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How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants? (Natural Remedies)

In this article, we will discuss ways to get rid of carpenter ants. Carpenter ants are commonly found around homes in wooded areas. They eventually enter your house in search of food and water and will typically live outdoors very close to the house. If you suspect ant nests in your house, you have to react fast and efficient to find out how to detect and how to get rid of carpenter ants as soon as possible, because this kind of ants are known to be one of the most difficult insects to remove. Chances are you will have to have some serious structural improvements made once the infestation is taken care of and timbers will have to be replaced. It is also important to note here that carpenter ants are active during spring and summer months.

Humidity is necessary to sustain their eggs, but it is possible to find satellite nests that are not in moisture laden areas where some of the colonies can reside. In order to get rid of carpenter ants, get hold of the below home remedies which work really well. And in any case, if you are not happy with these remedies don’t mind giving a call to the pest control services.

to get rid of carpenter ants

Carpenter Ants: Know More

Carpenter ants are tiny black or brown ants that love to feed on sugar and sweet food. These ants can vary from 2-15mm of size. The male ants are of black color and females are of red color. These small insects love to invade homes where they search out sweet foods, bread, and other fatty items. They live in dark and damp places, especially under kitchen cabinets and sink units. These can even sting badly and can be the reason for spreading a lot of unnecessary diseases. Many people, many theories but let’s understand what exactly is the reason you see them in your house.

  • Your house smells awesome – Not keeping your house clean and food items or garbage pieces thrown here and there invite ants into your house.
  • The compromised perimeter – Any uninvited gaps in the house, be it in ceilings, cupboards, windows etc. should be kept sealed.
  • The landscape of your house is too inviting – If ants feel your house is a good shelter for them and the moisture levels, the vegetation n you garden etc. is really good to feed on, believe me, they will come no matter what.

Best Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants:


Cinnamon is a strong agent in itself. There are many ways to use cinnamon to get rid of carpenter ants in your house. Just use some cinnamon powder and sprinkle it in the gaps or the portions where you see ants. You can also use cinnamon powder and a few cloves for this purpose. It also helps the house smell better.

Another way is to use essential cinnamon oil and spray it around the windows and doors. The trail of the oil helps to keep the ants at bay and prevents them from entering your house.

Bay Leaves

Using bay leaves is an effective way of getting rid of carpenter ants naturally. These ants tend to get irritated by the bay leaves and that makes them go away from your house completely within a few applications. Moreover, it is a really easy remedy to get rid of carpenter ants and is not toxic in use as well.

To use bay leaves, simply take some bay leaves and put them all in a cheese cloth. Tie the ends and put these bags in drawers and on the top of the shelves. You can also place them under your beds and others corners where these ants tend to come from. Make sure you are using fresh new bay leaves rather than some old pieces which may have been lying since long in your house. You can replenish the bay leaves every few days in order to increase their effectiveness in getting rid of these carpenter ants.


A really easy way to get those ants coming into your house is simply taking a chalk from your children’s boxes and drawing a line with it. The ants simply won’t cross the line at any cost. Nobody knows what the reason behind this. Some say it’s the sodium bicarbonate in the chalk, which keeps them at bay. While others believe that the chalk line interrupts their scent trails. Whatever, be the reason, a line made with a chalk is one of the easiest tricks you can apply to get rid of carpenter ants.


Cornmeal is a cheap and safe way to get rid of carpenter ants, especially if there are kids in the house. It is difficult for these sugar ants to digest and therefore once they lick it, it tends to give them a hard time to survive. Simply sprinkling cornmeal in the areas where ants make their homes will do the trick for you. Like chalk, cornmeal simply helps in preventing the ants crossing the line and slowly as the days’ pass, you will see them vanishing away. It is also one of the most favored remedies used for getting rid of carpenter ants and is safe to use as well if there are pets and kids in your house. You can keep replenishing it and using it as long as you see the ants go away completely from your house.


Vinegar has a strong aroma which helps defer the scent trails of ants. Just take a cloth and use 50:50 solutions of vinegar and water to wipe off your countertops in the house. The smell of the vinegar keeps the ants from moving further and this helps to get rid of carpenter ants really easily. Notice the action of the ants when you apply vinegar, they will simply refuse to the cross the line and will simultaneously go away after some time. However, take care with vinegar. If you have countertops made of granite or stone, using vinegar may spoil them.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth works really well in getting rid of carpenter ants in a week or so. While using this, remember to buy food grade diatomaceous earth and not the swimming pool DE. Just sprinkle the diatomaceous earth in the areas where you see ants or around the boundary of your house. Precaution should be taken not to wet the diatomaceous earth, otherwise, it will not work. Doing this will make the ants go away slowly in numbers and make your house ants free in a week or 10 days max.

