Carpenter ants are some of the biggest ants found in the United States. They are known for building their nests in wood, often cutting galleries in wood structures in order to create not just their nests, but passageways to and from the nests as well.
Carpenter ants do not eat wood, nor do they bite. However, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t a nuisance, especially if their nest leads to a carpenter ant infestation in your home.
The first thing you need to do is to identity carpenter ants and make sure that they’re not termites. The following are a few tips to help you distinguish between the two.
-Carpenter ants tend to have black or brown bodies with three segments and six legs.
-There are two types of carpenter ants — the workers and the reproducers. The reproductive ants have wings.
-You can differentiate carpenter ants from termites by their antennae. A carpenter ant’s antennae are bent, whereas a termite has straight antennae.
-Once you’ve identified that you have a carpenter ant problem, follow these steps in order to get rid of them.
Find the Carpenter Ant Nest
Look for slits and holes in any wood parts of your property. Carpenter ants will often build nests in wood walls, cabinets, beams, hollow doors, and structural wood. They are also drawn to wood that is moist, so look for areas that are slightly damp.
Another telltale sign of a nearby nest is frass. Frass is the material that is left behind after carpenter ants dig into the wood. Frass is easily identified as it closely resembles small piles of sawdust.
Once you’ve found the general area of the nest, use a sugary fruit as bait nearby. A trail of carpenter ants will eventually form from the bait that you can follow back to their nest.
Destroy the Carpenter Ant Nest
There are several ways to go about destroying the nest once you find it. The following are some of the most effective methods:
-Use delta dust or drione pest insecticide – If the carpenter ant nest is located in an area you can reach, you can apply delta dust or drione pest insecticide directly to the nest to kill all of the carpenter ants. However, keep in mind that these types of chemical dusts do contain toxins, which means that if you have pets or children, you may want to avoid using this method.
-Use diatomaceous earth – Diatomaceous earth is another type of dust that can be used to kill carpenter ants by applying it directly to their nest. However, unlike delta dust or drione pest insecticide, diatomaceous earth is natural and non-toxic, making it safer to use around children and pets.
-Use boric acid bait – Pick up some boric acid from your local garden store, combine it with powdered sugar and place the mixture into bottle caps. Set these bottle caps around the area where the nest is. The ants will be attracted to the powdered sugar and will bring it back to their nest, where the boric acid will help to kill the rest of the ants. This ant removal method is effective if the nest is hidden.
One thing to keep in mind when tracking carpenter ants is to not spray them away from their nest. Carpenter ants can sense danger and may end up moving to a new location, which means you’ll have to start all over again.
Follow these steps to get rid of your carpenter ant problem, and visit us at Bain Pest Control for more pest control advice.