Carpenter Ant Control

Most Effective Products

Supreme IT Insecticide
Suspended Concentrate
As low as $54.99
FiPro Foaming Aerosol
Aerosol
As low as $28.99
Ficam Insect Bait
Granular Bait
As low as $21.99
Keith's Pro Tips

"When baiting for Carpenter Ants with Ficam Insect Bait, please be subtle about your placement and do not place bait intentionally in the middle of the trail that carpenter ants are trekking on or place them directly on an ant. These actions will make the ants avoid the bait and nullify your baiting efforts."

Carpenter Ant Control: How To Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

This page is a Carpenter Ant control guide. By using the products and methods suggested you will get control of Carpenter Ants. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and we guarantee 100% control of Carpenter Ants.

Carpenter Ants are an ant species known for the damage they enjoy inflicting on wood, which can be devastating to a home structure. Described as big black ants growing between 1/4th of an inch to 3/4th of an inch long, Carpenter Ants are among the largest type of ant found in the United States. 

Though they are known to damage wood, Carpenter ants don’t actually consume wood like termites.  Instead, they like to burrow through dead or rotting wood and create tunnel ways and galleries for easily traveling from their nest to various food sources they enjoy which are usually proteins and sugars.

When left untreated, Carpenter Ant infestations can become quite severe as they spend a great deal of time developing large nests within the inner workings of wooden structures. A good sign that you are dealing with Carpenter Ants is by finding frass (wood shavings, small wood particles which carpenter ants excrete while burrowing). Frass can be found indoors in piles and around door frames.

If you have an infestation of Carpenter Ants on the premises, you must act fast to control them before their population and the damage they create gets out of hand. The following DIY Carpenter Ant treatment guide contains all the necessary advice and recommendations you need on how get rid of Carpenter Ants and their colony invasion effectively.

Identification

Big black carpenter ant on white background

Before you can conduct Carpenter Ant treatment, you need to make sure you're dealing with Carpenter Ants and not termites. Misidentification can lead to using the wrong treatment methods, costing you time and money. There are many characteristics that set Carpenter Ants apart from Termites. Here is a list of characteristics so you know what Carpenter Ants look like for easy identification.

  • Carpenter Ants are common across the country and are between 0.25 to 0.75 inches long, making them one of the largest species of ant.
  • As a result, Carpenter ants are sometimes referred to as "big black ants" by those who don't recognize the species. In actuality, they come in a range of colors depending on the species (black, brown, red, yellow, orange or a combination of black and red). 
  • Carpenter Ants can be differentiated from Termites by their body segments. Carpenter Ants have three body segments while Termites only have two. Carpenter Ants also have very thin waists, while Termites have a thicked abdomen with no waist.
  • Termites have straight antennae, while Carpenter Ants have segmented antennae that curves. When it comes to reproductive (alates), termites have four wings of equal size, while Carpenter Ants have four wings but the hind wings being shorter than the front wings.

Use the image and description above to help you with correctly identifying Carpenter Ants on your property. If you are not entirely sure, contact us and we will assist you with proper Carpenter Ant identification.

Inspection

yard debris carpenter ants

After having identified Carpenter Ants, you can move forward with an inspection. During the inspection, you will focus on finding the signs of a Carpenter Ant infestation, and finding out exactly where you have to apply treatment products. Search at night, the time when Carpenter ants are most active.

Where To Inspect

Outdoors check woody areas that hold moisture, like fences, on the outside of window frames, door frames, near outdoor faucets, wooden structures (like tool sheds, gazebos) or general yard debris (wood piles, logs, tree stumps, etc).

Indoors check near window frames, door frames, near appliances, under sinks (where plumbing penetrates walls), and wherever there are wooden structures where high moisture content is present.

What To Look For

You're looking for signs of Carpenter Ants (the appearance of big black or red ants )and foraging trails. These signs include finding frass (sawdust), discarded Carpenter Ant wings, and noises. Frass is also released by Termites, and it looks like small sawdust piles if you find this sign you might have a Carpenter Ant infestation.

If you find discarded wings or the winged Carpenter ant itself at day time, you might have a Carpenter Ant infestation. And finally, if you hear sounds, faint rustling, or tapping inside your walls, these could mean the Carpenter Ants are working inside your wooden structures.

Treatment

Once you have confirmed Carpenter Ant activity, it is time to begin Carpenter Ant treatment. Remember to read all product labels, and follow the application instructions on these labels, and stay safe by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

To get rid of Carpenter Ants you will need to apply products both indoors and outdoors for total control. Indoors, use a combination of Ficam Insect Bait and Fipro Foaming Aerosol. Outdoors, use Supreme IT Insecticide to create a barrier to keep Carpenter Ants away. 

