It's quite common to see carpenter black ants in the house during spring or winter. However, the minute one spots these black insects scurrying across the house, one should quickly get on with getting rid of them as soon as possible.
Ants are of various types and come in different colors such as black, brown, yellow, or red. Irrespective of the type of ants in the house, all are equally annoying and dangerous, especially the red stinging and flying ant types. Nevertheless, the appearance of a trail of black, red, or brown ants across the house can be quite irksome.
Moreover, the big, black ants found in spring or winter need to be dealt with immediately, because they can damage the house. Also called carpenter ants, these ants destroy furniture and foundational wooden boards. These ants pose no threat when they are outdoors, however, when they make their way into your house, getting rid of them is crucial.
Black Ants in the House
It’s quite common to find black ants foraging around the house for food during spring or winter. Black carpenter ants do not eat wood, instead nest in it and burrow their way deep into the wood to find a home, as a result destroying the wood. Small tin ant traps or ant poisons do not work on carpenter ants. This calls for more serious thinking.
These carpenter ants usually have their nests somewhere outside the house, in a dead tree, etc. It is important to trace their nest and destroy the problem from its root, because 90% of the ants do not leave their nests and just keep multiplying. Thus, finding the nest is extremely important, however, this is easier said than done.
To locate the nest, be prepared to go on an ant house hunt at night, because this is the time when ants are most active. Just take some honey and dilute it with water. Apply this diluted honey mixture on the non-sticky side of a masking tape and allow the ants to feed on the sugary treat. Wait and watch for their return journey. Follow them with dust insecticide as your destructive weapon. Once you reach the nest, apply the dust insecticide directly into their nest cavity. If the ants lead you to a void in the wall, throw boric acid into the opening. Drilling may be required to maximize contact with the nest.
How to Get Rid of Black Ants
Destruction of the nest is the best way to get rid of carpenter ants. Now, to ensure they do not return again, one needs to carry out a few measures.
Get Rid of Decaying Wood
Carpenter ants are lured towards moist wooden structures that are decaying. To stop the invasion from these nasty ants, get rid of any decaying wooden structures. Repair damaged wood if possible and discard the irreparable ones. Seal any holes or openings through which the ants can enter the house.
Store Firewood Properly
Often firewood houses carpenter ants, so check the wood and discard if required. Moreover, do not store firewood at ground level. Do not even store it in the garage, instead stack it in an elevated area on concrete blocks, where ants will not be attracted easily. Keep a check on your firewood on and off for signs of carpenter ants.
Clip Branches Touching the House
Often carpenter ants find their way into the house via extending branches that lead them to windows and crevices in the house. It’s important to clip off all such branches. Moreover, one should discard dead decaying wood such as logs, waste wood, etc., from the vicinity. Installing a stone strip around your house is also a good idea as this prevents scope for the ants to enter the house.
If you have not succeeded in locating the carpenter ant’s nest, seek professional help. These professionals have a lot of experience in locating nests of black ants, and will get rid of the problem for you.