Ants can be a little pesky to see scurrying along your floors, but they can be a real problem once they start boring holes in your beams, supports, and walls. This type of ant, known as the Carpenter Ant, is difficult to get rid of, but your house will be safer once you do!
There are three basic steps in controlling the problem ants. The first is to inspect the area to determine if they are outside and coming inside to look for food, or if they are nesting inside your home. As these ants bore holes into wood to nest in, they are commonly found very close to homes and often inside log piles that may be stacked. It may be hard to find their nest, so look for fine sawdust – the remains of the holes they have left behind. They also like damp wood, so they may become a problem once they bore into wood near bathtubs, sinks, and windows.
Once you have found where they are coming from and where they are going to, you can take action against them! As an environmental organization, we always recommend going natural. Diatomaceous Earth has been found to be a highly effective ant killer as the powder is actually made up of razor sharp, skeletal remains of an algae-like plant. When the ants walk over it, their bodies get cut up, causing them to dry out and die. If they ingest it, the same thing will happen to their insides. Make sure to purchase Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (found here) if you choose to go with this method, as other forms may not work as well. While it sounds dangerous, it is harmless to people and pets. Use a dropper to put some of this directly into the nest to do the most damage to the colony. Hot, soapy water poured directly into the nest has the potential to kill off an entire colony, depending on the size. If you can kill the queen, you can kill the colony which gives you ant relief!
You may have succeeded in killing off the colony, but what’s to stop the next colony from moving in and taking over just like before? The next and final step is prevention. Make sure that all moisture problems, such as roof, window, tub, or toilet leaks are fixed, seal cracks in the foundation and around any wire or pipe that enters from outside, and keep firewood away from the house and elevated as this is a favorite hangout for Carpenter Ants. Ants don’t seem to like mint, cinnamon, cucumber, or vinegar, so using these things where ants had previously been seen can help keep them at bay. Put peppermint essential oil on cotton balls, sprinkle cinnamon on the ground, rub cucumber near entry ways, and make a vinegar mixture out 50:50 water and vinegar, 1tbsp. eucalyptus oil, and some garlic powder to spray right outside doors and potential entry points where ant trails had been.
Hopefully, after all of these things have been done, you will be ant free! Check these links below out for some more ant help!