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Carpenter Ant

How To Control Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants can do a number on soft or damaged wood elements of a home although they don’t consume wood as a part of their diet. If left unchecked, carpenter ants can grow to large numbers and drive homeowners crazy.

Carpenter ants are common across the country and between ¼ of an inch to 3/4 an inch long they are among the largest type of ant there is in the United States. They come in a range of colors depending on the species and because of the damage they do to wood, they can often be confused as termites.

Carpenter ants don’t consume wood at all and merely just 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 will be spending 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 it would be wise of you to act fast in controlling them before their population and the damage they create get out of hand. Fortunately, we here at Solutions Pest and Lawn have all that you need to wipe out a carpenter ant invasion effectively.

How To Get Rid of Carpenter Ants: Solutions 4 Step Plan

There are plenty of options out there to choose from when trying to address a carpenter ant infestation, but not all of those options work. Solutions Pest and Lawn has expert entomologists on staff and experienced pest control professionals who have tested out products which work best in eliminating carpenter ants.

Step 1: Most importantly, you need to be certain that the ants that you are dealing with are indeed carpenter ants. By inspecting them and identifying them to be carpenter ants, you can then go about a proper control program. If you have trouble identifying the ant, Solutions can help. Send us an image of the ant to our identification@solutionsstores.com email and we will be able to identify right away what type of ant you have.

Step 2: Give your home a thorough inspection to find out where the carpenter ants are residing and where their nest is. Prime areas for inspection include any wooden structures where high moisture content is present, including window and door frames, tub and well enclosure walls, kitchen and bath plumbing walls. Focus your inspection outdoors and time your inspection at night as carpenter ants are nocturnal and are most active at night. Keep a close eye out for signs such as frass, wood shavings, and ants themselves. If you find an ant, let him be and just observe the trail he goes on, the ant may very well lead you to the colony.

Step 3: Treating the actual infestation of carpenter ants includes baiting and spraying outdoors and dusting. Indoors begin by prepping the area for bait placement. There are plenty of effective baits we carry like Ficam. Place these baits down in high traffic areas. For dusting, use D-Fense Dust and dust into wall voids according to label instructions.

Step 4: Outdoors use an effective non-repellant spray like Taurus SC Termiticide or Dominion 2L to create a barrier around your home to keep carpenter ants out. If you happen to find the carpenter ant nest, we recommend spraying a foaming aerosol spray such as Fipro.

Browse our carpenter ant control products below and if you have any questions or concerns, reach out to us via phone, online chat or email and we’ll be happy to assist you with your order or give you helpful pest control advice.

How to Get Rid Of Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are among the most notorious insects that enjoy tearing up wood and can drive homeowners mad with their aggressive behavior and tendencies to burrow into the wooded elements of a structure, much like termites.


Fortunately, Solutions Pest & Lawn offers a full line of professional home pest control products including a variety of ant control products like ant baits and ant killers so that you can kill all your ant control problems in an instant. Whether it is carpenter ant control or fire ant killers, we have dedicated pest control products for all ant types.


Getting rid of carpenter ants can be a simple task if you have the right products in your arsenal to tackle them, however, you also need to have the proper knowledge of carpenter ants to aid you in your control program. A famous saying is to “know your enemy” so if you inform yourself of how carpenter ants behave and how they operate, you have a better chance of defeating them and ridding their entire nest from your home.


Background Information about Carpenter Ants

While carpenter ants have a reputation for destroying wood (much like termites) however, carpenter ants do not actually consume wood as a part of their diet. Carpenter ants merely use wood to dig tunnels to travel through as well as to set up their colonies and nests.


For the homeowner that is inflicted by a carpenter ant infestation, this means potentially thousands of dollars of wood damage that must be repaired to due to the establishment of carpenter ant colonies and nests made in the wood.  


There are 3 main species of carpenter ants that are most prevalent in North American. The first is the Florida Carpenter Ant, which is also known by other names as the red or black carpenter ant. The second is known as the Camponotus Modoc and this type is found primarily in the western portion of the US and is known more commonly at the Western carpenter ant. Finally, there is the Camponotus Pennsylvanicus which dominates the eastern side of the US and is also popularly known as big black carpenter ants.


Carpenter Ants Eating Habits

So what do carpenter ants eat if they aren’t eating wood? The diet of carpenter ants mainly consists sweet and sugary foods, mainly secreted by aphids. Aphids are known for consuming plants and secreting honeydew from their plant consumption.


