Carpenter ants are big, often black, and bore tunnels into wood to make their nests. If the wood happens to be your house, they can cause serious damage.
One of the best resources for all around advice about how to eliminate carpenter ants, including real hands-on help, is
Beyond Pesticides (BP). Once you land on their page, pull down the “INFO” menu, and click on alternatives. Note in BP’s literature that they report that carpenter ants only survive in a very narrow temperature range, and specialists can eliminate carpenter ants by “baking them out!” Another option is BoraCare, a product recommended by BP as a least-toxic approach to killing carpenter ants, and is a product that needs to be applied by a licensed exterminator. It might be worth your while to ask your local exterminator to be trained in the use of BoraCare!
Link here for a KEY to Common Household Ants.
University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has good information to determine if you have carpenter ants, and provide tips on how to control them, as does University of California Management Guidelines.
QUICK FACTS…from Colorado State
* Large black or brown carpenter ants, winged or wingless, can cause serious damage if permitted to remain in the structural wood of a building.
* Winged carpenter ants often are mistaken for termites, a more serious problem.
* Winged ants inside or outside a home year-round indicate an infestation; seasonal presence is not as serious.
* Locating all nests is the most important and difficult step in controlling carpenter ants.
* Preventive measures will guard against carpenter ant infestations.
For more of Colorado State’s information click here.
Integrated Pest Management for Carpenter Ants.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Urban IPM Program for directions on how use a low-toxic insecticide.
AEROSOLS AND INSECT SPRAYS
Victor Poison-FreeŽ Ant & Roach Killer
The only patented Poison-FreeŽ formula available. Kills ants and other crawling insects. Available in Mint or Cedar Scent. Works indoors or outdoors. Contains Mint Oil or Cedar Oil as the active ingredient. Safe around children and pets. There are also herbs that work as natural repellents.