Carpenter ants are a widespread problem in the US; these small ants make their nests in the wood, creating paths that they can move through. They quickly infest the infrastructure of the house and make it inconvenient to live in.

Carpenter ants can drive any homeowner crazy. Finding a line of ants trailing from one corner from another is bad enough, and you don’t want their nests hiding out in your walls. Carpenter ants will culprit if you don’t do anything about it. Luckily, there are ways to take care of these pests.

Carpenter Ant Infestation

Before you begin to handle carpenter ant infestation, you need to make sure you have an infestation in the first place. The last thing you want is to spend money on bites that don’t work. Correctly identifying pests that are invading your house will help you eliminate them as quickly as possible. If you want to identify carpenter ants on your own, there are ways to distinguish carpenter ants from other pests. We discuss them below.

Carpenter Ant Damage

Unlike other pests, carpenter ants don’t eat wood; the ants hollow out its sections to use them as nests. They chew out pathways and consequences become severe, especially when left untreated. They create large nests and even develop extra nests, causing more damage to the wood structure of your house.

Carpenter Ants in the House

If you’re not sure whether carpenter ants are infesting your house, there are a few signs you should check for. First and foremost, these ants don’t always build their nests in dry wood. You should check for indoor infestations where the wood is old, damp, or damaged. The inner walls are the main targets.

Secondly, since carpenter ants don’t eat wood, you can find wood shavings in your house. The shavings look like sawdust. Moreover, you can listen to ants in your walls to test infestation. Tap against walls to cause them rustling around. Carpenter ants tend to live near door frames, water sources, kitchens, and bathrooms.

The easiest way to be sure your home is infested is to find worker ants. Finding these ants can help you locate the nest as well. These workers are coming in to look for food and then return to their queen. Carpenter ants come in your house when it’s dark, so consider using a flashlight in the evening to spot carpenter ant workers.

Carpenter ants can travel far while foraging, so it can be hard to track them back to nests. Even if you find ants in your kitchen, their nest can be in your attic.

Why Baits Are Better Than Sprays

Sprays work well when you need to kill worker ants. However, they don’t have any effect on the queens. Therefore, if a lot of worker ants die, the queen lays more eggs, and since queens will not die, the number of eggs (and ants) will outnumber the number of the original worker ants. That means your colony will grow several times larger – simply because ants have a strong tendency to survive.

You should also know that most sprays on the market are very repellent to ants. It means that ants can sense the presence of chemicals in sprays. Then, they start avoiding them. The worker ants will travel around these areas. If you spray the chemical close to the nest, the queen will make workers pick up the nests and move to another place (within your house).

As a result, the queen will instruct workers to split into many nests. The splitting is also called budding. After the new nests are done, the new queens will lay more eggs and the carpenter ant system will be divided; instead of a single nest, you will have many nests to deal with, making it much harder.

There are non-repellent sprays out there. They are designed for indoor use only. These sprays form dust on the floor and ant workers go through the dust without realizing it’s there. The ants die within 2 weeks after being exposed to non-repellent sprays. We still think that bites are more useful but if you prefer sprays, choose a non-repellent type.

How To Use A Carpenter Ant Bait

Baits are easy to use and by following simple rules you will get rid of carpenter ants. You should place baits in areas where pest activity has been noticed. We recommend avoiding putting the bait in the middle of a trail or on ants.

This will make ants avoid the bait. Instead, hide it somewhere near their trails. To help keep the bait trail, we recommend placing it in the special stations (they often come in the kit). Here are the examples of places where you can place the bait:

  • On countertops
  • In kitchen cabinets
  • Near drains
  • Around cords and pipes
  • Under bathroom fixtures
  • Around door frames

Check the bite placements once in 3-4 days and put the new bait until ants are all dead.

Best carpenter ant bait list

1. TERRO T300 Liquid Ant Baits

Terro is one of the most famous and trusted brands that produce top-level pest killers. The quality of their products has placed them on every list of the best pest killer on the market. We’re not an exception. This is a great killer designed to seduce carpenter ants before killing them. It is perfect for large infestation and works within a couple of days to beat your expectations by eliminating ants (including their queens!).

Terro ant bait

The best thing is, this bite doesn’t kill ants on the spot; it gives workers ants time to transport the food to their queens thus completely killing the entire colony. If you want to get rid of every single carpenter ant leaving no chance for their existence, this is the best bet.

The bite is pre-filled and easy-to-use. Ants will enter, eat the bite and return to the nest where they will pass the bite to others. The ingredients used in the bite slowly affect the digestive system of pests. Moreover, the ants will share the bite with pests outside your house and kill every unwanted pest.

