Preventing a carpenter ant infestation can help avoid the need to kill carpenter ants. Inspecting the home for signs of carpenter ant damage and any potential access points is an important first step.Carpernters ants usually enter the home through cracks in the foundation and along utility lines.People must also inspect for entry around window and door frames. Sealing up any entry points can help keep carpenter ants out. Removing sources of excess moisture, such as malfunctioning gutters, is also key to limiting carpenter ant invasion.
In addition to the above, people need to limit any food sources near the home. Once in the home, carpenter ants will be attracted to any food that can be found.Food should be stored in sealed containers where possible. Cleaning up any spills or food debris quickly can also help avoid unintended food sources.Finally, make sure to keep the yard clear of potential carpenter ant breeding grounds, such as fallen logs and dead trees.
Exterminating Carpenter Ants
Extermination is often the only solution when an infestation of carpenter ants has become entrenched. If a homeowner can’t pinpoint precisely where carpenter ants are nesting and breeding, an experienced exterminator can find out their location by using baits. Baits can include insecticides such as boric acid, insecticidal dust, and granules.
The exterminator will apply insecticides to the nesting area, as well as to areas of the home that seem to be attractive for the carpenter ants. If the area surrounding the home has not been treated, exterior treatments may also be necessary. In treating the exterior of the home, an exterminator will apply insecticides to areas such as window and door frames, foundations, and other potential entry points to keep carpenter ants from re-entering the home.
If a homeowner wants to try killing carpenter ants on their own, insecticides can be purchased at a local hardware store. Powders, gels and sprays are all available on the market, with the majority being aerosol sprays. These sprays are formulated to kill and deter carpenter ants, many carpenter ants will die within a day or two after contact with the insecticide.
Unfortunately, using insecticides to kill carpenter ants can be greatly limited by the locations of the nest. If the nest is located inside a wall or other inaccessible area, insecticides may not be able to reach the nest directly to do any significant damage. Using insecticides for small infestations can help, however, if the nest is accessible, it may be important to try other methods.
Baits as an Alternative
Baits can be used as an alternative to insecticides, and can be just as, if not more effective. The bait contains a slow acting active ingredient that attracts the carpenter ants, and when they consume it, they will bring the bait back to their nest. The active ingredient then slowly kills the carpenter ants over a period of days or weeks.
It’s important to set out several baits, as different foraging carpenter ants may have different preferences when it comes to baits. Once the bait is set, it’s important to check it each day and replenish the bait if needed. The bait should not be cramped with too much insecticide, as the carpenter ants may not be interested.
Traps as an Option
Traps can be used to help capture colonies of carpenter ants that may be attempting to move from one area of the home to another. The traps are designed to trap the ants as they attempt to move, and the ants are unable to escape the traps.
Once the traps have been set, periodic checks of the traps must be done to ensure they are still working properly. Traps should also be cleaned regularly, as carpenter ants can detect the odor of their dead counterparts which may decrease the likelihood of them entering the traps in the first place.
In cases where traps or baits are not effective, physical removal may be the only option. If the nest can be located, it can be physically removed and destroyed. However, this is not the most effective method, as any carpenter ants left behind will likely attempt to re-establish the colony.For more complete results, an exterminator can be contacted to apply specialized treatments and baits.
If there is any source of moisture in the home, it’s important to get that fixed as quickly as possible. Carpenter ants require moisture to survive, so stopping any source of moisture in and around the home is one of the best ways to prevent a carpenter ant invasion.
Heat treatment is becoming more popular as a method of killing carpenter ants. Heat treatment works by raising the temperature in the infested area to a level high enough to kill the carpenter ants. This method is effective at killing both the carpenter ants and the eggs they lay, and can also be used to kill other pests such as cockroaches.
For people looking for an easier, less invasive method of extermination, heat treatments can be a great option. However, they can be expensive, and may require professional assistance to perform.
Biological control is a method of using parasitic wasps or ants to help kill carpenter ants. These wasps or ants can be placed in strategic locations around the home, and will attack and consume any carpenter ants that enter the vicinity.
This method of pest control can be effective, but it often requires patience, as it may take some time to see any noticeable results. Additionally, it’s important to limit the population of parasitic wasps or ants, as they can become an issue in and of themselves if left unchecked.
The best way to deal with carpenter ants is through preventative care. This includes removing any potential sources of food or water, sealing up gaps and entry points, and keeping the yard clear of potential nesting spots. In addition, checking the house on a regular basis can help identify any potential infestations early on, making it easier and less costly to deal with them.
In some cases, such as during a drought, carpenter ants can become a problem even with these preventative measures in place. If a homeowner notices carpenter ants around the home, they should contact a professional exterminator to determine the best course of action.