Generally, ants are harmless but they can be annoying and very destructive to your home. The carpenter ant is probably the best example of this. They become very active in warmer months, during which they search for new homes and for food. They could infest your sidewalks, driveways, and siding, and your home.
This guide will cover both how to identify and how to get rid of carpenter ants from your home.
How Do You Identify Carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants are often misunderstood as termites. Both damage your home, and both are annoying pests. But termites eat wood, while carpenter ants simply burrow. Carpenter ants won’t eat the wood, rather chew it and make their way in, leaving behind traces of debris.
Carpenter Ants are usually all-red, black or brown, or a combination. They are 6 legged (like all insects), oval in shape, and are 1/2” to 5/8” in size. They are found throughout America and are commonly found in New England and the northeast. They live in colonies which usually house 20,000 to 50,000. Compared to termites, carpenter ants leave a lot of debris because they do not eat the wood they burrow into. Compared to regular ants, they are larger and consistently make their colonies near trees, siding, and other wooden structures.
How do they get in?
These ants love moist wood that makes it easy for them to set up a colony. These ants can invade your home through any crack or opening, including cracks in your siding. You can find them in areas near AC units, sinks, bathrooms, dishwashers, etc. due to the moisture these appliances generate.
How to get rid of Carpenter ants?
The most effective way to get rid of any pest is to call a local pest control provider. However, there are some DIY methods that may prove effective including:
Carpenter Ant Bait
Ant bait is an effective way to draw out ants and get rid of them. You can buy ant bait at many different stores in the home improvement section. Or you can make your own. Most ant baits use sugar to draw ants in and then a poison to kill them. Always make sure to check if the bait is safe for your pets and children.
Clear their trails
Insects, other ants, and carpenter ants rely heavily on their scented trails to locate food and return on the same path. You can erase that trail by using tea tree oil, lemon, orange, or cedarwood. Put any of these on a sponge and clear the trail. You can also use dishwashing soap plus water and pour it on the trail. Erasing trails is a good method early on before ants infest your home. Unfortunately, if you have a colony living in your home this method will not be effective but is effective when you only have a few scouts in your home.
Destroy the nest
If you are able to locate a nest inside your home or outside, destroying it may deter ants from staying and rebuilding. Inside a home, you can drill a small hole into your siding or your walls, and then use ant-killing products to destroy the colony. Boric acid is often recommended but is not a great DIY solution as it presents a significant danger to your home. It is recommended you consult a pest control team in advance before using boric acid.
Now that you know how carpenter ants can destroy your living, it’s time to act. You can contact our team at Absolut Pest Control to get rid of ants and other pests.