How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

Article by Bruce Gow – licensed pest control expert

“It takes hard work and persistence to get rid of carpenter ants in your home. Check out your yard for any signs of their handiwork before ringing up a professional to make sure you’ve got a grasp of the situation. Myself and the team at A1 Pest Control pride ourselves in being thorough and hitting those Carpenter Ants right where it hurts!”

Getting rid of carpenter ants in your home requires a lot of work and persistence. Before calling in the pest control technician, make sure that you have a thorough inspection outside.carpenter-ants-small

The Best Carpenter Ant Control

Carpenter ants are both sugar and protein eaters that feed quite comfortably on the inside of your home. Look for tell tale signs of timber deterioration and sawdust. This is often misinterpreted as termite damage, particularly on window sills. If in doubt, arrange for a expert in termite inspections.

A1 Pest Control specialises in this type of work. See our pages on Termite Inspection

You can contact us by calling 0417 251 911 or emailing bruce@a1pestcontrol.com.au

Ant Baits and Treating Infestations

Step 1:

Take care to treat the exterior of your house with what is known as a “residual-barrier”, such as Termidor, as well as making sure to get rid of any refuse and rotting leaves that are surrounding your house. If you come across a developed nest (often found within rotted wood) kill it. This is done by opening or gaining access to the nest and flooding it with boiled water or alternatively you can mix water and ant killer. You might find it necessary to improve the structure of your home interior to prevent further indoor carpenter ant colonies being established.

It is actually quite simple to get rid of Carpenter Ants when you know where they are originating from. The larger colonies actually produce a crunching/crinkling sound when the ants are nesting.

In some cases this sound is mistaken for carpenter ants when in reality it is a case of a termite infestation. If you are not sure about which type of infestation it is then it is wiser to leave it be or contact a professional. If it is indeed a termite infestation you can end up spreading if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you find that there is no sound to detect the nest by then it might be a good idea to set up honey/sugar bait, you can then follow them back to their nest during the night. This does require patience and extra time however the reward of finding the nest makes it worth it. Once you’ve found the nest you have two options.

Step 2:

You can get rid of the carpenter ants within your house by spraying a pesticide in aerosol form across and into the opening to the nest as well as placing sweet baits (which contain boric-acid) close to the nest. You can view this as an initial step when you suspect the colony isn’t that large. A case like this would be when you find ~twenty winged ants within your home during spring, which indicates a small, but established, colony.

It is possible that an aerosol pesticide and sweetened baits can solve the problem. But it is to be noted that some of these ants have been known to live for months without food, and in the case of using an aerosol that rarely extends far into the nest it could prohibit the whole infestation form being taken care of.

Step 3:

The most sure fire way to get rid of these ants in your house is by drilling holes into the walls which penetrate their nest, then making use of a dust and spray technique with ant killer. If you’ve seen more than twenty winged ants in your house during spring then you should consider taking more severe steps as this could indicate a larger, well established ant colony. This would lead to the safest call to action being a drilling into the nest and making use of boric-acid or Termidor Ant-Control to eliminate them.

This is often a hard decision as most people don’t want to purposefully damage their house, and in the case of a renter this might not even be a problem. If you feel uncertain that you can handle the infestation alone then you may want to contact an expert pest control company. In the case of being a homeowner you should try to schedule an inspection which will give you a definite answer as to what kind of infestation you have on your hands and where the nest is located, after the initial inspection there is another appointment to treat the nest and a final appointment to ensure that the ants have been taken care of.

If you are renting then you should notify your landlord of the problem ASAP; and then explain to them to the danger to the structural integrity of your home if there isn’t immediate action taken.

Professional Carpenter Ant Control

A good pest control professional will do a very thorough examination of your home. Having all family members present may help the agent pinpoint the location of the next more easily, so be ready for questions about sightings and recent ant activity. Once the nest is located, the pest control agent will drill holes, and treat the surrounding wood, moving outward from the nest’s location, eventually finishing the job with a residual insecticide spray of the perimeter of your home. With the number of carpenter ant infestations and the difficulty of getting rid of carpenter ants, it is relatively common to call in a professional to take care of your ant problem.

CAUTION! Pesticide recommendations in this article are registered for use in Australia only! The use of some products may not be legal in your state or country. Please check with your local county agent, pest control firm or regulatory official before asking “How do you get rid of Carpenter Ants?” or using any pesticide mentioned in this publication.

Of course, ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS FOR SAFE USE OF ANY PESTICIDE!

Call A1 Pest Control for all pests on 0417 251 911

Call Bruce on 0417 251 911 or email him at bruce@a1pestcontrol.com.au if you have a problem with carpenter ants.