The most effective way to deal with a carpenter ant infestation is the bait. Ant baits are used to deal with colonies that are hard to reach, and which cannot be destroyed by directly applying insecticides.
Why baits are the best solution when dealing with carpenter ants
Because carpenter ants build their colonies inside wood, it can be difficult to use direct application insecticides effectively. These insecticides work best on mound colonies that are out in the open, such as the colonies of fire ants. Instead, when dealing with carpenter ants, the best control option is the bait. Baits are designed to target hidden or hard to reach colonies, and they work by drawing out workers with a piece of food that has been laced with insecticides. The workers take this food back to the colony, and they share it around. This will naturally kill a lot of workers, but the real aim is to have the bait reach the queen. Once the queen is dead, the workers can no longer sense her pheromones, and they will disperse and die shortly after.
Baits as prevention
Baits also have the advantage that they can be used for prevention. By placing baits around your property preemptively, you can catch any new colony before it gets a chance to grow. Carpenter ant colonies start out very small, with a handful of workers and a queen. If these workers go out to forage, and they pick up the bait, they will take it back to the colony, share it around, and knock everybody out including the queen.
Alternative control and prevention methods
Baits are pretty much the most effective control option against carpenter ant infestations, so there are not really too many alternatives. Residual insecticides can be used near an infested piece of wood to prevent the ants from leaving the colony, but they are not very effective at killing the infestation, because the ants will usually tunnel another exit in a different location. Residual insecticides are fairly good at preventing infestations, along with broadcast treatment insecticides which are used outdoors. These two types of insecticides create areas that are impassable for insects, and they offer a degree of protection against several ant species.
For more information about baits and other carpenter ant control methods, or if you have an infestation in your home that needs to be removed, contact us today.