getting rid of carpenter ants in house : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

With all this cold damp weather this summer (CT) our house is crawling with big black carpenter ants. I've tried the little ant baits and these don't work. Don't want to spray any chemicals. Any "natural" solutions?

-- Christina Watkins (, August 30, 2000


Have you tried the Terro ant syrup? I have had good success with that...but keep it away from pets and kids. I wonder if a boric acid mixture would be good--or diacotamous earth?

-- Leann Banta (, August 30, 2000.

I suspect you are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. You likely have carpenter ants enjoying eating away at your foundation and wood structure. My recommendation would be to call in a couple of professional pest control companies to access the situation and then discuss alternatives with them. There is a time and a place for do- it-yourself, and a time and place for bringing in the pros.

-- Ken S. in TN (, August 30, 2000.

I could hear carpenter ants chewing in my ceiling at night. I had sprayed the year before at no difference. Since I developed chemical problems, I looked into natural. Diamatacious Earth works great. (Do not use pool DE) You put it around the foundation of your house. The ants walk through it, where it sticks to them. They bring it back to the nest and kills the whole colony. It cuts them and drys them out. The product I used was called Concern and I found it at a nursery here. I called the company because I have chickens and they said farmers feed it to their cows as a natural wormer. Within two weeks, not only did I not hear any chewing, but there were no more ants climbling up my foundation. I put it down once a year to keep them out.

PS You have to put it down new if it rains.

-- Dee (, August 31, 2000.

Dee, if you sprinkle the food grade diatomaceous earth in your chicken pens, you won't have flies, it cuts down the smell and your chooks will be dewormed! I get the DE in 50 pound bags from my feed store.

I know folks who deworm their livestock with the DE. Some do it with measured amounts on the feed, some free feed it. My deworming program has produced clean fecals for many years and I haven't had the guts to use the DE! Ya know, if it ain't broke....

-- ~Rogo (, September 01, 2000.


DE wouldn't affect the ones which are already inside the structure and are doing the damage.

Question: How do you tell a black carpenter ant from a regular large black ant?

Answer: Carpenter ants have hammer hoops on the coveralls.

-- Ken S. in TN (, September 02, 2000.

I suggest you call a professional right away. Carpenter ants can destroy your house. They nearly destroyed my cousin's house. I know you don't like the idea of using chemicals, (I don't either),but you may have to. This is a SERIOUS problem.

-- Jeanne (, September 02, 2000.


I disagree. The DE sticks to their legs and bodies. They then return to their nest with the stuff stuck to them, passing it to others who it sticks to. The DE cuts into their bodies and dehydrates them. In short work, the whole colony dies. It does work and is not a chemical. I informed the pesticide company that is contracted for my son's school of its use and they have since started using it for this purpose.

-- Dee (, September 03, 2000.

Y'all DO know what DE is, right? The microscopic silicon shells of marine critters? DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT breathe this stuff in - it has been known to do the same nasty things to your poor lungs as it does to the crittes you intend to snuff. Great stuff, to be sure, but just be sure to avoid breathing it. Same goes for critters, too. A little moisture goes a long way. Ok on all kinds of food, good for you as it has minerals, etc, but lousy on the lung tissue. I don't mean to be weird, but wanted to pass along this tid bit.

Ref carpenter ants - I caretake a friend's house in his absence & they are/have been around. Most impressive to be able to put your finger thru a 2x10, expecially when it's a floor joist! Darlin' if you have these critters in your house, you have a serious problem. FINALLY got my friend to take care of his ants (uncles, too!) but I fear it's too late. That's another can of worms........

Take care, smile lots...KT.

-- k-k-k-katie (, September 06, 2000.

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