carpenter ants in house. They range from carpenter ant traps, baits, sprays, and ant gel.

 

The most Effective Methods for Getting rid of Carpenter Ants

Editor's Picks

Brand

Rating

Most Effective

Best Bait Gel

Best for Hard-To-Reach

Natural


Most Effective: TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Bait Ant Killer

The TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Bait Ant Killer ranks at the top because it kills not only the ants you see but also those you don’t. This carpenter ant bait is the most effective technique to destroy an ant colony. If you have a carpenter ant problem on your property, this is the most comprehensive tactic. It works subtly, and once you set the baits in the best possible locations, they do the rest of the work gradually.

The ready-to-use baits will attract black carpenter ants looking for food. The sweet, sugary liquid smells and tastes good but contains an active ingredient, Borax. This compound affects the ant’s digestive system, eventually killing the insect.

The sweet smell of the baits will attract more ants to the colony and as they continue eating, they will die. Carpenter ants live and work in a community, which means hundreds or thousands of workers will come into contact with the baits and take them back to the colony.

This top carpenter ant killer is easy to use as you only have to identify the best locations to place the baits. The liquid is protected inside the bait when sealed and the new and improved snap-off tab makes it easy to open.  Once you open the bait station, ants can access the sugary liquid and the sweet smell will attract more. 

Best Ant Bait Gel: Syngenta - TRTD11568 - Optigard Ant Bait Gel

This carpenter ants bait comes from one of the top manufacturers of pesticides, healthcare products, among other products. The Optigard ant bait gel from Syngenta is a sugar-based gel whose sweet smell attracts ants. One of the main advantages of this ant killer is the high levels of moisture to allow the ants to consume it easily.

The carpenter ant bait works both by ingestion and contact, making it more effective than most ant baits on the market. It has a superior long-term impact when controlling ants and cockroaches compared to contact sprays. The gel comes in a 30-gram tube for easy application around the house or even outdoor.

The gel also ranks highly as it can kill all species of ants. These include flying carpenter ants, bullet ants, Argentine ants, acrobat, big-headed ants, cornfield ants, field ants, honey ants, odorous house, pavement, pharaoh and thief ants.

The carpenter ant gel contains active ingredient Thiamethoxam. This ingredient kills the ant slowly, allowing it to carry the poison to the colony. As more ants feed on the gel, they also die off, and eventually, the queen of the colony also dies. The death of the queen finishes of the colony and gets rid of the carpenter ants on your property. 

Best for Hard-To-Reach Areas: TERRO T600 Ant Dust

When fighting carpenter ants, most property owners give up because they can’t reach all spots where these small insects infest. This is why the TERRO T600 Ant Dust is a great option to kill carpenter ants as it helps you reach those hard-to-reach spots. It is an easy product to use and works for a wide variety of pests, including carpenter ants, fire ants, cockroaches, spiders, and others.

The dust is waterproof and won’t wash away in the rain, making it an ideal product for killing carpenter ants outdoors. The convenient shaker-can makes it easy to scatter the dust and also spread it over a wide area.

If you have cracks and crevices on your floors and walls, this is the best treatment to get rid of ants. You can also use it on service ducts, under and behind cabinets, along baseboards, wall voids, in attics and crawl spaces, around windows and door frames, around electrical equipment, water, and sewer pipes, refrigerators and sinks and other hidden areas.

Home Remedies for Removing Carpenter Ants

Some effective home remedies for killing crooner ants include:

  • Use of chalk
  • Using boric acid
  • Food-grade diatomaceous earth

Do-It-Yourself Solutions and Traps

Using Chalk

Chalk contains calcium carbonate and carpenter ants don’t like this compound. To use this home remedy, you should first identify any signs of carpenter ants. Spray the chalk around areas where you have noticed the pests, across entry points, and also draw a line of chalk at the entrance.

How to Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants Using Boric Acid

This is a cheap yet effective way to get rid of carpenter ants in your home. The boric acid powder is readily available in most homes and you should mix it with sweet and tasty crumbs of peanut butter, sugar, or honey to make the perfect carpenter ant traps.