Carpenter ants love honeydew, so much so that they will invite aphids into their colony and nests and supply them with whatever they desire in exchange for honeydew secretions. Quite a deal they’ve struck between one another, huh?


Carpenter Ants Nesting Habits

While Carpenter ants are lumped in the same category as termites when it comes to being wood damaging pests, carpenter ants wood damage is far less severe than the damage termites do to wood since termites are actively consuming wood for meals. However, if carpenter ant infestations are large enough, the damage they inflict on the wooden structures of homes can be sizable due to their need for tunneling through wood to get around and develop their nests.

Interestingly, when carpenter ants do burrow and create their nesting galleries, they actually perform good housekeeping by cleaning and polishing the galleries in the wood. If you were to compare the wooden galleries of termite infested wood and carpenter ants wood, you would find the carpenter ant galleries look smoother compared to the rough and unkempt appearance of termite galleries.


A surefire sign of a carpenter ant infestation is the presence of “frass”. Frass is the name for the wood excretions that carpenter ants kick out and dispose when they are tunneling through wood. As noted in the above paragraph, carpenter ants like to practice good housekeeping so they want to keep their galleries and nests clean, so they push out wood debris through openings they make in the gallery.


This frass can begin to pile up and will become an obvious signal that there is an infestation present.


Signs To Watch For If You Have a Carpenter Ant Infestation

Are you not totally sure whether or not you have carpenter ants nesting among the confines of your home? There are a few tell-tale signs that you have carpenter ants and it will take a careful inspection of your home to determine whether you have carpenter ants and need to carry out a carpenter ant control program. Here are some of the signs to look out for:


  • Ants or Ant Wings - If you spot tiny wings or even see a carpenter ant out in the open during the day, that may be a big indication that you have a large carpenter ant problem present. These ants may be assigned as a scout going out foraging for food or they could be a reproductive ant looking to grow the infestation even bigger!


  • Frass - As we stated in the previous section, frass is one of the biggest signs that carpenter ants are present. If you see piles of wood debris around doors and windows, you may be dealing with an infestation. It should be noted that termites release frass as well so it’s important to not confuse the two.

  • Noises - Do you hear the faint sound of rustling or tapping? These crinkly and scratchy noises are made carpenter ants are hard at work, mining their way through wood and developing their galleries. Put your ear up to a hollow wall or door and you will be able to hear it loud and clear.


Carpenter Ant Treatment

If you’re going to take the DIY approach to getting rid of carpenter ants, every good carpenter ant control program starts with a careful inspection to try to look for the ant colony or nest. This should be done before applying or even buying any carpenter ant control products. By following an ant trail and looking out for the signs we mentioned above, you can very well be lead to the main location where carpenter ants are nesting.


Once you have found where the carpenter ant colony is or where the main signs of high carpenter activity is concentrated, you should proceed with treatment via baiting or spraying a non-repellent pesticide.


The problem with many novice homeowners conducting DIY pest control is that they often make infestations worse and exacerbate the issue by buying inferior products from local retail shops or big box stores. These products often have many different diluted chemicals mixed together that have strong smells and these will repel carpenter ants. They will simply steer clear of the area where you have sprayed and continue going about destroying wood and building their infestation.


Solutions Pest & Lawn experts suggest using a combination of baits, insecticidal concentrates, and dusts to eliminate infestations of carpenter ants. We carry products that the pros use and can deliver them to you so you can do-it-yourself and save a ton of money. Among the best products for carpenter ant control are Ficam Insect Bait, Taurus SC and D-Fense Dust.


If you are ever stuck on how to carry out an effective control program, Solutions Pest & Lawn has a multitude of resources designed to help even the most inexperienced DIYer execute a well thought-out plan of attack to eliminate carpenter ant nests and colonies, saving your home’s wood from being further damaged. Browse our online guides, our how-to videos or you can even contact us directly to speak to a pest control expert who will give you FREE advice.


Don’t Buy Inferior Products from Retail Stores, Get the Good Stuff at Solutions Pest & Lawn!


Most baits and insecticides that you’ll find at your local department store or the pest control aisle at a big box retailer are a diluted and subpar version of products we sell at  Solutions Pest & Lawn. They don’t contain the right active ingredients that will attract and be effectively kill carpenter ants.

For this reason, Solutions Pest & Lawn is committed to offering the absolute best Professional Quality carpenter ant bait products and insecticides at the lowest available price. Browse our carpenter ant control products and contact us anytime.  Make Solutions Pest & Lawn your go-to site for all things pest control.


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