Carpenter ant tunnels within fibreglass insulation

Carpenter ants cause more damage to wooden structures in Canada than any other pest. 

 

 Follow the 4 steps to get rid of them

 

  1.  Learn about carpenter ants – To successfully kill carpenter ants, you need to know how they live, what they need to survive and how they behave. Armed with this knowledge, you can develop an effective treatment approach and choose the best DIY or do-it-yourself ant control products for the job. Read How to Identify Carpenter Ants to learn about this ant's biology and behaviour.
  2. Find the nests – Carpenter ants may have multiple nests, both indoors and out. Inside, look for ants where leaks often occur while keeping an eye out for sign of nests: sawdust, wood shavings and holes in wood. Outside, inspect trees, tree stumps, landscape timbers, firewood.

Carpenter ants will travel up to 300 feet for food and water. If possible, follow them back to the nest. Here's a trick: Mist carpenter ants with water from a spray bottle; they'll think it's raining and return to the nest. Get more tips for how to follow ant trails. Also determine how the ants are entering the dwelling, such as through gaps, cracks, and holes made for wires and pipes. Explore where to look for carpenter ants indoors and outdoors and how they get into buildings.

    

3. Use the best DIY ant killers for carpenter ants – To successfully kill carpenter ants, target their nests, where they are entering the structure, and where they are active indoors. This requires a combination of products:

  • Ant repellents – Available as aerosols, foams, sprays and organic sprays, these products kill ants on contact and are most effective when applied directly to the carpenter ant nest. They also create a defensive barrier that carpenter ants will not cross. 
  • Ant stations – Ant stations (also known as insect bait stations) are filled with an insecticide bait. Foraging ants take bait back to the colony where it is shared among the workers, larvae (baby ants) and queen. Ant traps (also called ant bait stations) are a good option if you cannot locate the nest or nests. Ant traps can be used indoors and outdoors. Learn more about ant stations and how to use them.
  • Diatomaceous Earth – Often called DE ant powder or DE ant dust, this natural desiccant kills ants by drying them out. Apply it where the ants are active, like along baseboards, in wall voids, and where pipes and wires penetrate walls. The ants walk through the DE, which scratches the waxy outer layer of their exoskeleton. This causes the ant to dry out and die. Learn more about DE and how to apply it.

 

4. Prevent carpenter ants from coming back – Take steps to make your home and yard less hospitable to carpenter ants. Improve sanitation, modify the landscape, and seal up holes and cracks where they're entering the structure. Read How to Keep Ants Out.

     

    Note: If you are unsuccessful getting rid of carpenter ants, contact a licensed pest management professional. 

     

    Also read:

    How to Identify Carpenter Ants

    5 Steps to Get Rid of Ants for Good

    7 Common Ant Pests in Canada

    Why Do I Have Ants?

    How to Inspect for Ants

    How to Follow an Ant Trail

    The Best DIY Ant Killers in Canada

    How to Keep Ants Out

    How to Get Rid of Ants Outside

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