Getting Rid of Carpenter Ants

Using a safe, thorough method to keep these ants from your home and buildings is important. This guide is about getting rid of carpenter ants.

Carpenter Ant
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Question: Carpenter Ants and Termites

By Carol Chileen 2 2

Does anyone have an eco-friendly way to rid a home of carpenter ants or termites short of replacing all the infected wood?

CC from Northern IN

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


Most Recent Answer

By Jack Stryker 7 Flag

July 15, 2010

Ants will not walk on cinnamon, period, fact.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

Question: Carpenter Ants

By Zoya 2 1

I am overcome with ants, carpenter ants. Anyone have any ideas for a homemade solution or any solution? How do you get rid of them?

By Zoya from Collinsville, AL

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


Most Recent Answer


May 12, 2013

Carpenter ants for the most part are a nuisance ant, though they are considered a wood destroying insect, they rarely do any damage at all. They never eat wood, just will tunnel in it usually wood already damaged from rot or termite...90% of all carpenter ant work I do.

They will not be nesting around any wood at all, just a hollow area such as the tubing that makes up the frame for screens and storm windows. Common areas of wood they are found would be hollow core doors and the hollow areas under the window sill.

They will not feed on the commercial baits found at stores for other house hold ants such as Terro, but you can get a specialty bait called MaxForce Carpenter Ant gel that works good for an inside infestation and Advance Carpenter Ant granules for outside, both work well when professionally tackling them and be found on the web.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

Question: Ants in Dishwasher

By Diedra 2

I discovered ants in my dishwasher; I am a clean freak who rinses everything thoroughly before I put dishes in the washer. Any suggestions on what to do?

By Diedra from OH

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Most Recent Answer

By hopeful 27 135 Flag

November 28, 2009

We use Terro too. It is the best way to get rid of ants. I tried everything else that I could think of-- TERRO is the answer.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

Question: Black Powder on Window Sill

By nan rae 1

Inside my house on a window sill there is a little mound (size of a dime) of what looks like finely ground pepper. I cleared it away and in just a few hours the little mound re-appeared. What could it be?

By Nan Rae

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Most Recent Answer

By Pamela Hoelscher 2 Flag

February 25, 2010

Have your house checked for termites. If you're having this problem, that' what I'd.

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Question: Getting Rid Of Carpenter Ants


Carpenter ants are eating my porch! Any easy solutions?

By Christine from Dubuque

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Most Recent Answer

By Rita Murray 1 26 Flag

June 24, 2010

We had them in our roof of our other house but didn't know it for years. The roof leaked, we repaired it with tar, 2 years later it would leak again, we repaired it. This went on for years. Finally we decided to put on a new roof. When they took off the shingles the roof was full of carpenter ants. We were told to pour javax on them. My husband did and it killed them all. We built the new roof and as far as I know there has not been a problem since.(we sold that house 16 years ago). Hope this helps.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

Question: Using Epsom Salts to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

Will Epsom salt hurt my palms and other plants and my dog? I put some all around my plants to see if it would get rid of carpenter ants.

By Sheila

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Most Recent Answer

By joanne 3 14 Flag

May 2, 2012

No way I use epson salts all the time. It's great. May do your plants a favor. It's just magnesium.

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

Question: Getting Rid of Carpenter Ants and Wasps

I have problems with carpenter ants and my wood outside walls. I have problems with wasps settling in outside areas and they also go between where the slider frames are set on the wood base. Where do I put coffee grounds?

By Gail S from Bartlett, NH

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

Archive: Getting Carpenter Ants

Help me please! We are having a Carpenter ant problem in my house. It started about three weeks ago. We have tried store-bought ant bait and the Aspartame tip to no avail! They hate both. I am going to try the borax and Molasses tip next. I have three cats and a dog, and don't want to spray poison.

Thank you,
Barb from Hopewell, NY


RE: Getting Carpenter Ants

Do you have a basement? And can you reach the sill plate of the house? If you place ant traps on the sill plate all around that should help. They won't be accessible to your pets and you can stop the ants where they get in. Terro Liquid Ant Bait traps if you can find them in your area are very good. (06/07/2007)

By Lynn Beth

Carpenter Ants

Ants will NOT cross a line of talcum powder. You can stock up at your local dollar store and it will not harm your pets. (06/07/2007)

By Annie

RE: Getting Carpenter Ants

Terro liquid is great as Lynn Beth suggested and also cinnamon works well. I buy cinnamon at dollar store and sprinkle it around and they don't like it.

