8 Natural Ways to Get rid of Carpenter Ants [Homemade Remedies]

Carpenter ants love to chew through wood! They build their nest inside of wood, which they carve out with their mouthparts, and they discard a sawdust-like substance called frass. Not only do they cause massive damage to furniture and trees, but they also spread frass everywhere.

These annoying traits make carpenter ants quite undesirable and it’s always a good idea to get rid of them before they cause any extensive damage. In this article, we will talk about several natural ways to get rid of these ants. 

8 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Naturally

1. Boric Acid Powder

Boric Acid is poisonous to ants, so when it’s used along with bait, it is a very effective remedy for getting rid of carpenter ants. You can easily purchase boric acid from any hardware shop or online. 

Required Material: 

  • Boric acid powder
  • Sugar 
  • Small bowl 
  • Plastic Wrap 

Step by Step Process: 

  • The absolute first step for getting rid of carpenter ants is to find their nest. You can follow their trail until you find the nest. This will help you in positioning the bait correctly. 
  • Now fill up a small bowl with sugar and mix about 2 teaspoons of boric acid into it. 
  • Now cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke several small holes into it. Make sure the holes are big enough for carpenter ants to enter. 
  • Place the bowl in an area that is close to the nest, so that they can smell the sugar. 
  • Once they start taking the sugar crystals back to the nest, soon they will start getting poisoned. 
  • It takes 3 to 7 days to get rid of the ants completely. You may have to repeat the process a few times to be able to completely remove the colony. 


Boric acid is poisonous to pets as well, so make sure to use a plastic cover on your bowl to ensure the safety of your pets. 

2. Baking soda

Similar to boric acid, baking soda is also quite toxic to carpenter ants. When used along with bait, it will also kill these ants, although it takes a few days longer to work. It’s a very effective yet easy way to eradicate carpenter ants from your house. 

Required Material: 

  • Confectioner’s sugar 
  • Baking Soda 
  • Small bowl or plate

Step by Step Process: 

  • Mix one part baking soda with one part of confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar. 
  • If the particles of this mixture seem too big, you can put the mixture in a blender and create a fine powder out of it. 
  • Now lay out this powder in a bowl or plate allowing the ants to come and collect the sweet powder. 
  • Once they take it back to their colony, they will start consuming it, which will produce carbon dioxide inside their digestive tract, leading them to die. 
  • In a few days, most of the ants should be dead. If you still see some carpenter ants around, repeat the process until there is no more. 


If your pets accidentally eat this mixture, it can lead to stomach issues, so keep it away from your pets. 

3. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar) can instantly kill carpenter ants. The vinegar is also quite strong in its smell, which can easily confuse and distract other ants from following the trail left by other ants. 

Required Material: 

  • Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • Water 
  • Spray bottle 

Step by Step Process: 

  • Mix ½ cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar with ½ cup of water. 
  • Transfer the mixture into a spray bottle. 
  • Spray directly onto any carpenter ants that you see. It should kill them instantly. 
  • You can also spray it along your window sills and any other entrance to prevent the ants from coming inside. 


This mixture isn’t always effective at preventing carpenter ants, so always use additional methods. 

4. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder that is great for killing all types of insects including ants. It’s quite safe for humans as well as pets, but deadly for small insects.

The powder appears like broken glass under a microscope, and when an ant walks over it, the powder pierces through their exoskeleton and causes them to dry out and die. 

Required Material: 

  • Diatomaceous earth powder
  • Applicator for the powder. 

Step by Step Process: 

  • This method is best for the outside treatment of carpenter ants. Identify where the carpenter ants live, usually in logs or rotten tree branches. 
  • Use the applicator and push in diatomaceous earth powder inside. You can also apply this powder to the tree branches where the ants walk. 
  • Additionally, you can put a line of diatomaceous earth powder along your window sill and other entrances, so that if the ants try to enter, they will get killed. 


Diatomaceous earth powder is relatively safe, but make sure not to inhale it directly by accident. 

5. Use essential oils

Ants rely on pheromones to attract other ants, which forms their trail. To cut off this trail, essential oils are a great option. You can use almost any essential oil, so you can easily choose a scent that you like. 

Required Material: 

  • Essential oil of your choice (lavender, rosemary, peppermint, sandalwood, etc) 
  • Mineral oil 
  • Brush

Step by Step Process: 

  • Take ½ cup of mineral oil, and add to it 80 to 100 drops of any essential oil that you like. Make sure that the scent is quite strong. 
  • Now keep this mixture in a safe container. 
  • Use a brush to spread some of this fragrant oil on areas that are affected by carpenter ants. 
  • You can use the oil on your window sill as well to prevent the ants from coming inside your house. 
  • The strong smell will disrupt their pheromone trail, and thus they will not come inside your house. 


