Carpenter ants: how to eliminate an infestation and drive them away

One of the most difficult infestations to fight is that of carpenter ants, also called wood ants. Be careful because when dealing with these insects it is necessary to take specific measures because many standard systems are ineffective for the elimination of ants and these ants can over time create very important structural damage to buildings or furniture.
In this article we will teach you how to recognize carpenter ants in the house and permanently disinfest your home from these unwelcome guests who devour wood with great speed.

Features of carpenter ants

Let’s start by asking ourselves two questions: what are carpenter ants and how do you recognize them?

The Camponotus ligniperda, also called carpenter ant, is an insect of the order of hymenoptera and the family of ants. It is reddish-brown in colour (often with a redder head) about 6-13 mm in size. A colony is equipped with winged and not winged specimens, the main characteristic of the species is that it digs tunnels inside the wood to create its own ants. Unlike termites, it does not feed on it but creates tunnels and connections between the various nest chambers. Usually this ant prefers damp, soft or untreated wood, but often also attacks frames, beams, furniture and floors of the house. If you find fine sawdust around the wood, it could be the work of the carpenter ant.

The greatest damage is usually done in the hot season when the ants are more active and are busy digging satellite nests than the main one for laying eggs. Precisely because of its tendency to expand more and more, the carpenter ant colony must be nipped in the bud using all possible weapons before the whole house suffers structural damage.

How to eradicate carpenter ants

By spraying standard insecticides on the surfaces around the anthill you will get few results with carpenters: instead you need to get to the heart of the anthill to counteract its expansion. Like other types of ants, carpenters usually go a long way away from the nest in search of food, so you may find long corridors of ants in the house and garden.

In addition to using an insecticide product along these tracks, try to follow them until you get a glimpse of their origin and locate their source.

ollowing the trail of ants locate the nest and try to find one or more entrance holes to the anthill, they look just like small tunnels dug into the wood and often you will find more than one in the same area. Once you have identified the points from which the ants enter and exit the wooden structure, insert a generous amount of specific insecticide with a coarse syringe or a thin nozzle pump and then seal the holes with mastic. If you can’t reach the heart of the anthill it may be necessary to drill a hole with a fine-tipped drill and then, after inserting the pest control agent, you will need to seal the drilled hole very carefully. This way you can be sure that you have reached the nest, but be careful because there may be several satellite nests, so check that there are no other tunnels in the wood around the anthill.

This method (a bit bloody but definitive) will help you to safeguard the house from a real invasion. If you are not inclined to use insecticides and want to use natural products, know that they are usually not very effective on carpenter ants but, if you want to try, always do it with the technique of inserting the substance inside the nest, to try to convince the colony to migrate.