Just as their name implies, carpenter ants have an affinity toward wood and a substantial capacity to destroy it. These ants usually nest in knotty rooted trees, like oak or magnolia, or in moist, partially decayed wood, like an old pile of firewood. Carpenter ants usually build their primary nest outside and will form satellite nests in the attic or a wall void of a structure.
If you’re seeing a few carpenter ants inside your home, your first step is to perform a thorough inspection. Carpenter ants are nocturnal, so grab a flashlight and head for the attic at night when they’re most active. Look for large concentrations of ants. If you have trees that overhang and touch the house, trim them back. Also look for high concentrations of moisture. A roof or pipe leak will attract ants. If you don’t see any ants besides the few you see in your home, then these are foraging ants searching for food or a water source. They can be treated with a residual insecticide. You can spray inside and all entry points outside to stop ants from coming in. Each application will take care of a small problem before it becomes a major one.
If you do find water damage, repair the water source and the rotten wood (if necessary). Treat the new and surrounding wood with a product designed for penetrating wood. This product is odorless and will dry clear, and can be applied to any unpainted wood. Application can be achieved either by spray or brush, and the treated wood can be painted once dry. This product will protect the treated area from any wood-destroying activity for up to 40 years.
If you do find an ant nest, either indoors or outdoors, the most effective way of eliminating the colony is baiting. Depending on the size of the colony, this could take a long time. Be patient! Use a granulated bait designed specifically for carpenter ants. The bait is best applied in the early evening when the ants are foraging. Reapply the bait every one to two weeks until there are no signs of ants.
Refer to the label for precautions and detailed instructions. For more information on treatment options and application instructions when treating carpenter ants, visit your nearest Pestop location.