Your picnic basket tends to attract both friends and foes. Various ant species are particularly interested in your cooking regardless of your level of expertise and among them is the carpenter ants.
The carpenter ants are the most common and are hard to miss in their characteristic large and black bodies. You may encounter them in your backyard foraging for food.
Even though they do not sting like the fire ants, they are among the most destructive. Get rid of them the earliest time possible, or you will be dealing with a costly repair project when the ants turn your wooden structures into something undesirable. We include below a list of best carpenter ant killers on the market that will help you with the ant problem.
- 1 What are Carpenter Ants?
- 2 A Review of the Best Carpenter Ant Killers
- 3 Conclusion
What are Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ants are some of the most common species of ants. They have a massive body that can be as long as 13 mm. These species of ants love the outdoors where they nest in hollow wood. They can also venture indoors to nest in places with a considerable amount of moisture.
The carpenter ant colors vary according to species, and you can come across a red one, yellow, and even brown. Black is, however, the most common.
What makes the carpenter ants the most dangerous is their destructive behaviors on wooden structures. Their infestation grows really fast, and the queen can hang around for a number years producing numerous ants.
The carpenter ants preferred habitat is where there is a lot of moisture and vegetation. That does not mean you will not find them in the foundations of houses.
While the ants establish their nests in rotting wood, it sometimes varies with the kind of colony.
The parent colonies are generally built on rotting wood such as boards, roots, stumps, and logs. Rotting wood can also be found indoors, and so the ants will not shy away from making your home their home. Regularly inspect the wood around sinks, showers, windows, and doors among other places.
Abandoned attics and sheds make good carpenter ants home.
Carpenter ants sometimes establish satellite colonies typically inhabited by mature larvae and workers. You find these subsidiary nests in more dry places such as hollow windows with the foragers moving to and fro the satellite colonies and parent colonies.
How you identify the Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants love being around wood but are considerably different from termites. They are larger and will see wood shavings around their nest. You can sometimes see winged swarmers around their nest, and that should worry you as it is a sign that they are about to reproduce.
Unlike the termites that feed on wood, carpenter ants just burrow through it.
Controlling the Carpenter Ants and What They Eat
The first step towards controlling the carpenter ants is knowing what they eat and where they get it from. That way, you can eliminate the source making them look elsewhere away from your home.
While the carpenter ants have varied diets, aphid honeydew is among their favorite. The sweet liquid comes from aphids that live in bushes and shrubs. As a preventive measure, make sure there is a substantial distance between your home and vegetation.
If you have a carpenter ant problem, it is imperative you find their nest and destroy it before they can do real damage to your structures. You can locate their nest by leaving out something sweet where you have seen a few of the scouts.
A few minutes later, they will form a trail to it. Follow this trail, and it will lead you back to their nest. You can then start the baiting process for an effective eradication of the ant menace.
Look in places where there is damp wood and constant moisture. If you notice some sawdust, the culprits are not far off. Inspect keenly, and you will find their home.
An essential tip to locating the colony is listening. Carpenter ants usually make a rustling sound as a way of communicating with each other. Tap gently where you suspect the ants live and listen.
In addition to destroying the colony, you can employ other preventive measures that include getting rid of decaying wood in your backyard. This eliminates chances of finding wood that they can build their nests in. And if you have stacks of wood lying around, move them away from your home.
If you have stumps around your homestead, inspect them regularly for carpenter ants. This is if you cannot completely get rid of these stumps.
Getting Rid of Carpenter Ants
There are several commercial products you can use to get rid of these destructive ants. Carpenter ant sprays are effective on termites in cases where you have no idea of the species responsible for the destruction.
Baiting may also be effective at a particular time when the ants have a specific craving for sweet things. The good thing about liquid ant baits is that they attract the sweet loving carpenter ants that feed on the poison and take some of it back to the colony. Baiting can successfully take out an entire colony in a matter of days.
A Review of the Best Carpenter Ant Killers
Maxforce Carpenter Ant Bait
Made from honeydew solution, this ant killer is something that carpenter ants can never resist. The poison works throughout the colony making sure every member is destroyed. This product can work perfectly both indoors and outdoors. Use it in areas where the ants look for food and sit back as the insecticide does its work. The active ingredient – Fipronil – may ensure that every member of the colony is exterminated as it works through ingestion and contact.
Apply a few drops of the solution in cracks and crevices where you suspect they frequent. The ant killer does not have an unpleasant smell making it effective for use indoors.
- Easy to use tubing
- An effective carpenter ant attractant
- Kills an entire colony
- Pets may be attracted to it
- Can irritate the skin
Terro Carpenter Ant and Termite Killer
If looking for a quick and effective solution, this spray may be the right product for you. The aerosol product is easy to use, and you just spray the insecticide into cracks and crevices. This product kills every carpenter ant it comes into contact with possibly in a matter of minutes.
The ant and termite killer is a short-term solution for a small scale infestation. You can use it to kill the foraging ants, but that is as far as you can go with it. It cannot kill the queen and other worker ants in a colony.
- Easy to use – you just aim and shoot
- Kills through contact
- Risk of contaminating the food
- Maybe a good short-term solution
- Only kills the ant that you can see
- Asthma and inhalation risk
Ortho Home Defense MAX Termite and Destructive Bug Killer Concentrate
This is an entirely outdoor use solution that kills not just carpenter ants but all other insects that may be invading wood such as termites and carpenter bees. Ortho is a household name when it comes to the manufacture of insect killers. Therefore you may be on the right track of reclaiming your yard from the carpenter ants with this insecticide.
Protection is a less expensive way than dealing with repairs after an attack. This insecticide can help create a barrier around your homestead after eliminating the pesky bugs. However, when it comes to ease of use, it’s a different story. This is apparently no syringe or tube-based ant killer as you will need to handle it with much more care.
- Effective on a wide range of bugs
- Powerful insect and ant killer
- Guarantees protection of treated areas for up to 5 years.
- A contact killing insecticide
- Not for indoor use
Taurus SC 20oz
If you go to war with the ants, you must win, or you will have to say goodbye to your home as you know it when it is brought down. Taurus SC 20oz may be the perfect weapon that will wipe out any trace of the marauding ants. The insecticides impact is probably seen within a period of three days.
It is also non-repellent, and the ants will never know what hit them. However, there is work to do when dealing with this insecticide. First, you will need to follow mixing instructions and dig trenches.
- Effective in ants and other pests
- The effect may be seen within a few days
- Provides perimeter protection
- Long lasting effects
- Not for indoor use
- Not good around kids and pets
The carpenter ants mode of operation is to burrow through the wood to build their nest. It is sometimes essential to reach these ants in their holes and Termidor may be the product for the job. It is easy to use, and you just foam in the holes and voids in walls and wooden structures. You can also use the insecticide indoors but under strict instructions.
Termidor kills through contact and may get to the queen within a few days. However, you will need to take extra care where children and pets are involved as Fipronil is extremely toxic.
- Effective on carpenter ants, termites, and other insects
- Easy to use
- May kill the queen within a few days
- Not suitable where children and pets are involved
The best carpenter ant killer flushes them and exterminates them efficiently by reaching the queen. Maxforce Carpenter Ant Bait is one insecticide that is easy to use as you only need to put a few drops on the path of the ants. You can also use the ant killer indoors safely in walls and other structures. If handled well, the insecticide is safe for pets and children. It also works through ingestion and contact eliminating both queen and other foraging ants.