Boric acid interferes with the ant’s digestive and nervous system, eventually leading to death. The worker ants will take the food crumbs to the colony which eventually killing the entire colony. Try different positions for the crumbs and try to place them as close to the colony as you can.

Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a safer home remedy compared to boric acid. If you have kids or pets around your home, this is a non-toxic solution to get rid of carpenter ants. When ingested by ants, the diatomaceous earth will feel like broken shards of glass.

 For the best results, mix the compound with delicious crumbs to lure the ants. The mixture will kill the ants via dehydration. The sharp surface of the diatomaceous earth will bore into the carpenter ant’s exoskeleton leading to loss of fluid and slow death.


What Kind Of Spray Will Help?

Carpenter ants rely on their sense of smell to find food and find their way around. The best spray to get rid of carpenter ants should interfere with their best means of communication which is their sense of smell.

You can make effective carpenter ant sprays using essential oils such as peppermint, lemon oil, and cedar wood. Mix any of these essential with a carrier and repeatedly spray at entry points, windowsills, door frames, baseboards, the perimeters of countertops, and other areas.


Interesting Facts about Carpenter Ants

  • Carpenter ants can lift up to 7X their own weight with their teeth.
  • Known as the tidiest animals and remove clutter from their nests. They collect resin repeatedly to disinfect their nests
  • Carpenter ants don’t see but follow pheromone trails left by other ants
  • A carpenter ant bite can inject acid into your skin, causing a lot of pain.
  • They’re social animals with colonies containing thousands of wingless worker ants


How to Prevent

Preventing carpenter ants infestation is easier and cheaper than fighting them when they are already on your property. Here are some simple ways to prevent the ants from your property:

  • Store all garbage is in tightly sealed containers.
  • Clean your home thoroughly of food particles or water sources, especially after meals.
  • Stack firewood away from the walls or the house. Store your firewood elevated from the ground.
  • Trim tree branches so that they do not touch the exterior walls or roof.
  • Store all foods sealed inside refrigerators, freezers, or tightly sealed containers.
  • Repair any roof leaks, and plumbing leaks or other moisture problems around your home to stop attracting carpenter ants
  • Seal all holes, gaps, cracks, and crevices on your foundation walls or other outer walls.

FAQ

Where Do Carpenter Ants Come From?

Carpenter ants get their name from their nest building capability and are found throughout the world. There are many species, including the flying and all prefer to nest in moist wood or other wooden structures.

You will find their nests in wood dampened by water leaks, in areas such as bathtubs, roof leaks, sinks, poorly sealed windows or door frames. Signs of an Infestation include the presence of worker ants, insect body parts, sawdust-like shavings, and fragments of insulation.  They have powerful jaws, and carpenter ant bites are thus painful and a reminder of their presence.

What Do Carpenter Ants Eat?

Carpenter ants don’t eat wood but rather build in it. They feed on foods rich in protein such as living and dead insects and honeydew. Sugary items also attract these ants, and in the house, they will go for protein-rich foods meats and pet food and sugars such as jelly, granulated sugar, syrup, honey, and other sweets.

How to Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants?

If wondering how to kill carpenter ants, you can use commercial ant baits, gels and sprays to kill ants. Homemade remedies such as the use of chalk, peppermint spray, and boric acid are also effective for getting rid of carpenter ants. 

Other ways to get rid of these pests include storing food well sealed in containers, cleaning up after meals, sealing garbage cans tightly and storing firewood away from the house.

What Do Carpenter Ants Look Like?

Adults can measure anywhere from 6 to 12 mm in length. Males (carpenter ants with wings) can measure up to 18 mm. They come in a variety of colours from black red, yellow, dark brown, light brown, or even orange.

What Do Carpenter Ants Eat

Carpenter ants might seem to love wood but this is only for sheltering purposes when building and maintaining their nest. They eat foods and drinks rich in protein.

Can Carpenter Ants Damage My Home?

