Throughout the Eastern United States, the problem of giant black carpenter ants is too far gone to imagine. Although they are little insects,  once as a colony carpenter ant damage is hard to eradicate. 

 

how to get rid of carpenter ants

 

If carpenter ants troubling you in house, then you have to get rid of them and keep your house pest-free! That’s the only plausible solution. Now, you’re reading the right article if you want to know how to get rid of carpenter ants and How to kill carpenter ants

Also, there are some important things you shouldn’t do when it comes to them. So, learn how to identify carpenter ants when your house is infested with them.

 

What Are Carpenter Ants? How Can You Identify Which Carpenter Ants You Have in Your Home or Around You?

Carpenter ants are so-called because they make circular galleries (small holes) on wooden surfaces using their mandibles. It seems as though they are carving the wood. Hence, the name makes your question of “how to identify carpenter ants” answerable. 

One of the key differences between them and termites is that carpenter ants do not consume the wood that they carve out whereas termites do. 

 

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Carpenter ants generally prefer to build their colonies in damp, rotting wood on forest floors. However, they can also venture into homes (especially the ones near forests) and build their nests on wooden furniture where they easily navigate through the tunnels created. 

Black carpenter ants do structural damage to the wooden furniture they build their nests on. In the wild, they form a symbiotic relationship with a species of caterpillar known as Aphids. They stroke the aphids with their antennae and the Aphids excrete a sweet substance known as Honeydew, which the carpenter ants eat. 

This way the carpenter ants get their bellies full and they offer protection to the Aphids from their natural predators. Carpenter ants are usually black or red or a hybrid of the two colours. 

However, many other ant species are also of similar colours. Hence, recognizing Carpenter ants based on their colour alone is difficult. However, they do have some unique traits that can help you identify them and their infestation easily.  

 

 carpenter ants in house

 

How to identify Carpenter ants?

It’s not really that hard. I’m sure that you can grasp it. If you look via a magnifying glass, the details will be revealed. Carpenter ants have a heart-shaped head, a rounded thorax, and hair on their abdomen. 

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They also have only a single node connecting their thorax and abdomen. These are the unique features of carpenter ants in the house that help us distinguish them from other ants. 

 

Where to Find Carpenter Ants’ Nests? And How to Identify The Carpenter Ants Infestation?

Now, this is an important question. Unless you can identify a carpenter ant damage or infestation, you cannot eliminate it. Here are the major signs of a carpenter ant infestation:

 

How to kill carpenter ants

 

  • Piles of wood shavings called Frass (like thick sawdust) can be found beneath wooden furniture like tables, doors, chairs, showcase, etcetera. 
  • There will be circular galleries (small holes) on wooden surfaces/furniture. The holes are all interlinked for the navigation of the carpenter ants in house.
  • You can see winged ants creeping out from the holes on wooden furniture. 
  • You can see the shed wings of ants. 
  • Rustling noises will be heard from the hollow wooden furniture where the ants have built their nest.  

Carpenter Ant Education

Carpenter ants, like all ants, communicate and navigate using pheromones. Certain natural substances have a strong odour and disrupt the pheromone trails. Thus they disorient the carpenter ants in house and discourage them from building a colony in your home. 

how to get rid of carpenter ants

The natural substances that have a strong repelling odour for the ants are essential oils. There are so many different essential oils. Some of them are lemongrass oil, bay leaf oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, cedarwood oil, orange essence, and lemon oil. 

I had a carpenter ant infestation in my house once and I found that spraying lemongrass oil throughout my house was effective in driving them out. The odour felt strong even for me. I wasn’t repelled by it though. I found it quite pleasing and invigorating.  

Also read: Brown rice vs White rice, which one has more health benefits and nutrition?

Steps for Carpenter Ant Control

How to kill carpenter ants

 

1. Inspection

This is the first step when it comes to how to identify carpenter ants and kill them. Inspection leads you to determine their location and how they get inside for food. Or in some worst cases, the colony is inside your home. 

 

2. Determine Control Measures

Once you have identified the foraging trails, determine the control measures like baiting, sparing, or treating voids where you must use foams and dust where the carpenter ants are nesting. 

 

3. Prevention

The final step to ant-proof your home for future infestations is to clear away all the lumber piles, rotting trees, and filing the leaks of plumbing pipes in your mission towards clearance of carpenter ants in house.

 

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants?  4 Methods to Get rid of Carpenter Ants or Kill Them?

You can either drive the Carpenter ants out of your home alive. Or if you are too kind-hearted like my sister where you must forget the solution for how to kill carpenter ants, question altogether. 

Spray repelling substances throughout your home after you have killed them to prevent them from entering into your home again. 

 

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To eliminate a Carpenter ant nest, you’ll have to first find it, which can be done by the above-mentioned steps. Once you have located their nest, here is how you can get rid of their colony.

 

1. Place a bait near the nest site: 

The best way to lure the ants out is to place a sweet bait like powdered sugar near their nest site if you believe it to be located nearby. Luring carpenter ants in house by honeydew or sugary sweet is the best bet for success.