I also used ant (metal) spikes out by patio door, as my 3 doggies leave those alone. Hope something works for you. (06/07/2007)

By meoowmom

RE: Getting Carpenter Ants

I was reading that carpenter ants are the hardest thing to get rid of according to exterminators.

Here are some web pages you might check out that give some info on it but you may not be able to do it organically. I do understand, I don't like to use pesticides either. (06/08/2007)

By Mythi

RE: Getting Carpenter Ants

Do not spray any borax mixture. It is poisonous to all pets and small children! I suggest you Google the "Carpenter Ants" site at Ohio State University. They have a very thorough article on the subject. These ants are attracted to damp, especially damp wood, so you may have a problem in your foundation, cellar or woodpile.

Editor's Note: Although borax is poisonous in large amounts it is about as poisonous as table salt. You have to eat quite a lot of it for it to be harmful. (06/08/2007)

By sheilamay

RE: Getting Carpenter Ants

Need to use a pest control company that will use termidor on the exterior of the home,doors windows, eaves, foundation fences, and tree branches if possible. If you have questions or concerns I can elaborate more about carpenter ants if you are interested about get rid of them in about 2 to 3 weeks.; (06/18/2007)

By jobo

RE: Getting Carpenter Ants

MAKE CERTAIN THEY ARE NOT PHAROAH ANTS, which are harmless and eat meat/sugar. Take a few to a pest control SPECIALIST for examination. If they are carpenter ants, you will need professional treatment over three years to kill the colony which could be as far away as 500 feet, according to the Pest Control firm I telemarketer for a while back.

Good luck and God bless you. : ) (06/26/2007)

By Lynda

Archive: Ants in Dishwasher

Has anyone heard of this and have any suggestions? My dishwasher is getting full of ants. When I open in the morning, it will be full of ants. I run a small amount of hot water in it and then drain. How are they getting in and how can I stop them?

CJ'S Mom


RE: Ants in dishwasher?

You have to find where they are nesting. In my case, the cabinet next to the dishwasher had cereal which was infested. I threw it all out and bought plastic cereal keepers. Finally I found that there was candy in my daughter's bag in the hall closet, that was the attraction. They will gravitate to the water. You will need to get an exterminator, but must find the source of the attraction. (03/13/2005)

By mahopacnymommy

RE: Ants in dishwasher?

You probably have a leak under your dishwasher. It could only be one small drip, but still a leak. You definitely should call an exterminator, but fix your leak. (03/14/2005)

By klmaclaughlin

RE: Ants in dishwasher?

Put Mule team 20 borax granules in the bottom of your dishwasher when not in use. They will "take it home" and it will kill the source. Best of all you can just run your dishwasher as normal, as the borax won't hurt you or your dishes/dishwasher. You can exterminate and kill once, but if the dirty dishes are the attraction and they (exterminators) don't kill the source then they will return time and time again. Dial Corp won't say it kills ants as they are not licensed as a pesticide, but it works. You can also go the 20 Mule Team site and find other uses for this product so if you don't use it all for ants, which you probably won't, then you have other neat things to make and do with it.

I also use a sugar, water, borax mixture to kill ants in other unwanted places. A milk cap filled with the sugar mixture and refilled for two weeks took care of ants we were fighting for almost two years. Good luck. (03/14/2005)

By Barbie

RE: Ants in dishwasher?

Every year I get that problem. I throw bleach in the bottom of my dishwasher and that kills them for
a while. Wish I knew of another way also. (04/20/2005)

By Pat

RE: Ants in dishwasher?

This is also a problem for us. Here's how I solve it. I take a Q-tip dip in an insecticide and run the Q-tip around the edges of the wood cabinetry surrounding the dishwasher and on the floor under the washer. Works like a charm. (05/09/2005)

By Deb

RE: Ants in Dishwasher

You could also try putting granular lime all around your foundation. I tried this several years ago and "knock on wood", we have seen one ant in the house since then. (07/27/2005)

By Streatch

RE: Ants in Dishwasher

I was having the same problem with tiny ants getting into the dishwasher. Since I heard that dryer sheets actually repel ants, I decided to stuff some under the cabinet lip near the dishwasher. Believe it or not, this worked and I haven't seen an ant since. (08/08/2005)


RE: Ants in Dishwasher

I had this problem for a year or so until a friend told me to pour white distilled vinegar full strength (bought a big bottle really cheap) down the drain hole in the dishwasher and then let it run with no soap for a cycle.

