These large, black insects build their nests in wood, so they’re often found in and around homes, but unlike termites, which actually eat wood, carpenter ants cause damage by creating smooth, hollowed-out nests (or galleries) inside the wood.
Carpenter ants in Glens Falls, Lake George, Saratoga and the rest of the northeast typically swarm in the spring, but it’s not unheard of to find them year-round. The most common sign that you’ve got a carpenter ant infestation is sawdust-like piles of wood shavings or wood with slits or holes.
If you suspect you have a nest, try this do-it-yourself trick to get rid of carpenter ants in your house.
Find and destroy carpenter ant nests
To find the nest, you’ll need to lure the carpenter ants out with a boric acid bait. The worker ants then take the bait back to the nest and poison the colony and the Queen.
Tip: Never spray the line of carpenter ants with insecticide. The ants at the nest won’t be affected, and it could actually alert them to move to a different spot in your home.
Make your own carpenter ant bait
You’ll need boric acid from your local garden store and powdered sugar. Create a mixture of 1/3 sugar to 2/3 boric acid and place it in jar lids or bottle caps in areas where you have seen the ants. While deadly for carpenter ants, boric acid is one of the least toxic insect baits you can use in your home. However, if ingested or inhaled in large quantities it is poisonous.
Tip: Do not use too much boric acid. It will kill the worker ants before they get back to the nest, defeating the purpose.
Call a professional carpenter ant exterminator
If the bait works properly, you should stop seeing ants after 3 days. Unfortunately, finding and killing the nest can be a challenge, particularly since carpenter ants nest in hollow doors and cabinets, or worse – walls and beams, which aren’t easily accessible or visible.
Tip: If you have a carpenter ant infestation in Lake George, Glens Falls or the Saratoga area, we can help. Our professional exterminators provide pest control services in Upstate New York and Vermont. Contact Nature’s Way Pest Control for a free inspection.
You may also be interested in: Why Over-the-Counter Pesticides Don’t Work on Carpenter Ants.