How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants: 3 Steps
If you think you might have carpenter ants, there’s no time to spare, so let’s get right to the point. Once you locate the colony, getting rid of carpenter ants with Cedarcide is straightforward and best of all it doesn’t involve exposing your family or pets to poisonous pesticides. Here’s how to get rid of and prevent carpenter ants with Cedarcide in 3 simple steps:
1. PREVENT THEM
Contrary to popular belief carpenter ants do not actually eat wood, but are instead attracted by the same things that draw in normal ants, such as moisture, clutter, and sugary or protein-packed food sources. The following tips will help prevent not only carpenter ants but other common household ants from returning to your lawn or home.
- Apply PCO Choice to your lawn, foundation, and bases of wooden structures monthly to kill and help repel both indoor and outdoor ants.
- Remove possible nesting spaces from your yard, such as woodpiles, wooden yard equipment, brush, dead or dying trees & tree stumps, unused dog houses, furniture, and any other unnecessary wooden items.
- Keep tree limbs and branches away from the walls of your home. Carpenter ants can use these as bridges to enter your home.
- Do not store lumber or firewood inside or right outside your home.
- Treat all wooden items and structures before or after construction with Cedarshield, which will make the wood inhospitable to wood-boring insects.
- Keep your home clean—particularly the kitchen, flooring, windowsills and countertops. Without a food source, ants will have no reason to enter your home.
- Seal all food in tightly closed containers. Keep all food storage areas free of crumbs and residues (Tip: periodically wipe off jam, sauce and honey containers, too).
- Never leave food remains or dirty dishes in the sink.
- Take the trash out regularly, and keep all trash cans clean and sealed. If you’re currently struggling with ants, consider taking out the trash daily.
- Food and drink spills should be cleaned up immediately.
- Looking both outside and inside your home, check for potential ant entry points. Seal any you find with caulk or another sealant to make it harder for ants to move indoors.
- Remove or remedy all sources of unnecessary moisture both inside and outside your home, including: leaky plumbing, basements, crawl spaces, A/C units, hoses, faucets, sprinklers, clogged drainage areas, etc.
2. SPRAY YOUR LAWN
As with most ants, carpenter ants often originate just outside your home, somewhere in your yard, maybe in a wood pile, old tree, or wooden structure. In other words, If you’re seeing carpenter ants or any other ants outside, they’ll find a way inside your home before you know it. In fact, sometimes treating your lawn for bugs each month is enough to get an indoor carpenter ant issue under control. Here’s how to do it.
Spray your entire lawn, shrubbery, wood piles, and bases of trees and wooden structures monthly with PCO Choice to both kill and repel carpenter ants in all life stages. For warmer regions, this should be done every month unless the temperature drops below freezing for more than a few weeks. If you live in an area known for cold winters, start spraying monthly in late February and then taper off in November as winter sets in.
No downtime required! PCO Choice is family and pet-safe, meaning you can safely enjoy your lawn immediately after application.
For extra carpenter ant prevention, spread Cedar Granules throughout your yard, especially in those areas where you’re seeing the most carpenter ant traffic. Pay special attention to fence lines and the foundations of your home and wooden structures like outbuildings and sheds. Reapply every 6 weeks.
For ongoing Carpenter ant and other pest problems, spray your yard with PCO Choice twice the first month, two weeks apart, and then move on to monthly applications after that. If you locate any ant piles or carpenter ant colonies in your lawn, perhaps on a tree or near a wooden structure, stir up the mound with a stick and saturate it directly with PCO Choice.
3. TREAT INDOORS
The next time you reach for a can of bug spray to kill ants inside your home, including carpenter ants, take a moment to consider the possible consequences. Traditional indoor bug sprays can fill your home with toxic chemicals, resulting in serious health complications for your family and pets—but not Cedarcide.
Family-safe Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray is a non-toxic insecticide for use indoors, as well as directly on people and pets to kill and repel bugs. Whenever you spot carpenter ants inside—like in your cabinets, on flooring, countertops, or on wooden structures—simply spray them with Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray.
Similarly, spray known entry points like window sills, doorways, countertops and baseboards with Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray to prevent outdoor carpenter ants from coming inside. To get a carpenter ant problem fully under control, however, you’ll almost certainly need to locate and treat their colony directly.
FIND THE COLONY
Carpenter ants nest in moist, decaying wood. Their nests can be located either inside or outside the home, and you might need to follow the carpenter ant trails in order to find them. In general, if you find carpenter ants inside your home during late winter or early spring, the colony is usually located somewhere inside. Here are some basic tips for locating a carpenter ant colony:
- Look for frass. Frass is finely ground wood debris that resembles sawdust. It’s the result of carpenter ants boring into wood to build their nests. If you see this in your home, the carpenter ants are nearby.
- Damaged wood on or within walls, doors, cabinets, and wood beams is a good indicator of an indoor colony. Look specifically for sandpaper-smooth carpenter ant galleries and holes.
- Place attractants like dog food, jam or other sweets where you most commonly spot carpenter ants. Using the resulting ant trails, attempt to find the location of their nest.
- If you have wood piles or other wooden debris inside or just outside your home, check them thoroughly—the ant colony could be inside. If you locate the carpenter ants there, remove the affected wood and avoid storing similar items inside or outside your home moving forward.
Once you locate the colony, saturate it with Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray until you no longer see carpenter ant activity. Afterwards, thoroughly clean the area with natural soap & water or diluted vinegar. After cleaning, spray the entire area again with Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray to help prevent future carpenter ant problems.
MAKE NATURAL CARPENTER ANT BAIT
If you’re having trouble locating the carpenter ant nest, making your own carpenter ant bait at home can help limit the population size without treating the colony directly. It’s no substitute for destroying the colony, but it can help substantially.
Make a simple and natural carpenter ant bait by mixing equal parts baking soda and powdered sugar. Strategically place this mixture inside shallow dishes wherever you notice carpenter ants or carpenter ant damage. This bait can also be placed outside, particularly near doorways and windows. The sugar in the mixture will attract the ants and the baking soda will naturally kill them.