How To Handle A Carpenter Ant Infestation

Carpenter ants can cause real damage to a building or home. If you're concerned about these pests infesting your home or building, take ant control steps to eliminate the problem.

Confirm the Ant Type

There are many different types of ants, so it's important you confirm you are really dealing with carpenter ants. The steps needed for carpenter ant control are not the same for every other type of ant. Carpenter ants can be very small or bigger than typical household ants, so size does not matter.

Get an ant into a container and put a lid on it. Place this container into a freezer for a few minutes to stop the ant from moving. Remove the container from the freezer and take the ant out. Place the insect on a plain surface in a way that allows you to see its profile. Use a magnifying glass to view the ant if necessary.

Look for a rounder, smooth back with no humps and a pedicel — a tiny pyramid shape — at its waist area. If you see both of these characteristics, you are dealing with carpenter ants.

Look for Infestation Signs

Determine whether you have a few stray carpenter ants or an active infestation. Infestations leave some signs, including the ones listed below.

  • You see ants in your home or building over several days or weeks.
  • You can hear something scurrying in your walls, particularly at night.
  • You see unexplained piles of sawdust in places. Unlike termites, carpenter ants won't eat the wood they are tunneling into.
  • You see large ants with wings coming from floor joists, walls, ceilings, or other hidden crevices or cracks. These are carpenter ants looking to start another colony. They are normally a sign there is already a colony nearby.

Treat the Nests

Once you have determined you have a carpenter ant infestation, you'll need to find the nests and treat them with pesticides. You can contact a pest control company for assistance or try to do this yourself.

Follow the trails of carpenter ants present at dusk or after it gets dark to find the nest. Use a carpenter ant control product, such as pyrethrin aerosol, on the nests you discover. Follow all usage directions on your pesticide product. Drill a 1/8-inch hole into any walls with nests and spray your pesticide product inside using an injection straw.

You may need to repeat treatments if you still have ants two weeks after treating the nest. If you're not sure about using pesticides or are struggling with getting rid of the ants, contact a professional pest control service for help.

To learn more about ant control, feel free to reach out to pest services to get more information.