A resounding yes. These small pests cause millions of dollars’ worth of damage every year across the country. They can damage anything made of wood from your furniture to your home.

Are Carpenter Ants Dangerous to Humans? 

Do Carpenter Ants Bite? Yes, but this is only when provoked, carpenter ants rarely attack humans. When under threat, a carpenter ants bite is not out of the question, and it is painful.

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Get Rid of Fire Ants
Ants

Ultimate Guide How to Get Rid of Fire Ants

Fire ants can be a nuisance in the home, especially if you have pets and children. There are over-the-counter pesticides that you can use to control them. However, this solution is not always satisfactory. There are many other powerful solutions, including the use of ant dust, ant killer granules and yard treatment bait. Below, we discuss these fire ant killers plus home remedies that you can use to get rid of fire ants once and for all.

 

The most Effective Methods for Getting rid of Fire Ants in 2020


Most Effective: Ortho Fire Ant Killer Broadcast Granules

This powerful ant killer is great at preventing new mounds and treating already existing ones. As you understand, fire ants can be adamant as long as the fire ant queen still exists. This solution, however, will begin to work on the population as soon as 15 minutes after application. Also, this ant killer can be used throughout the year, but one application can prevent fire ants for up to six months. If you want something for the long term, then this product is the one to use to get rid of fire ants.


Runner Up: Amdro Yard Treatment for Fire Ants

This fire ant treatment comes in a five-pound bag and can be used to treat areas up to 10,000 square feet. The treatment lasts the entire year, meaning that the yard owner does not have to worry about new mounds forming.

This solution, therefore, is effective, especially if you have persistent fire ants in your compound. It can even take down underground fire ant mounds.

It is recommended that this treatment solution be applied during early spring mornings as this is when the fire ants are the most active. It works in a straightforward way. The worker ants will carry the bait back to the fire ant queen, which will lead to the death of the entire colony. It is also worth noting that this treatment is better not used in the rainy season as the water reduces its effectiveness.


Best for budget: Terro Ant Dust

This is the best fire ant killer if you are looking for something that will work in crevices and cracks. This waterproof ant dust is waterproof and works well in moist areas of the house, such as the basement and foundation. To top it all up, it can control red ant populations for up to eight months as long as the ants come into contact with the dust. It is effective both for fire & carpenter ants.

Applying the ant killer is simple. All you have to do is shake the can so that the dust fills the cracks. The dust can be used both indoors and outdoors, and the results will be the same. It works not for fire ants alone, but other ant species and insects as well


Best Natural: Cayenne Pepper

You can make your fire ant killer using cayenne pepper powder and cayenne pepper.

The first step involves bringing a quart of water to boil. After, you pour the boiling water into a glass jar containing four to five sliced cayenne peppers. This mixture should sit for up to 24 hours, which gives it a chance to steep before you can put it to use.

To protect and get rid of fire ants by preventing them from leaving their mound, sprinkle cayenne pepper all around.  The next step is to pour the cayenne pepper solution into the mount. The ants will die, and the place will become inhabitable, thus solving the problem. This solution can also be applied around the home when you find fire ants.

Effective home solutions

  • Lemon water
  • Vinegar and baking powder solution

Do-It-Yourself Solutions to Get Rid of Fire Ants

1.

Baiting: Baiting is a slow-acting kind of solution. However, it is 80 to 90% effective in controlling fire ant populations.

The method involves lacing baits with pesticides and then leaving it for the ants to take the tainted bait to the colony. The fire ant queen fire ant mound and the other ants will consume the bait, which slows down its reproduction. The bait eventually kills her and the colony. This option is not as toxic as the bait is spread over a large area.

For this method to be completely effective, the ants should be foraging. Ensure that you do not use these baits during the rainy season as the rain degrades the bait.

2.

Drenching Fire Ant Mounds: The second do-it-yourself solution involves drenching the fire ant mound. This solution is especially applicable if the fire ants have moved into the home or to areas where they are posing a danger to humans and animals.

