Carpenter ants are a serious and damaging infestation. The fact that they can bite is only an insult to injury as the real destruction is done to your home. Like termites, they burrow into wood to make their nests. Unlike termites they do not eat the wood, they only live in it. This gives you an opportunity that termites do not offer, a chance to kill them.
Carpenter ants Life Cycle
Carpenter ants are the largest ant in North America growing to sizes of over two centimetres. The workers grow wings near the end of the yearly cycle and the queen, and the queen’s sexualized children including both the males and females possess wings their entire lives, though the males tend to have very short ones. The queen of the nest is long-lived to the extreme. She can live up to twenty-five years. That is incredibly long in insect terms and allows the queen to produce thousands upon thousands of workers throughout her life
This can make treatment extremely difficult and even if the queen does eventually die there will be a new one already waiting to take up the throne so treating them is a necessity.
Ant bait and dust
If you are not fond of the idea of pesticides then there are natural treatments that can help. The best way to start is with a good defence. Keeping your home clean of food scraps and storing food in tightly sealed containers is always a good idea as that will prevent almost anything from infesting your home. Ensuring the outside of your home is properly sealed off like the cocking around windows, sweeps on doors and weather stripping can also help.
Exterior Ant Nests
If you have a carpenter ant nest on your property then you can try killing it. This is not a difficult situation as boiling water powered straight over or into the nest is very effective. Adding vinegar or soap, or both can increase that effectiveness. The real danger and when you need to start thinking about professional treatment is when they get inside your home.
Once they get inside
If they are in your home then you can try using store-bought solutions to kill them off. This works if the infestation is new, especially if you know the location of the nest. You can use silica dioxide to dust the areas of high activity, this will kill the ants when they touch it. You can also use domestic ant bait or just make it yourself with boric acid (a chemical found in most laundry detergents) mixed with sugar, flour and water. Form it into balls and let the ants feat on it. They tend to stockpile food in the nest so the queen will eat it too.
If that doesn’t work after a month then it’s a good time to call a professional. No one likes pesticides in the house but it’s better than not having a house at all. So get them treated one way or another and don’t wait too long. The damage they can do is extreme and weakens your home. If you wait too long you may have to spend thousands of dollars repairing it.