Carpenter Ants....

I’m not sure if I should worry …yet…but we have found some carpenter ants in the house! Yesterday morning, 4 in the bathroom, sort of wondering around, not in a line. Then we didn’t see anymore. We thought maybe they had come in through the window.

Today another carpenter ant in the living room wondering around. I don’t want to call the exterminator yet, because we have small kids and a baby.

Carpenter ants aren’t just ugly and big, they eat wood! So I need them out, but I don’t want pesticides.

Any suggestions?

Call an exterminator! Is it easier to get rid of 1 carpenter ant or 1 million? Most exterminators now have kid and pet friendly products that they can use. That could be your first question.

I had big ants (don’t know if they were carpenter ants - these were about 1/4 inch long) in my bathroom for about a week last year. Then they disappeared. Haven’t seen any since. I think in springtime they come and go, looking for food. I put out the Tero ant traps and that took care of the problem.

Hey! I know something that might really help because it seems to have worked for us.
Baby powder. Yep, baby powder! Just sprinkle it around the baseboards and VOILA! NO more ants! I have tried everything to get rid of those big black ants short of calling the pro’s. I really don’t like pesticides due to kids and dogs but this has been great and the house smells pretty good too!

And the sound of those tiny little power saws can drive you crazy!! :stuck_out_tongue:


:ehh: ha ha ha.

Seriously, I found another one in the dining room. They are huge!

You know what they say about bugs - for every one that you see there are many many hanging around the house that you don’t.

I say get the exterminators in - just get the kids out of the house for double the time the exterminator recommends to be extra safe.

Ah, carpenter ants. I am uneagerly awaiting their appearance again this year. My apartment manager does not seem to want to help me with this problem. If you are only seeing a few, it could be that they have a nest outside; they will send “worker” ants out to find food and will travel a good distance to find it. Killing them does not do much good as they will still follow each other’s scent trails to find the food. Vinegar helps to get rid of the scent trail. Boric acid (or borax) is a poison that will kill them; it is an ingredient in the carpenter ant traps. Baby powder and chalk do some good, but it is hard to stop them with just that. Terro spray and traps work ok. Your best bet is to call an exterminator, but they are still difficult to get rid of, particularly if they are inside the house. I banned all eating in rooms except the kitchen last summer (they eat sweets and/or greasy foods), kept a spotless floor (freshly cleaned in vinegar), and lined the patio door with borax. Good luck…

Had them too. Gaah! :mad:

Make sure all branches to your roof are trimmed away from the roofline. They live in trees sometimes shocking distances from your house. They get in through the attic most often. But sometimes at the bottom floor. Springtime is swarm time. If you see at your windowsills any sawdust that’s where they are coming in. Mine came down from my attic. They’ll probably spray up in the attic and inject the spray in the holes where they are coming into the house. It didn’t require them to spray along baseboards or anything. Get rid of them now before they eat large chunks out of your windowsills. If they are anywhere, it’s usually in the trim around windows.

Good luck!


We’ve been trying to get rid of them for years. Poison works—but with kids? We use those ant traps and used to hide them in a cabinet.

I agree with the comments on acids, I used lemon, lime, and vinegar in the same areas when I destroyed a few ant farms along the house last year. They crept into some cracks in the floorboards, so I had used the liquids to line it. It was tedious as I had to apply everyday, but it worked. I have never tried the baby powder method. This year was along the patio door, but not many, only one day so far. The season is still young.

We seem to get them every year as soon as the weather warms up. I’ve used the traps that take poison back to the nest and it seems to work well. We keep them up in the cabinets out of reach of the kids and dog. We had them pretty bad last month, but I haven’t seen one in about 2 weeks since using the traps.

Somone mentioned the attic. I will send dh to check this evening. We don’t have a tall tree near the house. I wonder if it’s the old telephone pole out front, and they are walking on the wire?

We only bought the house 1 1/2 years ago, and it passed the termite/ant inspection.:shrug:

This is annoying, The fact that they are so random too, not in a line like ants normally like to travel. And they are big.

For some ants (not sure about carpenters) vinegar is the equivalent of putting up a sign, FREE KEGGER.

We had them - they were actually coming from two places as far as we could tell - an old dead tree stump that was actually underground and we didn’t even know was there until we saw them all crawling around in the spot so we started to dig - and a neighbors firewood pile which was quite a distance away. They send out crews to explore new areas for nests. One of our cats must have been playing with one and it clamped down on her lip. It didn’t seem to bother her but we did - it took us quite a while to get it off.

We use ant traps and hide or cover them so they won’t be messed with. We’ve also used diatomaceous earth under baseboards and around the perimeter outside. That all seemed to work well. Just a stray ant or two after that.

So true! I used one of those prewet cloths to wipe down the floor in the sunroom and kitchen once (can’t remember the brand but it did have vinegar in it) :eek: The floor was literally moving and we didn’t have that problem before.

And speak of teh debbil…


Talcum? I have the type made from cornstarch, maybe they like cornstarch…I don’t want to put out a buffet.

I got 2 different quotes and opinions from exterminators. Seems I need an entire year of treatment. It isn’t possible to deal with myself. If I don’t exterminate, I’ll end up with a “scene right out of a horror film”:bigyikes:

All this for about 10 ants. :hammering:

The ant bait traps works like a charm. A few find them and bring it back to their colony. Then a stream of ants carry it back destroying the whole colony (it only takes a couple of days). BUT a few weeks later hatchings may come back but they too are destroyed. You may want to replace them every year and keep them where young kids can’t get to them.

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