Carpenter ants can be catastrophic to your home or any other building. However, how can you possibly know if your house is infested? Moreover, how to get rid of carpenter ants naturally? Lucky for you, there are several surefire ways to spot and eliminate carpenter ants.
The Damage Carpenter Ants Bring
Carpenter ants don’t eat the wood they tunnel into, unlike termites. Instead, they eliminate wood debris by piling them outside their nests or tunnel openings. The primary food source for these ants is sugars and proteins. Hence, it would be best to eliminate their preferred food source to avoid infestation.
Carpenter ants are usually attracted to honeydew. This is typically a sweet liquid produced by scale insects and aphids. On the other hand, indoors, these ants love to feed on meat and sweets like sugar, syrups, and honey.
These ants will bring destruction to your property by burrowing tunnels to make their nests. They don’t directly harm trees or wood. However, their excavation can further compromise the wood that is already weak and soft.
How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants – Tips and Tricks You Should Be Aware Of
The following are some ways you can use to get rid of those damaging carpenter ants:
1. Identify The Carpenter Ants
With the use of a magnifying glass, you can easily identify carpenter ants. However, in order for you to do this, you will need to catch one first so that you can hold it still and examine it under the magnifying glass. Here is how you can catch and examine an ant:
- You can use your finger to flick an ant into a small glass or plastic container. Once the ant is inside, you can cover the container with a lid.
- You can then put the container in the freezer for a few minutes. After a few minutes have gone by, remove the container from the freezer.
- You can then get the ant from the container. Place the ant on a flat surface. That way, you can easily look at his profile.
- To know if it is a carpenter ant, look for the two distinct characteristics:
- There is a rounded back that is smooth and has no bumps;
- There is a tiny pedicel or pyramid located at the ant’s waist.
If you have seen these characteristics, it is 100% a carpenter ant. It is vital to know that carpenter ants tend to be of different sizes. Hence, the size of the ant will not matter when identifying them.
2. Check For Infestation
After confirming that the ants you have seen in your area are carpenter ants, you will have to know whether the ant you saw was only by chance or whether you have an infestation. If you think it is the latter:
- You will see carpenter ants moving around your home for several days or weeks;
- You might hear them scurrying about inside your house walls, especially during nighttime;
- You might see piles of grass or sawdust under your house that these ants have bulldozed from their nests.
3. Treat The Carpenter Ant Nests
If you are sure that there is a carpenter ant infestation in your building, it would be best to take some action:
- Look for the carpenter ants’ nest by following the trails of some foraging carpenter ants. They usually look for food during dusk or after dark. The ants who are moving towards the nest tend to carry bug parts or insects for food.
- Carpenter ants’ nests might be located in a tree stump outside your home. To treat an outdoor nest, it would be best to spray pyrethrin aerosol for 10 seconds directly. However, if the nest is within a wall void, it will help if you drill a ⅛ hole into the wall and spray pyrethrin aerosol using an injection straw.
- You can try “puffing” silica gel or diatomaceous earth on the outside nests for a less toxic treatment. However, it would help if you took note that you need to wear a dust mask during this process. That way, you can avoid sucking in the product.
- If the carpenter ants are still lurking around your property after two weeks of treatment, it would be best to repeat the process.
4. Prevent Carpenter Ants From Returning
After successfully eliminating the carpenter ants in your property, it is best to make ways in keeping out new carpenter ant populations:
- Seal all the gaps and cracks on your home’s exterior;
- Chip the stumps in your yard;
- Locate the firewood away from your home;
- Maintain a 6-inch clearance between the soil and wood sidings;
- Trim tree branches;
- Dry up leaks inside and outside your home.
To Sum It Up
Carpenter ants are not in your house or in any other building to build. Instead, they can be very destructive. That is why it would be best to learn how to get rid of carpenter ants naturally to spot them and eliminate them in the process.