6 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants in Your House

Ant Home Remedies

Carpenter ants must be dealt with as soon as they are identified because of the structural damages they can cause on not just the wooden furniture but on the house as well. Here are some tips on dealing with carpenter ants in the house.

Carpenter Ant Killer Bait

Best Carpenter Ant Killers and Baits

Timing is very important when it comes to pest control. You may want to use the following carpenter ant control products to speed up the process.

Syngenta Ant Gel Bait
This gel bait is a great way to deal with structure-invading pests like carpenter ants. Apple the gel into the cracks and crevices where the carpenter ants are spotted. The worker ants will take the gel back to the queen and other worker ants.

PIC Ant Killer Traps
These carpenter traps are suitable for people who have young children at home. The containers are designed to prevent individuals from touching the substances that lure the ants to their doom. These traps work both indoors and outdoors.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

Here are six remedies you can use at home to tackle a carpenter ant invasion. Some of these remedies may require some time before you start to see the carpenter ants disappear.

1. Create a Dirt-cheap Ant bait with Boric Acid
One of the most effective homemade ant killers is boric acid powder. The carpenter ants, however, aren’t going to just eat the boric acid on its own. You need to mix it with a tasty lure such as peanut butter, sugar, or honey.

Boric acid can eliminate carpenter ants by messing up their digestive system and eventually their nervous system. Ideally, you want the effects of the boric acid to kick in after the worker ants have taken the bait back to their colony.

Experiment with the placement of the boric acid bait by positioning it in several locations of the house. The closer the bait is to the colony (and the queen), the better the results.

2. Spread Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Despite being a naturally-occurring substance, boric acid is still moderately toxic and may cause painful health conditions if it gets accidentally ingested.

If you have pets or young children at home then we recommend using food-grade diatomaceous earth instead. This natural powder is safe to use as long as a large amount of powder isn’t breathed in. Doing so may cause irritations to your lungs.

To carpenter ants, the powder of food-grade diatomaceous earth can feel like broken shards of glass. We don’t feel it since the sharp edges are microscopic. Like the boric acid bait, you want to mix the diatomaceous earth powder with something sweet to lure the ants in.

Diatomaceous earth will kill the ants via dehydration. The abrasive surface of the powder will scratch against the carpenter ant’s exoskeleton and cause them to gradually lose internal body fluids. Please make sure you grab the food-grade version, not the pool-grade version.

3. Set up Liquid Ant Baits Around the House
Ant control products like Syngenta gel aren’t “natural” remedies but we would like to recommend them due to their effectiveness. These carpenter ant baits come in syringes so that you can easily squeeze the gel into the cracks and crevices that have been created by the ants.

The active ingredient inside these carpenter ant gels won’t just eliminate the workers. It will also eliminate the queen and the rest of the carpenter ant population that have made themselves home. Some of these ant bait gels may also work for outdoor use.

4. Remove Dead and Rotten Wood
Carpenter ants love to build their nests in wood that is either rotting, damp, or decaying. You can prevent more carpenter ants from entering your house and backyard by removing all the dead wood from the property.

You may want to check areas of the house such as the attic, basement, bathroom and kitchen to check for potential water leaks. For example, rainwater may have seeped in through the roof and may have dampened the wooden structures in the attic.

5. Remove Plants Around the Outer Wall
Carpenter ants may have entered your home by using the plants as a bridge between the yard and the outer walls of the house. Check the perimeter of the house and relocate any plants that are touching against the wall. This may include long grass and shrubs.

You want to make it as difficult as possible for carpenter ants (and other common household pests) to enter your home. Sprinkling food-grade diatomaceous earth along the perimeter of the house may also help during peak pest season.

6. Spray Peppermint Oil to Repel Ants
While not the most effective, spraying essential oils like peppermint oil may help repel the carpenter ants. Dilute the essential oil first by mixing a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle. Next, spray the essential oil around the outer surface of your home.

You could also spray the diluted peppermint oil directly into the cracks and crevices created by the carpenter ants. This, however, won’t kill the carpenter ants. It may just get them to relocate to a different location in the house.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants in the Wall

How about the carpenter ants and the ant queen that have retreated to the inner sections of the wall? In this kind of situation, you’ll need to a careful examination of the house and follow the trails of ant until you identify the entrances of their nest.

When the carpenter ant nest entrances are identified, you’ll need to place the ant gel bait or boric acid bait as close as possible to the entrance so that there is a good chance of the ants taking the bait back to their colony.

Signs of Carpenter Ants in the House

Carpenters ants can be easily confused with regular ants because of the color of their body. You can tell when your house has carpenter ants if you notice the following:

Winged ants – a mature carpenter ant colony will send out winged individuals to reproduce. These ants are typically known as swarmers. These flying ants may appear from the walls and ceilings.

Noise in the wall – you may hear a very faint rustling sound if the carpenter ants have made their way inside the walls.

Wood shavings – you may start to see small piles of wood shavings as the carpenter ants start to burrow into the wooden structure to build their nest.

Sam at Organic Lesson

is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.