Coffee Grounds

The coffee grounds repel the ants from entering your house. The best way is to stuff coffee grounds in the holes or the gaps where the ants come from. The coffee grounds keep the ants at bay and prevents them from entering your space altogether. What’s best is that it doesn’t kill them, but the smell of the coffee grounds simply makes them back off. It is one of the best my methods to get rid of carpenter ants quickly.

Peanut Butter

This remedy may sound weird, but let me tell you, it’s a great way to get rid of carpenter ants quickly. People who have used this remedy have reported to have seen amazing results with this. It is a safe remedy to use as well and you can use it without any worries even if there are children or pets around the house.

Here, simply get hold of peanut butter, sugar and a plastic straw. Mix a spoonful of peanut butter with 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of borax. Now hold the straw and tap the end into the mixture repeatedly until the straw is full of it. Cut the straw into ВЅ inch pieces and place them next to ant trails. Do this every day for at least a week till you get rid of carpenter ants completely. Some ants like protein and grease and it is this that helps to attract them to the straws, and once the straws are full of these ants, you can simply throw these miles away from your house.

Citrus or Cucumber Peels

The citrus or cucumber peels help get rid of carpenter ants naturally. Where ever you see ants just put some fresh peels of cucumber of other citrus fruits. It is toxic to the types of fungi that the ants feed on, and helps get rid of them faster than you think. However, it is best to use natural and real peels than any synthetic product which has a citrus fragrance. Using citrus and cucumber peels is one of the most widely known methods to get rid of carpenter ants.

Water and Dish Soap

You thought your dish soap was only meant for to wash your utensils? Well, it is one of the best-proven methods to get rid of carpenter ants in your house as well. If that honey jar is the one where most of those ants pile up, just wash the jar nicely once. Put it in a bowl of hot water and put a few drops of dishwashing liquid in the water. It is just enough to keep those ants away from that honey jar. Another method is to use boiling water wherever you see a hill of the ants. It will help kill them instantly and you will get rid of carpenter ants really fast.


Essential peppermint oil works awesome and also helps give a wonderful aroma to your house. The best way is to apply it near the windows and doors. Use a spray bottle and mix equal parts of peppermint oil and water in it. Use this mixture to spray on the areas where the ants accumulate and make their safe zones. The smell of the peppermint simply makes them irritated and helps them leave the house almost instantly. Do this for two days and see how you get rid of carpenter ants completely in two days itself.

Cayenne Pepper

Ants rely on chemical signals to navigate towards food, their nest, and other places and the strong nature of cayenne pepper destroys these signals. When it comes to sugar ants, cayenne pepper acts as an effective ant repellent here. It works really well to get rid of carpenter ants quickly and is very effective in eliminating them completely from all across your house.

Cayenne pepper helps in confusing the sugar ants and they will have nowhere to go once they can’t find a proper signal to follow in your house. Sprinkle a mixture made out of this pepper across the access points to make an unpleasant barrier for ants, you simply have to mix equal amounts of cayenne pepper and turmeric powder here. Sprinkle cayenne pepper powder in areas where you notice ants, this is also an effective way to get rid of carpenter ants. Cayenne pepper tends to irritate these ants a lot and you will see the ants reducing in numbers and vanishing gradually with the use of cayenne pepper.

Professional Carpenter Ant Control

Always remember a good pest control professional will do a very thorough examination of your spaces in order to identify the ants. Having all family members present may help the agent pinpoint the location of the nest more easily, so be ready for questions about sightings and recent ant activity.

The pest control agent will drill holes, and treat the surrounding wood, moving outward from the nest’s location once the nest is located. He will eventually finish the job with a residual insecticide spray around the perimeter of your home. It is relatively common to call in a professional to take care of your ant problem with the number of carpenter ant infestations and the difficulty of getting rid of carpenter ants.

Approach to Follow to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants:

In short, below should be your approach to getting rid of carpenter ants in your house:

  1. Inspection

Inspection is the most crucial step to be taken here. It’s imperative to determine if the ants are located outside and simply foraging inside for food, or if you have a colony or satellite colony in your home in order to decide the most effective method to get rid of them.

  1. Determine Control Measure

Once you complete your inspection and identify nest locations and foraging trails, the next step is to determine which control measure to use.

Baiting – used in Carpenter Ant trails

Spraying- Non-Repellent sprays used as permiter treatment, may be used with baits

Treating Voids – Foams or Dust used in voids or galleries where Carpenter Ants are nesting

  1. Prevention

Prevention is essential in order to stay ant-free always. By ant-proofing your home and yard and by clearing away rotting trees and lumber piles, fixing plumbing leaks, etc., you will be able to prevent any further infestations by ants.