Carpenter ants can be tough to get rid of, but there are a few DIY baits that you can create yourself to take care of the problem. Conventional pest control products can be more expensive, and they are usually not safe around children and pets. As such, in this article, we’ve taken a look at a few DIY options that can be both safe and effective.
Why are carpenter ants so hard to get under control?
Ants can build very large colonies in hidden places, and due to their structure, these colonies are hard to destroy. If you start killing the ants that you find outside the colony, even if you kill them in the thousands, you will not really put a dent in the overall number of ants or in the colony’s capacity to reproduce. This is because ant colonies have a singular queen that lays all the eggs, and unless you kill it, you are not able to take down the colony. As such, any control method that is meant to be effective against these pests has to address the central issue – the ant queen. This is where baits come in, and luckily it’s not too hard to build DIY ant traps that will be effective against carpenter ant infestations.
The DIY solutions
In order to build an effective carpenter ant trap, you will need two components: an ingredient that attracts the ants and a toxin that will be spread throughout the colony. Basically, you are lacing ant food with poison, so that the ants will take this poison back into their colony and eventually have the ant queen eat it.
Since ants love carbohydrates, you can use powdered sugar as your first ingredient. You then combine this sugar with something like boric acid or baking soda. Boric acid is a well known ant killer that is not as toxic to humans or mammals. Still you want to be careful and set up this bait in a location that is out of reach of your pets and children. Baking soda works in a similar way to the boric acid, but is even less toxic to mammals. You can use this bait in both a liquid and solid form, with some homeowners who have tried this method recommending the liquid form. Simply mix the ingredients with water, place them near a popular feeding spot for the ants, and wait for the bait to do its job. This will be a long term project – you want the bait to reach the queen, and this will take time.
However, if the infestation is large enough, the ants will be gathering food from multiple sources, and the odds that your poison bait reaches the queen get smaller and smaller. This is where you will need the help of a pro. Contact us today if you have a stubborn carpenter ant infestation.