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How can I get rid of Carpenter Ants from my house?

Its spring time, and I'm starting to get a few carpenter ants crawling around in my house. How can I deal with carpenter ants in my home, so I can get rid of them?

1 Answer


To kill carpenter ants and the entire colony you will first want to create a sweet sugary bait or a protein based bait, so the ants take it back to the colony and eventually kills the queen.  So first you need to determine if the carpenter ants in your house are after sugar or protein. Carpenter ants in general are protein eaters.

To find out what they like, leave a sample of each bait out to discover which one they like the best. Once you’ve determined what they like the best, set out a few baits around the suspected entry points to your house (or inside your house) so they take the bait back to the colony. Remember you need to kill the queen to destroy the ant colony, so getting the bait back to queen is the priority before killing the worker ants.

I recommend using Maxforce Carpenter Ant Bait Gel I've found that carpenter ants can't resist this stuff and will definitely help destory the ant colony.  You can also use the regular Maxforce Ant Bait Gel which will work just as well on all types of ants, including carpenter ants.

Here are some alternative carpenter ant baits to try:

Sugar baits:
#1) 1 Teaspoon of Boric Acid (Borax) with 9 Teaspoons of Sweet Corn syrup.
#2) 1 Teaspoon of Boric Acid with 9 Teaspoons of Maple syrup (or Honey)
#3) 1 Teaspon of Boric Acid with 9 Teaspons Jelly
#4) 2 Tablespoons Boric Acid, with 2 cups Sugar, 1 cup Water
#5) 1 Teaspoon Boric Acid with 9 Teaspoons of sugar (Dry mixture)

Protein Bait: Alternative, since carpenter ants don't always go for the sweet mix
#1) 1/3 cup Peanut butter, with 2 teaspoons boric acid powder

The problem with baits however, is sometimes the carpenter ants are adverse to them.  So you really want to determine where they are coming in to your house.  If you can find the trail of them, you'll want to spray or dust the trail with boric acid or an ant spray so the ants walk through the dust and bring it back to the colony.  Ants constantly clean themselves, so if they get the boric acid dust on their antennas they will clean them and get the boric acid in their system.

You also want to use a synthetic outside of the house like Termiticide, which will actually work really well on ants (or try a Ortho Home Defense).   Carpenter ants have a tendency to come up through the eves, so it's best to spray underneath the eves, underneath windows, decks, or where siding meets the foundation. 

Make sure you seal up any areas where they could get in.  If you know the hole they are entering your house, spray boric acid powder in the hole and around the entrance for a week or two. Once you've destroyed the colony be sure to seal up any holes where they've been coming in to your house and cleaning any ant trails, so other ants can't rediscover the scent of the old ant colony's trail.

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