The drenching method can utilize the granule and liquid solutions that we described above. However, be careful and fast when using these solutions so that the ants do not bite you.

For the liquid, you will need a hand pump sprayer a bucket and a broom handle. You will also need protective gear to handle the product.

Mix up to a gallon of the solution. Using the hand pump sprayer, cover the area around the mound so that you can control the foraging ants. You will then mix two more gallons of the solution in the bucket then use a broom handle to poke a hole through the ant mound. Pour the solution in the bucket into the mound, ensuring that no spill-over could run to other areas. When this is done, you should move away from the area and let the solution work as needed.

For the granules, you will need a bucket and a broom handle. First, apply some granules 3 feet around the colony so that you disarm the foragers. The next step involves applying the granules on the mound according to the instructions on the product. Pour water on the mound to soak the granules then use the broom handle to break the apex of the mound and let the solution flow into the tunnels. This solution works best when the weather is cool, such as in the morning and evening.

3.

Vinegar and Baking Soda Solution: You will mix baking soda and vinegar in equal parts. This solution is then poured into the ant colony so that it repels them. Alternatively, you can keep it and spray it when you notice ants around the home. The vinegar solution only works to turn them away for a few hours, so you will have to take extra measures to get rid of them totally

4.

Lemon water: This method involves mixing equal amounts of water and lemon juice then spraying the mixtures in areas with high traffic of fire ants. Just like with the vinegar, you will have to spray more than once and use additional methods to rid your surroundings of fire ants completely.

What kind of spray will help to get rid of fire ants?

You can use liquid ant control pesticides such as Eco Defense Organic Home Pest Control to deal with fire ants. Another option would be to make dish soap and orange oil solution that is effective at killing them.

What ECO spray will help?

You can use liquid ant control pesticides such as Eco Defense Organic Home Pest Control to deal with fire ants. Another option would be to make dish soap and orange oil solution that is effective at killing them.


Interesting Facts about Fire Ants

  • There are single-queen and multiple-queen territories. In a single queen territory, workers forage within the bounds of their territories; the reverse is true for multiple-queen territories where workers move freely.
  • There can be approximately 40 to 150 mounds per acre in areas with single queen colonies. The numbers go higher when there are multiple-queen colonies (up to 200 or more mounds).
  • A colony of fire ants may contain up to 200,000 of them.
  • The worker ants in fire ant colonies are female.
  • The mounds lead to tunnels that go as deep as 25 miles underground.

How to Prevent Fire Ants

  • Clear food remains.
    Ants come into homes because they sense the availability of foods. Storing foods appropriately and cleaning the house prevents them from coming into the house.
  • Clear the water in your surroundings
    Ants will camp in an area with water, especially when the weather is dry. If you have leaking faucets, get them fixed.
  • Do not squash ants
    Squashing fire ants triggers the release of oleic acid. This attracts them, and they rush to the fallen worker ant. Also, they may react by scattering around the area, which is not helpful. Instead, apply the numerous solutions discussed to get rid of them.

FAQ

Where do Fire Ants Come From?

Red and black fire ants are native to South America. However, today they thrive in North America as well as a result of accidental importation through Alabama’s port of Mobile. Other fire ant species are native to North America.

What do Fire Ants Eat?

The diet of fire ants depends on the species. Southern fire ants eat greasy foods and proteins while red fire ants eat animals, plants and dead insects.

How dangerous are fire ants?

Fire ants sting and inject a venom known as solenopsin. The body reacts to the bite forming a welt. However, apart from the burning, irritation, and itching, fire ant bites are not dangerous. Over time, some people become allergic to the venom, so if you are un a fire ant-infested region, having anti-histamines could be a lifesaver.

How do I identify a fire ant mound?

In the paragraphs above, you may have noticed that the instructions for treating this kind of ant mound required a broomstick for opening the mound. The primary difference between fire ant mounds and those of other ants is the lack of an opening at the top.

Does vinegar kill fire ants?

Vinegar repels fire ants more than it kills them. This means that you will either have to apply a more potent solution or use vinegar repeatedly for the best results.

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