Things We Like

  • Ready to use
  • Large size
  • Can be used indoors
  • Kills queens
  • Can be used in different positions

Things We Don’t Like

The bite dries up if left open

2. Amdro Ant Block Home Perimeter Ant Killer Granules

This is an outdoor carpenter ant killer. Worker ants eat the bite, thinking it is food. Then they take the bite back to their nest where they share it with other ants. This bite will kill entire colonies including the queens. It can be used on mounds, around structures, and in landscaped areas. One bottle contains 24-ounce bait to treat your home six times (on average). Even though it’s designed to treat carpenter ants, it works with 14 other ant species as well.

kills bait

It’s easy to use the bite: just apply 4 ounces per every 180 linear feet around the outside perimeter of your house. You can also apply it on porches, driveways, patios, sidewalk, woodpiles, and flower gardens. Apply near ant trails, as well as in cracks where ants enter the structure. With this bait, you can stop ant invasion before it gets out of control. It is a pre-emptive strike against these pests.

Things We Like

  • Kills 15 ant species including carpenter ants
  • Kills ants outside so they do get inside your house
  • One bottle is enough to treat your house 6 times
  • Easy to use

Things We Don’t Like:

Compared to other listed baits, it takes longer to kill the queens

3. Advance Carpenter Ant Bait

This bite kills almost all ant species that can be found in your home. The worker ants carry the bite back to their nests thus eliminating the entire colony including the queens. It works amazingly on carpenter ants, fire ants, argentine ants, pharaoh ants, and other hard to kill ants, as well.

advance bait

The bait formulation combines a mixture of slow insecticide (abamectin) and foods. Abamectin is a natural agent. The bite also has a combination of attractants that quickly entice ants. The protein-based trap reduces the population of ant workers causing half in egg production and then slowly eliminate the rest of the colony.

The bait is labeled to use indoors and outdoors; this is a company’s bestseller for ant control.

Things We Like

  • Can be applied from a container
  • Contains Abamectin
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • Kills the queens

Things We Don’t Like

More expensive than other products in the list

4. Gourmet Liquid Ant Bait (Editor Choice)

This bait is intended for use with bite stations such as the Antopia R2 and Ant cafe. This ant killer uses a sweet honeydew ant attractant that attracts carpenter ants (and other ant species) which take the bait back to the colony to feed the queen and other ants. As a result, the ant colony is fully eliminated. You can use this bait both inside and outside in proper bait stations.

Gournet ant bait

The bait contains a complex mixture of ingredients that mimic honeydew, the main source of nutrients in any ant colony. The sweet honeydew draws ants to forage.

Once they eat it, the ingredient DOT or Disodium Octabrate Tetrahydrate starts slowly attacking the central nervous system of ants that gives them enough time to return to the nests to pass along the poisoning to other ants and queens. When you remove other food sources and leave bite, ants will continue eating it and feeding other ants until they all die.

Ingredients such as DOT are safe for humans. Even better, ants don’t have the ability to develop resistance to DOT. The delayed action of DOT maximizes the feeding and mass recruitments in carpenter ants, completely killing reproductives and the colony.

Due to the high solubility in water, DOT remains in solution for long periods without additives, making the application of this bite effective for over 6 months.

Things We Like

  • Kills the entire colony
  • Kills most ant species
  • Delayed killing action
  • Can be used both inside and outside

Things We Don’t Like

You should dilute the bite for better results

5. Combat Ant Killing Bait

Combat is a well-known brand that is famous for its quality pest control products. This ant killer isn’t an exception. It employs the syringe applicator and contains a gel substance for bait. This is an effective method to apply the bite accurately and effectively.

The syringe allows for precise application of the bait to the locations near trails and nests. The bait works in a similar way as we described earlier. It has a sweet smell that attracts carpenter ants, and when it is eaten, the bite is carried back to the nest and fed to the rest of the colony. The formula contains a slow-acting poison that kills off every ant.

combat ant bait

The syringe arrives ready to go right out of the box and is quite easy to use. Just squeeze it where you want to apply the gel. The ants will die within 5 days, depending on how bad your situation is and how many nests you have.

As with other baits, this one can be used indoors and outdoors and should be put in a location for several days to increase efficiency. Just like other baits, you should keep this out of reach of children and pets.

The bait targets different types of ants, including carpenter ants, house ants, pharaoh ants, and pavement ants.

Things We Like

  • Convenient syringe
  • Works on many ant species
  • Gel formula

Things We Don’t Like

This bait is more expensive than others in the list

The winner

Gourmet Liquid Ant Bait is specifically designed to attract carpenter ants. You have a choice to use its full strength or dilute with water or juice. It is the only quality bait on the market that allows you to control how quickly the ants will die. When used in stations, it meets the USDA National Organic Program Standards.