Carpenter Ants and How to Get Rid of Them

Ants which are scientifically called Formicidae are one of the ordinary insects in the world which can be found in an army or a colony with the queen leading the way, having unique properties, and a lifespan of several weeks or several years. These reside mostly everywhere you go, they can be found inside your home, outside your home, in living things, non-living or decomposing things, pretty much anywhere.

Their size is relative to that of a paper clip ranging from 0.08 – 1 inches. The greatest number of ants of diverse species can be found in tropical forests, they take up half of the forest’s population, that is why most travelers or explorers get bit by ants than any other insects.

Although every species of ants is different, there are some, especially in the forests which can be harmful. One thing that most people get confused about is the difference between ants and termites. Ants have narrow waists in between their abdomen and thorax, whereas termites do not have it.

The frontal wings of ants are bigger in size than hinder wings, whereas both wings of termites are equal in size. Ants have a massive head with vented antennas, whereas termites have a smaller head and usually most have straight antennas but there are a few exceptions. There are more than 10,000 species of ants available in the world, however, the most common one is the Carpenter Ants.

Details about Carpenter Ants

Details about Carpenter Ants

Carpenter Ants make their nest in the woods and are known to damage and destroy your trees, buildings, etc. They are led by their queen which lays thousands of eggs in one go which will become the upcoming members of the colony.

Apart from the queen, the rest of the subordinates are mostly female ants who look after the eggs, protect their queen, scavenge for food, and take care of the rest of the things. Male ants usually have only one purpose, that is mating, after that procedure, they usually die.

If we look at the diet of the ants, some of them feed on nectar, little insects, or fungus, however, some ants contain an unusual diet by feeding on reptiles, birds, or small mammals. If an ant wants to expose danger approaching their colony, or a big food source, then they do so by communicating through a chemical. 

Carpenter Ants have one unique feature of building their nests at a rapid speed than other ants, which is also why they are known by their name. One of their superior abilities is to dig the wood and create safe tunnels inside them, all in a matter of minutes.

However, these ants do not chew the wood while digging, which can be done by termites, considering that is their purpose. Ants create these safe and spacious tunnels underneath your ground which then helps them to move around one place to another in search of food.

It may seem that these ants due to their petite size can do no harm, but do not get fooled by their size, even the small insects can do much harm to your garden or your home. Just like every other animal, even ants must prefer the place of their likeness, if they find it perfect then it would not be a matter of days before you see a huge hole in your tree, and if they do not prefer the tree grown in your yard, they will not be digging in.

If you have gone for a long vacation or are unable to notice the hole in your tree, then the ants might eat up your whole tree before you find it out, its leaves will fall off and the tree will be sucked out of moisture. Go to your garden and see if at the base of your tree there exists an army of ants, making their way in and out of the hole they dug up in the soil.

Or try to spot an ant nest, present also near the base of the tree, however, a carpenter ant’s nest is not visual through the naked eye, what is visible is the opening of its nest, you can try carrying a magnifying glass to see if that helps.

If you, yourself cannot find out the army of ants, it is best to call a ‘Pest Removal Company’, as experts would easily find out the army and carefully separate them from your tree, do this only if you see your tree getting all eaten up.

Also, all these things are a sign of Infestation which you might wanna remove. A carpenter ant infestation is not something that can be taken care of in a day, it requires multiple days or weeks to wipe out the total effect, and it is not easy to do.

Make sure that when you do it, you are wearing gloves, and covering your whole face, and even wear tight clothes so that no ants can go inside your body. Here are some of the natural ways you can use to get rid of these ants, and if these do not work out, you can always call the ‘Pest Removal Company’, as they are experts in this.



You should always seek the nest while killing these ants, if you end up using all the remedial things you have on one ant, the rest of them will march their way down to you. When searching for the nest, you will find one wingless female ant also called as ‘Queen’, and thousands of winged female workers.

When you have spotted the nest, spray all the insecticides on the nest, directly onto them, that will ought to kill them all, and even if one or two are spared, they will run away from your tree and never come back.

It will be impossible to find the opening of the nest, you will not find it in one single go, therefore, you will have to start digging up your ground, yes, your plants and flowers will be destroyed, so it is better to move them somewhere else.