I am happy to say I have only had to do this one other time between last year and now and they have been gone ever since. Hope that helps. (08/11/2005)

By Tanya

RE: Ants in Dishwasher

Same problem with tiny ants around washer. Found a nest inside the top panel rear when removed. Just next to the vent. Ants may like the moisture. Removed and sprayed area. (05/24/2008)

By Mike

RE: Ants in Dishwasher

I have used Boric acid. Found this on the net. Just go out and buy some 20 Mule Team Borax if you need more. It's in the laundry soap aisle in the grocery store. It's almost pure Boric acid, sold as a laundry soap booster. At about $3.00 per 2-4 pound box it's a lot cheaper than the commercial ant killer.

The best bug-killing bait I've used was a recipe whose source I cannot remember. I'll list it here:

  • 1 part borax
  • 1 part flour
  • 1 part sugar
  • enough Crisco to make a paste.

I cut apart the individual "cups" from an egg carton and put a good spoonful of the mixture in each. Then I place the "cups" around under appliances, well out of the way of pets and kids. The sugar and fat will draw the bugs to the bait. Every spring I renew the bait.

I also sprinkle a little in the bottom of the dishwasher as the dirty dishes accumulate. The bugs are drawn to the dishwasher and walk through the borax.

By Jim T.

Archive: Ants in Dishwasher

How do I get rid of ants in dishwasher?

By annette45 from Rochester, MI


RE: Ants in Dishwasher

My parents had this problem one year and no matter what they did the ants were still there. Finally my dad took the panel off the inside of the door and wow. The door is lined with cardboard and insulation. The ants had made a huge nest inside the cardboard and there were thousands. He ended up cleaning out, then spraying the inside of the door panel and replacing the cardboard. Hope it helps. (07/08/2009)

By crydrallim

RE: Ants in Dishwasher

Every few years I get carpenter ants in the kitchen. They may come in from under the dishwasher or some other place. I call an exterminator and he sprays areas in the basement and on the outside of the foundation. In a day or two they are all gone. The ants carry the material the exterminator uses back to the nest. The ants in the nest eat the material and they all die. (07/08/2009)

By foxrun41

Archive: Getting Rid Of Carpenter Ants

How can I kill carpenter ants without using an exterminator? Already have one on retainer for termites. I really don't want to give them any more money.


Sheila from Central FL


RE: Getting Rid Of Carpenter Ants

Every few years I get carpenter ants in my home. I tried bait traps, but finally called an exterminator. He explained in my state we have only two types of ants (maybe fire ants at some future time) small red ants and carpenter ants. Bait traps work only on the small red ants. Carpenter ants don't eat that stuff. They are looking for damp wood and water. When I killed the carpenter ants outside I noticed the carpenter ants would be carrying off the dead ants. I asked the exterminator why. He said they are cannibals and take the dead ants back to the nest to eat. That is why bait traps and other types of deterrents don't work. Red ants eat from the bait traps. Spend the money and get a exterminator. It cost me $450 with a ninety day guarantee. The ants were gone by the next day. (09/11/2007)

By Dean

Archive: Carpenter Ants

I am looking for a good way to get rid of carpenter ants. Any ideas?



RE: Carpenter Ants

I really do not know and was hoping some one had posted something for this problem. We sprayed Raid and it did help some. My daughter had them and the exterminator came out, but the ants moved else where. They are a lot of trouble. (07/07/2005)

By Peggy

RE: Carpenter Ants

Use black pepper. (07/08/2005)

By Althea

RE: Carpenter Ants

We're just in the process of having moved into a home near a forest and are dealing with some carpenter ants colonies.
(FYI try a Google search on these ants)

We had a pest guy come and spray the perimeter of our house, it got rid of quite a few. Also, go around your place with a flashlight when it's dark outside, say between 10p.m. and midnight, check for ant traffic. You may be able to locate the nest, then get a pest guy to get the Queen. Viola! Ants be gone. This is pretty much it, also get rid of any moisture around wood and/or rotting woodpiles. (We actually found and disposed of a Queen this way.)

Then try using organic deterrents regularly, such as planting peppermint around the house, sprinkling cinnamon and/or cayenne all around the house, too. Also, you could burn pine resin on a charcoal all around the house in and out (this also deters wasps from nesting) and over time, your place will become unfavourable to certain unwelcome creatures. (08/06/2005)


Home and Garden Pest Control AntsJanuary 6, 2013
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