how to get rid of carpenter ants naturally
Pests

About Carpenter Ants | How to get rid of Carpenter Ants Naturally

What is a carpenter ant?

Carpenter ants attain their name from their nest building, where they will unearth the wood and form smooth tunnels inside the wood. Carpenter ants do not consume wood, they only tunnel and chew through wood to create nests.

What do carpenter ants eat?

Carpenter ants consume on sources of protein such as living and dead insects. They are also enticed to sugars such as honeydew, a sweet liquid produced by aphids and scale insects. Scales and aphids feed on trees, shrubs, and other plants.

Within a cottage, carpenter ants feed on proteins such as meats and pet food. Carpenter ants extract wood as they create galleries and tunnels for nesting.

How long do carpenter ants live?

Carpenter ants would take around 1.5 to 3 months to attain adulthood. However, during winter seasons, it could take them up to 10 months to go from egg to adult. Queens can survive up to 10 years but males die soon after breeding.

Where do carpenter ants live?

Carpenter ants may create their nests indoors or outdoors. When carpenter ants nest outdoors they are usually found in hardwood trees that comprise holes and other imperfections. Carpenter ant nests often seek moist or rotten wood.

When carpenter ants nest in non-wooden regions they have an alternate site that offers them steady temperature, security from natural enemies and preservation from environmental conditions.

What attracts carpenter ants?

1. Moisture

Carpenter ants like moist and damp areas. It’s extremely nice if there’s some soft, even rotting wood active because it makes it easy for them to chew through. If you have a leak in your house, that is a huge attraction for carpenter ants.

They love regions where condensation might collect, such as doorways and windows. Bathrooms, kitchens, drains, pipes, roof vents, and laundry areas are also a big attraction. Keeping these regions free of moisture is a good way to deter carpenter ants.

2. Food

Carpenter ants adore protein and sugar. Pet food left lying around has all the protein they want. They are also exceedingly attracted to honeydew which is a sweet liquid produced by aphids.

Controlling the aphid population in your lawn is another way to deter these ants. Garbage cans not appropriately sealed are also another major attraction for carpenter ants.

3. Debris piles

Firewood left outdoors that got wet is like a neon sign promoting free room and board to a carpenter ant. If you unknowingly get several pieces of firewood inside that harbor, it is another means for them to get inside your home.

Termites vs Carpenter Ants   

Carpenter Ant Swarmers : Primarily black in color with some species having a mixture of red and black. Measuring 1/2″-5/8″ with an antenna bent at a 45-degree angle. Wings translucent with a reddish-brown hue laying over back. 

Termite Swarmers : Colored dark brown to black, measuring 3/8″ long comprising of the wings. Wings translucent to slightly milky or smoky in character. Wings may overlap. An easy optical cue is that wings are as long or just longer than the body.

Regular Ants Vs Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are normally much larger than the regular ant. We can easily recognize the difference sections of the body on a carpenter ant, while we might have difficulty discerning this on a regular ant. The shape of the body is also slightly varied.

Carpenter ants have a head that is shaped like a heart, while regular ants have a further circular head. The thorax of the carpenter ant is also more proportional than a regular ants.

How to get rid of carpenter ants naturally

1. Find the Nests of Carpenter Ants

The most effective method to get rid of carpenter ants is to treat their nests directly. Carpenter ants nest in moist, decaying wood.

These nests can be discovered either inside or outside the home. Here is some advice for locating a carpenter ant colony:

  • Look for a Frass: Frass is finely ground wood debris that matches sawdust. It’s the outcome of carpenter ants boring into wood to build their nests. If you see this in your home, it’s a sign that carpenter ants are inside.
  • Damaged wood within walls, doors, cabinets, and wood beams is a good pointer of an indoor colony. Look specifically for sandpaper-smooth carpenter ant colonies and holes.
  • Spot attractants like dog food, jam, or other sweets where you most normally spot carpenter ants. Using their trail, try to find the location of their nest
  • If you have wood piles or other wooden debris inside or just outside your home, inspect them thoroughly.

2. Boiling Water

If you are able to find the carpenter ant nest, this natural method is a way to strike the ant colony directly. It’s simple: boil a few liters of water and then pour it promptly into the nest.

Adding a natural and water-soluble insecticide, essential oils, or soap to the boiled water will make this method even more effective. You may have to repeat this method two to three times to fully eliminate the colony.

3. Sugar and Baking Soda Bait

A simple and natural carpenter ant bait can be prepared by mixing equal parts of baking soda and powdered sugar.

Strategically spot this mixture in shallow dishes in the areas with the most ant traffic. These can also be placed outside. The sugar in the mixture persuades the ants, while the baking soda naturally kills them.

