5 Carpenter Ant Baits and Tips to Kill Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are ubiquitous ants known for their detrimental effect on wooden structures. Like many ants, carpenter ants are difficult to kill with bug spray alone unless you happen to catch the queen.
Thus, if you want to kill your home’s carpenter ant killer infestation, you’ll need to get the right type of poisoned bait to take the fight to their nest.
Why It’s Necessary To Use Bait For Carpenter Ants
With most insects, a spray of pesticide does the trick. The insect dies, and you don’t have to worry about handling the insect’s nest, its young, or its mates — unless they start to bother you.
With ants, killing the insects you see wandering around your house isn’t good enough. While individual worker ants may die when you spray them with pesticides, so long as the queen ant survives in the nest, the ant colony will continue to bother you.
When you use bait for carpenter ants, you can get the ants to take the poison inside the nest for you. This means that the poison will be eaten by the queen and subsequently stop the nest from being able to replace fallen ants. Then, the den will die off, and you’ll be ant-free.
Using bait is especially crucial for carpenter ants. When carpenter ants form a pheromone trail to direct their comrades to the bait, you will quickly see a line of worker ants moving from the nest to the bait.
If you follow the trail back to its source, you’ll find the location within your dwelling where the ants are making their nest. You’ll be able to repair the area that they’ve made home or identify any structural damage which they may have caused.
You can also get a jump start on killing the carpenter ant colony by blocking off several of the entrances to their nests so that you can fill in the last entryway once you have confirmed that the queen has eaten the poisoned bait.
The 5 Types Of Carpenter Ant Baits
Overall, there are five types of carpenter ant baits:
- Spray-on foam
- Granular bait pellets
- Liquid baits
- Bait traps
- Home-brewed baits
Each of these bait modalities has a different set of advantages and disadvantages.
Spray-on foam is the easiest carpenter ant killer to use because you can simply spray the bait and poison combination onto any surface where you see carpenter ants. Then, they’ll consume the foam, take it to their nest, and die. However, foams are very messy to apply, and they’re dangerous for your pets.
Granular bait pellets can be sprinkled around carpenter ant hotspots with the understanding that they’ll take the pellets home, feed them to the queen, and then die a few days later. Bait pellets are typically the most expensive.
Liquid baits are usually best carpenter ant killer for enclosed areas where you can’t see exactly what is going on. Liquid baits tend to be challenging to use because the ants can’t feed the liquid to their friends most of the time.
Bait traps are small plastic enclosures that contain highly poisonous bait. Once the ants have taken some of the bait, the traps are very similar to granular bait pellets in their effect.
Homebrewed baits can have a combination of the above modalities depending on what your needs are. For the most part, homebrewed baits lack speed in attracting ants, and they may not attract ants from a wide area.
How To Kill Carpenter Ants Once You’ve Attracted Them With Carpenter Ant Bait
Attracting carpenter ants with the bait is simple enough: just lay the bait or the bait traps around floorboards and other areas where you have seen ants on patrol.
Typically, carpenter ant bait traps will have holes that only carpenter ants can fit through, preventing other insects from smelling the bait and poisoning themselves.
Killing carpenter ants with the poisoned bait traps can sometimes be as easy as letting them eat the bait and then waiting for all of the ants to die.
In some situations, however, you’ll need to understand a few more nuances about how to kill carpenter ants with the help of the bait.
What Kills Carpenter Ants?
Carpenter ant poisons have one thing in common: they don’t immediately kill the ant, which consumes or touches the poison.
Carpenter black ant killer include substances like fipronil, which kills both ants and larvae after five days by disrupting their nervous system, and abamectin, which has a similar effect after roughly two days.
Notably, the most common carpenter black ant killer are also substances that are highly hazardous to aquatic life. The same is true for pollinators like honey bees, who are also harmed by pesticides designed for carpenter ants.
This means that by keeping your carpenter ant poison confined to bait, which only carpenter ants will crave, you will protect your local wildlife while purging pests.
Poisons aren’t the only way to kill carpenter ants, however. It’s also possible to trick them into eating an abundance of material that they can’t effectively digest, thereby preventing them from consuming new nutrients and eventually causing them to starve to death.
While this method isn’t as rapid or as reliable as using poison, it’s typically friendlier for the environment, and in many cases, it’s less expensive. In general, the more sources of food that the carpenter ants have, the longer it will take for a blocking bait to kill the whole colony.
What Makes an Effective Carpenter Ant Bait?
Best Carpenter ant killer bait traps vary substantially in terms of their quality and efficacy.
The best carpenter ant baits have a mixture of chemicals that mimic carpenter ant pheromones, chemicals which carpenter ants find palatable, and a healthy dose of poison.
By including chemicals which mimic pheromones, the carpenter ants which walk near the trap will smell them and consider that the food within the trap has already been vetted by another carpenter ant, accelerating the process of harvesting the poison bait within.
Similarly, by including chemicals which the carpenter ants like to eat, it encourages the carpenter ants to take as much of the bait from the trap as they can carry home. Then, once they’re at the nest, the palatable chemicals ensure that the workers will feed the poisoned bait to the queen as well as to any larvae.
The type and efficacy of the poison in the bait is also essential because not all pesticides are equally hazardous for humans, pets, and the surrounding wildlife. The most effective toxins include a time-delay mechanism, which is only slowly harmful to the ants who consume it.
In practice, most ants will start to feel the impact of the poison after a day or so, but they’ll probably stop visiting the bait location within 24 hours of finding it. Most of the ants will die in their nest or in the baited trap itself, so you may not notice dead ants lying around.
Does Terro Work On Carpenter Ants?
Terro, also known as borax, is a chemical composed of sodium borate, which ants cannot digest but still consider to be food.
While borax isn’t a carpenter ant killers bait in isolation, it is straightforward to make borax into a highly palatable and somewhat effective poison and bait combination chemical.
To turn your borax into effective ant bait, do the following:
- Make a solution of 1 part powdered borax, two parts honey or sugar, and 1 part warm water
- Mix the solution until the borax is fully dissolved
- Pour the solution into a small dish that will be easy for ants to climb into and out of
- Place the bowl along a trail where you suspect carpenter ants travel
Once you have set your borax-based trap, you’ll need to observe and ensure that carpenter ants are taking the bait. The more aromatic honey you use, the more rapidly the ants will be attracted to your trap.
Use Borax-Based Baiting
When the ants visit your dish, they’ll eat some of the viscous liquid containing borax, slurping up a substantial quantity of honey in the process. Then, they’ll return home to feed their larvae and their queen with the solution that you made.
The problem that the ants didn’t foresee is that the delicious mixture of honey and borax is not genuinely edible. While the ants do get some caloric energy from the honey in the solution, the borax falls out of the solution inside their digestive tract, blocking the narrow passageways.
Then, when the ant tries to eat food again, they won’t be able to capture any of the nutrients from the food. Eventually, the ants starve to death. In the meantime, however, other ants will try to feed them. This won’t work because their digestive tract is blocked.
The upside to borax as a carpenter ant killer poison is that it is inexpensive and easy to utilize without needing to worry about the impact on the environment.
The downside to using borax as ant bait is that it can take a long time for ants to die from consuming borax. Then, when they finally die, they may be strewn all over your home rather than neatly concentrated in a single location as they might be with another ant poison.
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