 

2. Mix the bait with a toxic substance: 

Many toxic substances can kill Carpenter ants. A few of them are Diatomaceous Earth (DE) and Boric Acid (Carrom Board Powder). Mix any of these substances with the powdered sugar. 

Since these substances resemble powdered sugar in texture and appearance, the ants will consume these toxic substances and die. They should be mixed in equal proportions. About half a cup of each would be an ideal start. 

 

3. Try Boric Acid Bait

You can easily buy boric acid from a local garden store. Now mix it with powdered sugar in the ratio of 1:2 and set it down where the ants come.

When they return to the nest it will kill all the ants living in the nest as it penetrates the ant’s body dissolving the inside of the ant.

 

4. Destroy Their Nest

Once you have killed the ants, you should destroy their nest site to prevent future infestation. You can spray pesticides into the round galleries to do so. Dust carpenter ant dust like Diatomaceous earth, Delta Dust or Drione Pest insecticide dust which are effective. 

Once you have sprayed the pesticide, you can either seal the galleries with white clay or buy new furniture to prevent future infestation.

To get an even better idea on how to destroy Carpenter ant nests, kindly watch this video

 

 

Also read: 5 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Weird Tan Lines Fast – 100% Worth Trying

 

How to Prevent Carpenter Ants From Re-Entering Your Home? What Are The Natural Ways of Getting Rid of Carpenter Ants From Your Home?

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1. Clean your house regularly 

You must keep your house spic and span and prevent any food particles from lying on the floor or the kitchen sink. I know that this is hard work but it has to be done for the sake of your house and your furniture to get rid of black carpenter ants and the red one too.

Leftover food particles are a major source of attraction for Carpenter ants. It is what encourages them to feed and build colonies in your home. 

 

2. Seal all the cracks and holes 

This can be a painstaking job but it has to be done to prevent a Carpenter ant infestation. If there are any cracks or holes in your wooden furniture or walls or windows, seal them with white cement or white clay. This will prevent Carpenter ants from building new colonies there.

 

3. Groom your lawn

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Yup, there’s no escaping from your chores. Your lawn must be free of fallen leaves, fallen pieces of wood and branches hanging directly over your house. These are ideal nesting grounds for carpenter ants. 

You can dig a compost pit and bury the dead leaves and wood or you can simply burn them to prevent a Carpenter ant infestation. Watch this video to learn how to build a compost pit. 

 

 

You must also keep firewood well away from the exterior walls of your home to prevent carpenter ants from entering into your home. Before you bring firewood into your home, kindly check if it has a Carpenter ant infestation. 

 

4. Keep your home dry and water-tight

Carpenter ants need food, water, and shelter to survive. You must eliminate these sources as much as possible. The floors of your home must be dry and clean. You must fix any leaking taps and you must not spill water or any other sweet liquid anywhere in your home. 

If there are no sources of food or water in your home, the ants will be discouraged from breeding there. Hire a plumber if you have to.  

I hope these points answer your question “how to get rid of carpenter ants” effectively.

 

What People Have Done so far? According to the Internet Research and People’s Review

Here is what people are talking about when it comes to get rid of carpenter ants and kill them.

This screenshot is taken from Quora regarding the carpenter ant problem

how to get rid of carpenter ants

This screenshot is taken from reddit

The Bottom Line

how to get rid of carpenter ants

Though there are myriad ways on how to kill carpenter ants, so prevention is always better than cure. It will save you your time, effort, and money.

Keep your house clean and dry, keep firewood away from your exterior walls and seal all the cracks and holes in your house to prevent a Carpenter ant infestation, and to stay clear of how to get rid of carpenter ants! 

Spraying repelling substances like essential oils throughout your house will discourage carpenter ants from entering and breeding in your home. Ax off any branches that hang directly over your home to cut off entry points for Carpenter ants in house. 

If you’re not able to handle a Carpenter ant infestation yourself, kindly call an exterminator and leave the job to the experts.

 

FAQs

1. What do carpenter ants eat? 

Carpenter ants are omnivores and will eat insects, berries, fruits, and some leaves. They are most attracted to sweet substances like Honeydew excreted by special types of caterpillars known as Aphids. 

2. What damage do Carpenter ants cause? 

Carpenter ants cause structural damage to wooden furniture. They create interlinked circular galleries on wooden surfaces, which weaken their strength. If you’re not careful, your wooden chairs may break while you sit on them.

3. Which is the breeding season for carpenter ants? 

Carpenter ants breed during the spring and summer seasons. Some queens and a few males will develop wings to find a new nesting place. During winter, Carpenter ants do not breed and only forage for food. 

4. Where are Carpenter ants commonly found? 

Carpenter ants are found throughout the US but they are more concentrated in the North-Eastern states due to a large number of cities (and ultimately wooden furniture)found there.  

5. How big do carpenter ants grow? 

Worker ants grow to be up to 3/4th of an inch long while queen ants can grow up to 2 and a half inches long. 

 

Do let us know if you have found these methods useful, in the comment section below!!