A pack of borax is all you need to fight against the pesky carpenter ants. Learn how to use borax for carpenter ants and some prevention tips!
Carpenter ants are 1/4-1/2 inches long and are black in appearance. Opposite to the termites, they don’t eat wood but chew it to create tunnels and their nests. Carpenter ants get their title because of the wood-destroying behavior. They mostly make their nests in the damp wooden structures found around sinks, bathtubs, poorly sealed windows/ door frames, roof leaks, and poorly flashed chimneys. Damp wood logs outside the house is also a good place for their nests.
What Attracts Carpenter Ants in a Home?
Protein sources, maple syrup, juices, sugar, honey, meat, decayed fruits, and pet food attracts carpenter ants towards your home. If they findd a dead insect inside your house, then a swarm of carpenters ants is likely. Having damp wooden structures inside the residence invites carpenter ants to create their nests.
Are Carpenter Ants Bad?
Among the various ant species, carpenter ants are the notorious ones. They cause havoc on wooden items to make their nests. Like other wood-destroying pests, carpenter ants jeopardizes the integrity of structures they inhabit. They mostly attract to wet or damaged wood materials. Carpenter ants also attack windows, doorframes, crawlspaces underneath roofs, chimneys, sinks, and jacuzzi. If left untreated, carpenter ants can do irreparable damage to your home.
Spotting the below signs in and around the house indicates the presence of carpenter ants infestation.
- Heaps of sawdust located below the baseboards, door jams, window sills, and any other rotting wooden structure.
- Rustling sound coming from hollow doors, walls, or inside the wooden parts of the building.
- Winged carpenter ants popping out from the walls, ceilings, cracks, and holes.
- Long trails of large black and red ants in your lawn or yard.
- Presence of shed wings near the baseboard, window sills, and ventilators.
Borax for Carpenter Ants
Borax is a white powdery substance popular for its astounding cleaning power. Besides, it kills roaches, mites, spiders, algae, molds, fungi, and plants. You will feel a sigh of relief by learning the fact that borax eliminates carpenter ants too. However, borax shows its effectiveness only after the ants ingest it.
As borax does not entice carpenter ants alone, you have to add something sweet to complete the bait, such as maple syrup, sugar, or peanut butter. While sweet stuff will allure the ants to the bait, the borax present in the mix will kill them. If you are looking for a cheap and chemical-free alternative to kill carpenter ants, then give a try to the below hack.
- 1/2 Cup of Maple Syrup
- 2 Tbsps of Borax
- Lukewarm Water: 1 Cup
- Cotton Balls
- A Bowl
- Mason Jar with Lid
- Add maple syrup, borax, and lukewarm water to the bowl and mix them well.
- Next, soak a few cotton balls in this mixture for a few seconds.
- Put the cotton balls near the carpenter ant trails, entryways, and potential hangouts.
- After consuming the poisonous bait, carpenter ants will die within 1-2 days.
- Repeat this method until you see no signs of ants infestation.
If you have pets and children, then follow the below method instead:
- Grab a mason jar and poke a few tiny holes in its lid.
- Put the soaked cotton balls inside the jar, secure it with the lid, and place it near the carpenter ant trail.
- This method protects your kids and pets from the accidental ingestion of borax.
Why is Borax Effective Against Carpenter Ants?
Borax is a desiccant, which means that it dehydrates the ant’s body and disrupts the stomach, following its ingestion. When carpenter ants eat the borax, it causes havoc to their stomach and body, leading to a slow death within 1-2 days. Meanwhile, ants help you to eliminate the infestation by bringing back the bait to their nest.
Do follow the below safety precautions properly to avoid any mishaps while practicing the above hack.
- Before dealing with borax, put on a face mask and hand gloves first.
- Guide your pets, kids, and elderly to stay far away from the treated area.
- After using the borax bait, don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly.
- In case of severe carpenter ants infestation, please seek the advice of an expert professional.
After eliminating the infamous carpenter ants from your home, it’s necessary to prevent them before they ever find a way into your home. Below are some prevention tips that will help you out.
- Repair damaged spigots or leaky hoses.
- As carpenter ants prefer to attack rotting wood, consider using dehumidifiers in the basement, crawl spaces, and attics.
- Repair any holes, cracks, and other potential entryways with silicone caulk to inhibit their entrance.
- Store the firewood and other wood material at least 20 feet away from the foundation walls.
- Install window screens, and door sweeps to block their entrance.
- Store food in airtight sealed containers in the kitchen.
- Wipe your kitchen counters regularly to remove food crumbs.
- Empty trash can on a daily basis.
- Clean your pet food utensil regularly.
Carpenter ants not only do cosmetic damage but also weakens a building’s foundation as well. With the above borax hack, you can finally say goodbye to the carpenter ants. However, do follow the precautions as instructed to avoid any casualty.