21 Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants from Homes and Gardens

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Here are some of the most potent Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants from Homes and Gardens. Use them to keep these insects away.

Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants from Homes and Gardens

Carpenter Ants can cause severe damage to wood that is an integral part of your home and garden. However, these critters are tiny but can be very troublesome. So, what could you do? Don’t worry. We have the best Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants from Homes and Gardens.

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What are Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter Ants do not feed on wood as termites do; rather, they chew and excrete it to make pathways for themselves and their colonies. So, if you start noticing them randomly in piles that look similar to wood shavings, it can be a case of their attack.

They are easy to spot, thanks to their red-black-brown color and size, which is bigger than typical ants.

Find out some potent ant killer recipes here

Best Ways to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants from Homes and Gardens

1. Make a Bait 

Carpenter ants are attracted to sweets, and you can attract them with a little bit of jelly or jam and add baking soda to it.

Alternatively, mix baking soda and sugar in equal parts and then pour it into a shallow dish. The sugar attracts carpenter ants, and the baking soda kills them. 

2. Eliminate Their Scent Trails

Carpenter Ants trust pheromone trails to look for food and to travel. If you keep the surfaces clean and wipe out the ant’s tracks, you will be able to keep them away.

Use essential oils such as lemon, orange, tea tree, or cedarwood to wipe out their trails. Pour 3-4 drops on a cotton ball and clean down the surfaces where the ants travel from.

3. Avoid Standing Water

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Stagnant water attracts carpenter ants. Clean the gutters, level the ground and the structures or fences where the water may get stagnant, and repair any downspouts or leaky drains. 

4. Destroy the Nest

When you find the nest by following the trails, destroy it immediately. To do so, pour boric acid through the nest holes. Repeat this treatment 6-7 times to destroy them completely.

5. Limit Nesting Opportunities

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Keep tree branches from touching the roof of your home or garden’s boundary wall as it acts as a bridge for the ants to enter. Fix any holes and break down dirty structures to keep the carpenter ants at bay. 

6. Use Aerosol

Aerosol can be an effective way to eliminate ants. You can directly spray it where you spot them. Put its nozzle in the nest and spray to get rid of the ants.

7. Use Boric Acid 


Add 2 spoons of boric acid and 1 spoon of powdered sugar to a bowl. Pour a few drops of water to make a slurry and keep it where these types of ants frequent.

Boric acid has the potential to penetrate and dissolve in their body, hence killing them.

8. Use Carpenter Ant Dust

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Pick a good quality carpenter ant dust and apply it directly to the entire colony. Read the instructions carefully on the label, follow them, and watch the ants die. 

9. Apply Diatomaceous Earth

It is non-toxic, natural dust that you can use to kill carpenter ants without harsh chemicals inside your home and garden. Just sprinkle it on them or around their colony.

Check out some brilliant uses of diatomaceous earth in the garden here

10. Seal Open Spaces

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Use caulk to close your cracks and holes around doors, windows, and other areas where ants can enter your home and garden. You can also install screens on the doors and windows. 

11. Tidy Up Crumbs and Water leaks

Carpenters ants need protein, water, and sugar to thrive. Get rid of spills and crumbs, particularly sugary spills. Repair any faucet leaks and ensure no accessible water in the space. 

12. Replace Wet and Decaying Wood

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Carpenter ants love weak and decaying wood. If you spot their colony in walls, it indicates damaged wood. 

If the colony is in a stump, a tree, woodpile near your home and garden, then get rid of the wet and decaying wood source. 

13. Use Borax

Carpenter ants take the food laced with borax back to their colony, where the ants plan to feast on them and hence get killed. You can quickly get rid of the entire territory in a week. 

Mix a spoon or two of borax with sugar and keep it near the ant colony.

Find out some unbelievable borax uses in the garden here

14. Use Boiling Water

Directly pour boiling water into the ant colony to get rid of them instantly. You can also add soap or essential oils to make this approach even more efficient. 

15. Use a Pyrethrin-Based Spray

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Another sure-fire remedy for getting rid of these stubborn carpenter ants is to use a pyrethrin-based insecticidal spray onto the colonies.

Pure pyrethrin contains a low level of poison as it is a natural product extracted from chrysanthemum flowers. These insecticides work best by exciting the central nervous system causing death or paralyzing the insects.

Learn how to make garlic water pesticide for plants here

16. Use Cucumber Slices or Peels

Spread some cucumber peel in and around your home and garden, as carpenter ants hate its taste and smell. Replace the old peels with fresh ones every 1-2 days to keep the ants away.

17. Use Cinnamon Oil

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Cinnamon and cinnamon oil can interfere with the ants’ pheromone trails, keeping them away. Use a small spray bottle to dispense cinnamon oil into the infested areas and nests directly.

Alternatively, use its powder on the trails like doors, windowsills, baseboards, countertops, and perch. 

Wondering how to use cinnamon in the garden? Click here

18. Spray Lemon Juice

The citrusy fragrance of lemon is an excellent deterrent for the ants, and the acidic nature can mask the natural scent they use to navigate through trails in your home and garden. 

Soak some cotton balls in lemon juice and leave them in thresholds, cabinets, windowsills, and other spaces where the ants frequent. 

Learn some amazing lemon juice uses for plants here

19. Use Apple Cider Vinegar

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Apple cider vinegar or simple vinegar is a natural ant deterrent as it can disrupt their scent trails and keep them at bay in the future. 

Spray it on their nests and where you spot them after mixing it with water in a 1:1 ratio.  

Learn more about using apple cider vinegar in your garden here

20. Avoid Growing Plants that Attract Ants

Avoid growing plants like peonies, wild parsnip, desert willow, clematis, and penstemon as they attract ants. If you plan to grow them, make sure they are away from your home.

21. Use Cornmeal

Carpenter ants are fond of cornmeal, but their bodies cannot digest it. Once they consume it, they burst. Those that don’t die immediately go into starvation and ultimately perish. It works slowly but surely.

Use it around their colony or the areas where you spot them

Check out  our article 28 Delightful Ways to Decorate Awkward Home Spaces here

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