Taking care of a carpenter ant infestation is more than just a spray on – contact kill ordeal. To fully eradicate a population, there are a few important steps that you should take.
1 – Identify the Problem
There are so many different species of ants. Although treatment for ant may be similar, they are all still very different. So, before you begin any treatment for just any species of ants, you must identify and conclude that you have a carpenter ant infestation. Some of the things that you should look for when trying to investigate to see if you have a carpenter ant infestation are things like physical appearance of the ant species itself, wood damage, frass, and trails. Carpenter ants are ants that nest in the wood and will create significant damage after a certain time.
2 – Locate the Nest
There are some areas that carpenter ants are the most attracted to and commonly found. This is going to include window frames or door frames, in the plumbing walls of the kitchen and bathrooms, and near sinks and tubs. This is because they are highly attracted to moist wood and moist environments. To locate their nest, it takes patience and time to observe their behavior and movement. Carpenter ants are the most active at night so you may need to watch them during their most active periods. Also, carpenter ants will leave trails from their nest to their food source. You should look out for these trails that they make and also keep an eye out for other signs of damage that is made by carpenter ants.
3 – Sanitation and Prevention
Sanitation and getting rid of their food source is extremely important. They are attracted to sugars and sweets and also savory foods like grease and meats. Getting rid of their food sources may force them to forage elsewhere for food. Prevention methods are also necessary for carpenter ant control. Some of these prevention methods may include modifying the environment around your property. These modifications should discourage their entry into your home and also ultimately, their survival. This will include things like removing damp woods, fallen lumber or logs, firewood, etc from the sides of your home and keeping them in piles that are elevated from the ground. Seal all entry points around the structure including any cracks, crevices, and holes in the siding, windows, or doors. You should cut back tree limbs and shrub branches that can be used as a bridge by carpenter ants to enter your home. Also, because they are attracted to moisture, leaks and bad piping should be fixed immediately.
4 – Pesticides
You can choose to hire a professional or begin a do-it-yourself treatment to eradicate the infestation in your home. Don’t just spray anything anywhere. This may actually act as a repellent and force the carpenter ants to build a new nest somewhere else in your home. Be strategic and use the pesticides correctly. Liquid insecticides can be used for perimeter treatment outdoors, dust products for the wall voids, you can use insecticides as spot treatment in already infested woods, or baits which will target the nest itself. Seek professional advice and always read the product labels thoroughly before applying any pesticides.