4. Essential Oils

Like most ants, carpenter ants use pheromone trails for communication and navigation —it’s also how they find food. Essential oils can be used to destroy these trails, which ultimately disorients and prevent carpenter ants. Lemongrass, peppermint, clove, cedarwood, tea tree, orange, and lemon oil are all beneficial.

Dampen a cotton ball or kitchen towel with essential oil of your preference. Use this to wipe windowsills, baseboards, the perimeters of countertops, door frames, and any related entry points. Repeat daily until the ant population vanishes.

5. Soap & Water

A simple mixture of soap and water is also deadly to carpenter ants. Mix one part of natural dish soap to two parts of water in a spray bottle. Spray as required to kill ants and eliminate their pheromone trails. Continue to treat situation areas until the ants no longer return.

Diatomaceous Earth

Made from oppressed algae fossils, Diatomaceous Earth is a well known natural pesticide. This abrasive material injures the exoskeleton of ants that come into contact with it, ultimately killing them.

Spread DE throughout ant problem regions and directly on the colony’s nest if possible. Diatomaceous Earth is very effective for combating carpenter ants.

Non toxic carpenter ant killers

All-natural, over-the-counter insecticides are usually the easiest and most effective alternative for fully eliminating a carpenter ant colony.

The best strategy is to treat them both outside and inside your home. Non-toxic indoor insecticides can be utilized as both a repellent and a contract killer.

For best results, apply non-toxic outdoor pesticides alongside fence lines and your home’s foundation, this will develop a repellent barrier to keep ants from entering your home. Treating your whole yard will help to remove any active outdoor carpenter ant colonies.

1. Vinegar

Vinegar is a very effective natural carpenter ant deterrent. It disrupts their pheromone trails and the smell deters them from returning. Mix a 1-to-1 ratio of water to vinegar in a spray container.

Shake up the solution and then spray along baseboards, door frames, window sills, countertops, and instantly on the nest.

Repeat the procedure daily or as needed to repel carpenter ants. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and multi-surface cleaner, so feel free to use the spray.

2. Cinnamon & Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon and cinnamon oil deter ants by impeding with their pheromone trails. Apply the cinnamon in whatever form throughout ant problem regions and directly on the nest if possible.

When used around window sills, baseboards, near doors, and alongside countertops, cinnamon helps to prevent carpenter ants from entering your home.

FAQs about Carpenter Ants

1. How to get rid of carpenter ants in trees

Step 1

Find out the carpenter ant colony in the tree. Assess where the carpenter ants enter their colony to infer the entrance of it.

Step 2

Apply dust or liquid insecticide. Spread it around the opening of the colony. Spray the rotting tree with liquid insecticide, starting from the bottom of the tree and working your way up the trunk. This could take around two weeks to be beneficial and kill most of them, if not all of the carpenter ants.

Step 3

Place bait strategies around the rotting tree as an alternative technique for killing carpenter ants in a tree. There are two kinds of bait systems that can be utilized to kill carpenter ants, plastic bait stations and ant stakes.

These bait systems will require to be checked weekly since they can dry up fast and need to be replaced. The bait system could take up to several weeks before they serve the purpose..

Step 4

Eliminate the rotting tree. Digging out the tree will deter new carpenter ants from re-infesting the tree. Check other trees close to make sure they are not rotting away. Eliminate them if they are rotting.

2. How to tell if you have carpenter ants

  • Glimpse of ants inside your home is a sure clue of an infestation. These ants may be black or red, and some could even have wings.
  • Any damaged or rotten wood is subjected to carpenter ants, so watch out for this. It’s vital to replace the wood and fix the damage as quickly as possible. 
  • Sawdust or tunneling is another hint of carpenter ants. As the ants tunnel through to create their nest, they will leave behind small piles of sawdust and the wood may seem brittle. 
  • Any kind of destruction to your home should be inspected. Carpenter ants are known to cause sagging ceilings and floors, as well as fragile walls. 

3. How to kill carpenter ants with borax

It’s crucial to keep in mind that if you’re thinking about using borax powder, ants aren’t attracted to it independently. In order to attract them to bring it back to the colony, you have to mix the borax with some of their beloved foods.

The first step is concluding where the ants are entering your home. The easiest method to find their opening is to simply follow the trail of ants.

When ants find food, they leave behind a pheromone trail so that other ants in their colony can instantly locate the same food and bring it back to the nest.

These trials are a suitable place to put your borax bait but it’s even good if you can place the bait right in their entrance. That way, they’re not even arriving inside your home.

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