Carpenter ants are very common so it’s not unlikely for your home to suffer from an infestation. The main concern of homeowners who are bugged by these crawling insects is structural damage. While they’re not like termites that actually feed on wood, carpenter ants simply dig tunnels to create nests. If left unchecked, an infestation can cause some serious damage to your home after some time.
Just because you spot some carpenter ants in your garden or in the kitchen doesn’t necessarily mean that they have nests outside or inside your home. However, seeing some of them around is enough to cause concern as it is very much possible for nests to be nearby. That is why the initial step to dealing with carpenter ants is rummaging around for their nests.
The following are some helpful tips on dealing with carpenter ants on your own:
Tip #1: Look for their nests
It can be really challenging to figure out where carpenter ants nest. It’s possible for those creepy crawlers to have nests either outside or inside your abode. Experts say that the nest is likely to be found inside your home if you spot active carpenter ants during early spring or late winter. If you spot them at any other time of the year, it is very likely for the nest to be situated outside the home.
Tip #2: Hunt for some telltale signs
Once you have figured out whether to look outside or inside the home for nests, determine which areas are likely to be nesting grounds for carpenter ants. Don’t look for nests in sound structures out of hard wood as you won’t find any there. Carpenter ants prefer to create tunnels in moist woods. Also, keep your eyes peeled for some piles of sawdust that’s very fine for they are indicators of nest openings.
Tip #3: Grab your vacuum cleaner
The moment you have spotted a nest and you’re keyed up to spring into action, grab your vacuum cleaner. Put on the hose attachment to make sucking those carpenter ants out of their homes more effective. Make sure that you seal the bag carefully and dispose of it properly to keep the carpenter ants inside from escaping and potentially causing an infestation once again.
Tip #4: Inject diatomaceous earth in the nest
If you want to deal with carpenter ants without the use of harsh chemicals, get your hands on a bag of diatomaceous earth or DE. Carpenter ants won’t survive whether they come into contact with or consume DE. Do take note that DE comes in a variety of types. When shopping for one, check that it’s the food-grade type and is intended for pest control — not for swimming pools or any other application.
Tip #5: Spray insecticide into the nest
Spraying your favorite insecticide directly into the nest’s opening is also effective at killing off those carpenter ants — if it’s fine for you to use such product in dealing with insects in and around the home. To do your share in keeping the planet happy, it’s a wonderful idea to use insecticide that contains environmentally-friendly ingredients only.
Tip #6: Pour homemade insecticide down the tunnel
A homemade insecticide effective against carpenter ants is really easy to whip up. All you have to do is boil water and add a handful of salt or two to come up with a really strong salt solution. Pour the mixture down the nest to scald those crawling insects. Instead of salt, you may also add 1/4 cup of liquid detergent to boiling water, although it should be done after removing the water from heat.
Tip #7: Use vinegar to kill off carpenter ants
Something as simple as pouring vinegar into the nest is usually enough to exterminate those carpenter ants. Make sure that you pour the sour liquid very slowly to give it enough time to get into all the tunnels within. Never rely on pouring gasoline or kerosene into the nest to kill off those insects as it’s very dangerous.
Tip #8: Bait them with very simple homemade solutions
In case you are having a hard time locating the nests, bait those carpenter ants. Baiting causes them to bring back poison into the nest, exterminating the rest. There are a handful of easy-to-make baits for carpenter ants. One is a mixture of 2 tablespoons of borax and some jam. You may also use peanut butter in place of jam. A combination of 1 cup of water, 2 cups of sugar and 2 tablespoons of borax is another baiting solution that’s simple to make.