There are millions of species of ant that have all kinds of different abilities. Some are fascinating and some are terrifying. One of the most terrifying to a homeowner is the Carpenter ant. This ant is one of the largest in North America and has massive pincers on its mouth that allow them to tear through wood almost like a termite. Now the carpenter ants are not eating the wood as termites do. They need to hunt for food outside the nest which is when you get the chance to kill them.
Carpenter ants often create a primary colony on the outside of the house. Usually in an old stump or a wet woodpile. They prefer to start in a damp easy to manipulate a piece of wood. The queen of a new nest will have spent the winter hibernating, already pregnant with eggs. She will have performed a nuptial flight with sexually active males before they died and she and her sisters leave the nest to hibernate. The females shed their wings and find a warm place to live out the winter. When the late spring or early summer arrives she will find a place to start a new nest. For the first few weeks, she will be the primary caregiver and builder of the nest. When her new workers are born they take over all of the work and caregiving and the queen resigns herself to giving birth only. The workers will continue to work throughout the summer and into the late fall. If they manage to get into a human home they can bypass the winter hibernation and continue splintering off into satellite colonies. This will result in an ever-growing infestation that will harm the structural integrity of the house.
If you have these ants on your property you will need to clear away and wood debris. This is very important for prevention. If they have already entered your home then you will need to either make use of homemade and domestic treatments or call in a professional exterminator. You can inspect your home for carpenter and nest entries by looking for small holes about an inch in size. These holes will have some bad smelling material coming out of them, often dried on the wall. This is called frass and is made up of the wood shavings, feces, urine and broken parts of other carpenter ant workers. This is very toxic and should be cleaned after the treatment. If you are also seeing carpenter ants making lines of workers on your walls you can be sure the infestation is in the later stage.
You can treat this situation if it is not to sever with several options. All of the following options are natural and will not harm your pets or your children. Your family will be safe if you use this process. This starts with prevention. You will need to remove wood from your yard, including stumps. Make sure there are no small entryways into your home, like opening in the sides of windows and other types of entryways. The ants are small and can fit through very small openings. So seal everything you find. This will go along way to preventing them from gaining access to raw wood.
You can also make a strong vinegar mixture, possibly with dish soap and water and this can be sprayed both on the ants and into the holes as well as areas where you often see them. This will burn their carapace and cause them to die from neural damage and suffocation caused by the soap. You can also make use of diatomaceous earth which is a naturally occurring mineral that can be pulverized to talk. On a macro level, it is totally safe and even food-safe, but on a microscopic level, the powder is made of jagged shards of silica that can be razor-sharp and rip open the ant’s waxy layer causing them to lose moisture and desiccate.