Start digging up all the areas underneath your tree, since the ants make their nest underground, and even at the edges of your garden, to find out their nest. Once you have found the nest, use high-grade insecticide that can instantly kill all the ants or their nest.

This is a natural remedy for which you might not have to call some experts, just remember to wear gloves, and cover your face, so that if your aim backfires, and the army comes right at you, you can protect yourself.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil

You must have heard about this natural remedy quite a lot, and not just for ants, but for bugs, spiders, other little insects too.

But why do ants hate peppermint oil?

It is because we know that ants use a chemical substance whenever they leave the nest to communicate with the other ants or the queen, spraying peppermint oil will stop them from coming out of their nest at all, and then it will become easier to kill them.

Now, here is how you should apply the oil, mix about 20-30 drops of Peppermint oil with a gallon of water, and shake it roughly until you feel that it has been mixed properly, then simply spray the mixture all over your tree. Use a ladder for going up and make sure to spray the base as well as the ground nearby it and the edgy ones.

None of the remedies should be applied only once and think it will give an immediate effect, you need to apply it on a regular basis for a few weeks. Remember that when you spray the solution on the infected area, the ants will run rapidly at a faster growth since they hate the Peppermint Oil, so make sure to step a bit far away and not catch any of them on yourself.



Keeping ant traps all over your garden is also an effective remedy if you do not like to waste time spraying for weeks and want a much quicker solution. You can also use this solution if you do not know the nest of the ants despite trying your luck again and again.

For baits use sugar, or protein-rich foods, which ants mostly feed on, to capture them, you can put a sugary paste on your tree considering that is where the nest is, but you should also sprinkle some sugar and protein food at the base of the tree and the edges of your yard.

If you think that by laying the traps your work is done, you are highly wrong, the most difficult part starts right now, paying close attention. After putting the traps, you must be patient and wait for the female workers to arrive, catch the bait, and transport it to their queen and the nest, which is how you will get to know the location of the nest.

Now that you know where the nest is, the next trap that you will put, mix boric acid, a very harmful chemical with the sugar, this will kill the ants right away. Make sure that when you start putting traps, no children or pets are in that region, mark it as danger so that no one enters, because the acid is harmful to both kids and animals.

If you do not have boric acid, either buy it, which you can find locally anywhere, or you can also buy commercially available ant traps, since they already have these chemicals in them, you just must read the manual carefully and apply it.

Pest Control Company

Pest Control Company

If you are that person who finds it extremely dangerous and unsafe to remove ants from disrupting your tree, then it is better to call the experts. They will start with a thorough search of the nest, and the satellite colonies of the ants, make sure to remove any livable flowers or plants from your garden before they step in.

They then plan and mix their pesticide to kill only the ants and not any of your grass, because that is what professionalism means, to carefully extract the problem without harming any other thing. These people use a highly commercial grade insecticide which they mix on their own ensuring that it is safe.

It is also best to call a pest removal company if you have other bugs, spiders, or small insects coming in your garden every day, and mostly you should call them if you have no prior knowledge of the insects and what they can do.


Ants, Bugs, Spiders, and any other little insects all are quite harmful be it in your house or in your yard. It is extremely important to get rid of them before they start chewing up your whole garden and you are left in disguise.

But before you plan out to kill them all, you really need to know about them, you need to know about their likes, dislikes, course of action, weakness, everything because only then can you make a perfect plan of aborting them altogether. Because your one false move can be a huge favor for them, you will not even know and in a couple of seconds, they would have changed their whole area.

There are some natural remedies that you can use to get rid of the ants, you can choose which one is best suitable, but do not let any child or pet come near you like the items you are dealing with contains harmful chemicals. If you are still unable to get rid of them, then you have no choice but to call the experts and let them handle it since they are professional and know how to handle these insects.

Ellie Murphy

Ellie Murphy earned her Master’s in Entomology from Purdue University and has spent 17 years in the field of pest control, focusing on integrated pest management and public health. She became a part of our team as a freelancer in 2021, offering her expertise in safe and effective pest control techniques. Ellie’s background includes conducting research in pest biology and developing community education programs. In her free time, she enjoys gardening and is an active member of a local hiking club.

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