This oil mixture can be removed with soap and water, but make sure not to use it on any fabric or furniture, since they cannot be washed. 

6. Soapy Water

A simple yet effective solution for many insects is soapy water. Spraying these ants down with some soapy water usually kills them instantly, which is why it’s a very effective way of getting rid of carpenter ants. 

Required Material: 

  • Dish Soap 
  • Water
  • Spray Bottle 

Step by Step Process: 

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of dish soap in a cup of water. 
  • Transfer the soapy water mixture into a spray bottle. 
  • Now spray on any carpenter ants that you may see. And follow their ant trail to find their nest. 
  • You can spray some soap and water inside their nest to kill off as many as possible. 
  • This method may take a few tries and a few days to get rid of all the ants. But it surely works. 


Keep the soap and water solution away from pets or children as it can cause serious stomach issues for them. 

7. Hot water

Carpenter ants can live both inside and outside the house. If they are living outside, it may be harder to find them, but it’s easier to get rid of them. Once you find the nest, you can simply destroy their nest by pouring hot water onto it. 

Required Material: 

  • Hot Water 
  • Watering can
  • Heat protective gloves

Step by Step Process: 

  • Find the nest of the carpenter ants. Usually, it’s in an old log of wood or a tree. 
  • Boil some water and while it is still hot, put it into a watering can. 
  • Wear some protective gloves and carefully use the watering can to spray the hot water over the nest of the ants. 
  • A few ants may die in the process, but most of them will simply run away. You can then do another round of hot water on the nest to kill off any residual ants or eggs. 


Be careful while handling hot water. You may wear protective clothing as well. 

8. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a very strong smell, which can easily divert the ants that are following the pheromone trail left by other ants. This way you can disrupt the path of the ants and keep them out of your house.

However, this method is only good if the ants are coming from the outside and do not live inside your house. 

Required Material: 

  • Cinnamon powder 
  • Cinnamon oil (optional) 

Step by Step Process: 

  • You can use cinnamon powder on its own or add a few extra drops of cinnamon oil into it to make the smell even stronger. 
  • Lay a line of cinnamon powder along the length of your windowsill. You can also put more cinnamon powder on your porch, balcony, or any other potential entry points for ants. 
  • Additionally, you can also put cinnamon powder around the areas where you have seen the most carpenter ant activity. Doing so will eventually drive them away. 


Cinnamon powder can cause damage to your lungs if inhaled, so use a mask while handling it in large quantities. 

4 Natural Ways to Prevent Carpenter Ants

1. Clean up your house thoroughly

It’s a well-known fact that ants are attracted to all types of food. This means even the tiniest chunk of food can attract a huge number of ants into your house.

To counteract this, make sure to always clean up after you eat, and make a habit of throwing out the garbage regularly. Also, make sure to clean up your house so that there are no ant attractions hidden under any furniture. 

2. Seal any potential entry points

Ants generally come from the outside through doors, windows, and any other hole or crack in the wall. While you can close your doors and windows to keep the ants out, if you have holes through your wall, you may still get ants.

Seal off these areas with caulk or any other sealant to ensure that ants don’t have a way to enter your house. 

3. Protect your home from damp and water damage

Carpenter ants usually chew through damp or old wood to make their nest, so anytime you have a damp problem in your home, it becomes vulnerable to carpenter ants.

This is why it’s very important to make sure that your floorboards, walls, and everything else that is made of wood stays dry and undamaged. You can use damp-proof paint to moisture-proof your house.

You can also use different varnish products that are meant to keep water away from wood. In case you have any water damage on your house, get it replaced quickly to make sure your house is completely ant-proof. 

4. Remove any food source

Ants are very good at finding food for their colony, so it’s very important to keep your food items safe from ants. If you regularly leave food uncovered or uncleaned, then the ants can easily identify your house as a food source.

To avoid this, you should close all containers of food and keep your dishes clean. Make sure there is no unattended food anywhere in the house.

In fact, if you have a tree that bears sweet fruits, it can also become a potential food source for the ants, so clean up any fallen fruits or discard them outside the property. 

Top 5 Natural Repellents for Carpenter Ants Available Online

If you are looking for readily available natural repellents to get rid of carpenter ants, check the below listed 5 best Natural/Organic Repellents.

Final Words:

It is safe to say that carpenter ants are undesirable inside or outside of one’s house. They destroy valuable materials and cause a lot of damage to homes. Getting rid of them permanently may be a difficult process but it’s necessary if you want to protect your home.

These natural methods are great for getting rid of these pesky ants without causing harm to humans or animals, which is why it’s always preferred over harsh methods. We hope you found these methods useful and can finally get rid of carpenter ants from your house!