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Outside Maintenance Can Discourage Carpenter Ants

By Chris Williams on March 19, 2014.

Carpenter ants in New Hampshire homes

Question

We live in a wooded development in Deerfield County, NH. We love all the trees but we don’t love all the carpenter ants that go with them. We’ve had carpenter ants nesting in our house on more than one occasion. I think we’ve taken care of the problem on the inside, but is there anything we can do on the outside to discourage carpenter ants? 

Answer

It’s always a good idea to be proactive when it comes to pests. Carpenter ants are abundant in wooded areas due to the large amount of rotting wood on the ground. The ants are attracted to moisture and damp wood, so any steps you can take to eliminate dampness and wet or rotting wood around your home’s foundation will help keep the ants at bay.

  • Make sure vents for the attic, foundation, or crawlspace are unblocked to allow air circulation.
  • Make sure that roof gutters are cleared to prevent clogs and ice dams that keep fascia boards and the roof wet.
  • Make sure downspouts aren’t blocked and that splash blocks direct rainwater away from the house.
  • Make sure sprinklers don’t routinely wet the side of the house.
  • Trim back heavy vegetation, like ivy, that holds moisture against the exterior walls of your home.
  • Check foundation shrubs for aphids that serve as a food source for the ants.
  • Store firewood up off of the ground and stacked so that air circulates.
  • Remove rotting stumps near the house.
  • Remove partly buried branches and wood scraps near the foundation.
  • Don’t pile shredded hardwood mulch directly against the house.
  • Make sure mulch in foundation beds is not so deep that it won’t dry out periodically.
  • Avoid using landscape timbers in the ground near your home.

Finally, you can ask us about our twice-a-year preventative treatment for carpenter ants. We treat around the outside of your home so there’s no mess and fuss on the inside. The perimeter barrier treatment intercepts carpenter ants as they move around the foundation of your home, keeping them from getting inside.

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