- Caulk cracks and crevices around the exterior of the
home that provide entry.
- Trim branches and limbs of trees and shrubs that touch
the building to keep ants from gaining access via these
- Eliminate damp conditions that promote wood decay such
as water leaks and poor drainage problems around foundations.
- Replace decayed or damaged wood and correct problems
that caused the decay, such as clogged rain gutters or
- Increase ventilation to damp areas beneath buildings
and in attics.
- Store firewood up off the ground and several feet away
from buildings to discourage carpenter ant colonies.
- Observe ant activity at night.
- Follow trails.
- Sawdust accumulations with pieces of dead ants are good
- Main nests are often outside in old tree stumps, fence
posts, or firewood piles.
- Satellite colonies may nest indoors on moist wood.
- Use baits to manage satellite
colonies that you cannot find.
- Remove and destroy stumps and old wood with colonies
in them to the extent possible.
- Where nests cannot be removed, treat with a desiccant
dust (silica gel or diatomaceous earth) labeled for this
purpose. Use a bulb applicator and insert the tube snugly
into nest openings.
- Desiccant dusts have the advantage of being low in toxicity
and are effective as long as they do not get wet.
- Fix leaky pipes and roofs to be sure no moisture can
reach treated nest sites.
- Nests can also be treated with insecticides including
permethrin, cyfluthrin, boric acid, or disodium octaborate
tetrahydrate. Use a dust formulation labeled for this purpose.
Apply dusts through colony openings and drilled holes.
For extensive infestations, consider hiring a professional.