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Carpenter Ants and Boric Acid

The carpenter ant is quite large and can drive a homeowner nuts. They are either red or black and can get up to ½ inch in length.

Where Do They Live

Carpenter ants prefer decaying wood that is moist. They will often nest in decaying trees. The first step to keeping the ants out of your home is to eliminate wet wood. If you have a woodpile next to your home, you may want to relocate it further out. If your siding needs repaired, you should do so. The first step is to eliminate all the wet and attractive decaying woods.

Help: I'm Infested

Once the ants are in your home, the next step is to determine where the nest is. Sometimes the nest is outdoors and other times it is directly in your home. Like roaches, the ants like to be in the voids. This is the wall voids, cupboard voids, and any other cubbyhole they can find.

Look for Flying Ants

If you have a lot of flying ants in your home, it is pretty likely that the nest is in the home. If you see a lot of the non flying scout ants, the nest is more likely outdoors. Ants typically leave a trail to the nest using pheremones. These ant chemicals tell the other ants where the food is. That is why it is a good idea to leave out some bait. You might try some meat because they like protein. Then, the ants will make a trail from the nest to the food. That makes it easy to find the nest.

Drill Holes and Inject Boric Acid

One you find the nest, put a bunch of boric acid on it. For example, if the nest is in the wall or under the cupboards, simply drill a hole in the wall or the toe kick and then put the boric acid dust in there. This will help eliminate the nesting area.

Bait is Essential

It is not enough to simply put out some dust. You will also need to put out some bait. You can do the bait by mixing some honey and some boric acid. A good solution would be a teaspoon of boric acid to a tablespoon of honey. Make sure and see that the ants are attracted to the bait. You may need to gently adjust the formula. A good sign is a lot of activity around baits.

Be Patient

Boric acid doesn't work overnight. It will take several days and maybe a week or two for the ants to be gone. That is because very small amounts get taken back to the nest. In addition, boric acid works through dehydration and that takes several days by itself.

Final Tip

A good reason to use boric acid is because it is much more safe than most other alternatives.


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