If you have holes in the wood in your home, they might not be from termites, but carpenter ants. These large ants can be a real pain to deal with, but luckily there are solutions. Here are some methods for getting rid of the carpenter ants and preventing them from returning.
Locate the Nests
Before you start killing the carpenter ants in or around your home, try to find their nests. By locating the nests, you can kill them at the source and prevent them from returning. If you kill them inside your home but didn't find the nest, you might see more appear in a few days. Carpenter ant nests are usually near areas with decaying or moist wood. Look around your home for wood that might be decaying, such as window frames, in crawl spaces, around door frames, or in hollow spaces. If you find food around or inside your home that have tiny holes in it, you know you are close to their nest location.
Exterminate the Carpenter Ants
Try to kill the carpenter ants at their nest first, then go for the rest of the ants you see in or around your home. This will make your job a lot easier. If you couldn't find the nest, using these extermination methods combined with further prevention of infestations will also work. First of all, make sure you don't kill the foraging ants in your home. Instead, follow them and see where they go. They can help lead you to their nest.
Boric acid – The first thing you can use for killing carpenter ants is boric acid. This is a natural product that kills a variety of pests, including different types of pests. Sprinkle some of the boric acid near the area of their nest. Once they step outside the nest, they will walk through the powder and it will kill them.
Vinegar – You can also try killing them with vinegar. Make a mixture of vinegar and water, using equal amounts of each. Add a few drops of peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil and spray it along ant trails and where the nest location is.
Insecticide – If you have found the nest outside your home, you can also use an insecticide. It is not advisable to use inside your home, so save this method for the outdoors.
Prevent Carpet Ant Infestations
Once you have successfully exterminated the carpenter ants, it is time to prevent more infestations. Start by locating cracks or holes that could give them entrance into your home. Seal all cracks with caulk. You should also caulk around water lines or electrical lines that give them access to your home. Keep branches trimmed away from your home, as this is another way they can get to your home. Keep any decaying wood away from your home, including firewood, cardboard boxes, and other sources. Dispose of it whenever possible.
If all else fails, try contacting a pest control company such as Cal-Rid Exterminators Inc. for professional help.