There’s More Than One Way to Kill Carpenter Ants

By Chris Williams on July 3, 2014.

black ants in homeFinding Carpenter Ants Question

We’ve been finding big carpenter ants in our home for a couple of years. We contacted an exterminator in Groton. They came out but said they couldn’t do anything to permanently get rid of the problem since they couldn’t find the ants’ nest. They sprayed around the baseboards but the ants are already back. Isn’t there some way to kill these things? I’m worried about wood damage.


There is most definitely more than one way to kill carpenter ants. It always helps to be able to find the carpenter ant nest (or nests) because then control is more direct and quicker. We can inject pesticide directly into the nest. But nest treatment is not the only way to control carpenter ants. Despite our best efforts, we often cannot find the nest site. Fortunately, we have very effective carpenter ant baits that work whether we find the nest or not.

When you have foraging carpenter ants inside, they can be nesting in your home, or more often, the ants are nesting outside and just foraging into your home looking for food. Carpenter ants have been known to travel more than 100 feet from their nest to enter a structure. During an inspection, our technicians should be able to determine which situation you are dealing with. They may be able to find an indoor nest or the place where foraging ants are entering your home.

Perimeter Baiting Will Affect the Entire Colony

If we can’t find the nest, we apply granular baits, usually around the outside perimeter of your home. Foraging worker ants pick up the toxic bait and carry it back to their nest site where it is shared with others in the nest. Baits take longer to completely kill the nest because it takes a few weeks for the entire colony to be affected by the bait.

But don’t worry, we won’t leave you high and dry with ants roaming your home while you’re waiting for the bait to work. We also treat areas inside your home to knock back any carpenter ant activity.

Carpenter ants are not actually eating the wood like termites, they are just excavating it for nest sites. Nevertheless, they can cause considerable damage if left uncontrolled. When carpenter ants are nesting in homes, they are often nesting in wall voids, hollow doors, in insulation or other small ready-made cavities, and may not be damaging wood at all. Give Colonial a call and let us provide the answers to these questions, and the solution to your carpenter ant problem.

Photo credit: Jean-Jacques Boujot / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)



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