Step 1 - Apply Ficam Insect Bait

Dusting for Carpenter Ants

People often wonder if Borax is a good solution to kill carpenter ants. Borax can be a good solution because of its natural and versatile qualities, but a better solution is to use orthoboric acid. Boric acid is what Borax is derived from and is typically a more effective pesticide. That is why we suggest applying Ficam Insect Bait.

Ficam is a granular bait that can be used with a duster for easy application indoors and can also be sprinkled outdoors around your home to treat ants in your yard. Its active ingredient is orthoboric acid and it is specially formulated to attract ants and many other pests. Carpenter Ants will confuse the baits for food and haul them back to the colony, and will work slowly, affecting the whole population of ants once they have all ingested. 

Using a handheld duster, apply Ficam at a rate of 2 lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. or 3.2 oz. (2/3 cup) per 100 square feet). Apply deep into cracks and crevices. Apply around sinks and drains (underneath sinks), behind appliances, along baseboards, or close to bathroom fixtures, or close into the cavities of rotten or moist food.

Step 2 - Spray Cracks and Crevices with Fipro Foaming Aerosol

fipro application carpenter ants

Fipro Foaming Aerosol is a non-repellent foaming insecticide that is perfect for spraying cracks and crevices. Ants will unknowingly come into contact with the product, return to their colony and spread the lethal active ingredient to others.

Simply insert the injection tube straw and apply in cracks and crevices where Carpenter Ant activity has been observed. Apply this product around windows, doors, on the plumbing under sinks, or into walls (where you have noticed Frass or Carpenter ant activity).

You can also apply window frames and wooden structures where Carpenter ants have been observed by drilling a small hole directly into the wood and injecting it with Fipro.

Step 3 - Outdoor Treatment with Supreme IT Insecticide

Reclaim IT perimeter treatment carpenter ants

Supreme IT is a broad-spectrum insecticide that is labeled for carpenter ant treatment. It also has a long residual effect that continues to kill for up to 90 days after application. This product is perfect to create a perimeter barrier around your structure to prevent Carpenter ants from getting inside.

Mix 1 ounce of Supreme IT with a gallon of water inside a pump sprayer. This application rate will treat 1,000 square feet. You'll want to do a perimeter treatment on the outside of your home. To do this you'll want to spray 3 feet up and 3 feet out from the foundation of your structure. While spraying in this manner also target window frames, door frames, eaves, soffits, rain gutters, garage doors, cracks and crevices, and electrical/plumbing penetrations.

As an additional measure, use Ficam to add to the perimeter barrier around your home. Apply in a band of 2 to 4 feet and apply at the rate of 6 ounces per 100 square feet. Also apply around tree stumps, trees, woodpiles, and wherever there is moist or decaying wood.

Prevention

yard debris carpenter ants prevention

After you have treated your home and yard and have killed the Carpenter Ants, you need to make sure they don't reinfest. Put in place the following preventative measures to keep Carpenter ants off your structure:

  • Start by trimming back vegetation away from your property (this includes overhanging branches that touch the roof of your structure).
  • Remove wood yard debris, like logs, woodpiles, rocks, bricks, and rotten wood that might attract Carpenter ants to your structure.
  • Apply Bora-Care to prevent future infestations of not only termites but also Carpenter ants. This product can be simply mixed with water and then sprayed on wood that you fear may be targeted by invading Carpenter Ants.
  • And finally, spray Supreme IT every 90 days around the perimeter of your structure to maintain a protective insecticidal barrier on the perimeter of your structure.

Key Takeaways

 What are Carpenter Ants?

  • Carpenter Ants are a destructive ant species known for damaging wooden elements of homes through burrowing holes into the wood to create a nest and grow their population.
  • Carpenter Ants are one of the larger species of Ant found in world and have been commonly referred to as "big black ants" though they can come in other colors like red, orange and yellow.

How To Kill or Get Rid of Carpenter Ants 

  • To get rid of Carpenter Ants, use a combination of Ficam Insect Bait and Fipro Foaming Aerosol indoors around cracks and crevices where they may be hiding. Outdoors, we recommend applying a barrier perimeter treatment of Supreme IT Insecticide.
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural, non-toxic option for treating carpenter ants, but it is typically not as effective as using professional pesticides that are labeled for carpenter ant treatment.

Preventing Carpenter Ant Reinfestation

  • Prevent future infestations of Carpenter Ants by environmental modifications to reduce the conducive conditions Carpenter Ants enjoy (removing leaf litter, trimming vegetation etc.) and applying preventative treatments of Supreme IT Insecticide and Bora-Care Wood Treatments.
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