Ant Pest Control problem...can't afford Exterminator

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Forum topic by AngelaR posted 08-02-2010 05:39 PM 3960 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2852 days

08-02-2010 05:39 PM

Hi y’all,
I’ve got a major ant problem, I’ve taken a shot of hit here:
I looked the darn things up on the internet and found these guys are carpenter ants. I’m trying to figure out how to do some DIY pest control and avoid using an exterminator, they just cost too much for me.
Any ideas?

22 replies so far

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2955 days

#1 posted 08-02-2010 06:28 PM

I get ants almost every year, and what works for me is consistent laying out of different types of poisons you can purchase anywhere. Look in your local hardware type store and buy several types, liquids you apply to surfaces as well as the “trap” containers. They took about three years, but I have decimated their population. Ants live in the millions, so there will be no quick fix; but you can do it with consistent effort and constant application. Put the stuff where ever you see the crawling critters, and just leave it. They will snoop into it sooner or later, and will carry it back to the hive(s); the numbers drop, and sooner or later they will no longer be a pest. One last thing: I get them in great hoards every year as the weather turns to warm, and the birds I feed year ‘round feast on them! So feed the tweets and the tweets will pay you back, naturally.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3660 days

#2 posted 08-02-2010 06:31 PM

We had a carpenter ant infestation several years ago … the trick is to find their nest and kill the queen, then douse the nest with insecticide.

I found the nest in some rotten framing on a deck built at ground level (partially buried with dirt the previous owner had hauled in for a flower bed).

When I opened up the nest with a shovel, I saw the queen right away … she was HUGE. Once I snuffed the queen, I used some insecticide I bought at Menards.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View TroutStalker's profile


30 posts in 3366 days

#3 posted 08-02-2010 06:32 PM

Hi AngelaR,

I don’t have an ant problem but have serious cluster fly problems. I tried an exterminator but, as you noted, it was expensive and need to be done each year. I found They have lots of information and sell some very good insecticides at a reasonable price. Rather than $200 to the exterminator each year I buy a bottle of insecticide and apply it with a garden sprayer. A $20 bottle of insecticide last me 4-5 years.

-- The best thing online is a fish

View ajosephg's profile (online now)


1880 posts in 3558 days

#4 posted 08-02-2010 08:03 PM

You might try Diatomaceous Earth. It’s inexpensive, kills most bugs with exoskeletons and in nontoxic to humans.

I think carpenter ants will literally eat you out of house and home – so you need to get them gone in a hurry.

-- Joe

View Paul C.'s profile

Paul C.

154 posts in 3242 days

#5 posted 08-02-2010 08:03 PM

Believe it or not, I mixed baking soda and icing sugar, laid it out, and…ants are gone. I heard they take it back to the queen, she eats it and the baking soda kills her. Dunno if thats BS or not, but it seems to have worked.

We can’t use poisons, I have 2 cats and a daughter who is very sensitive to chemicals (she has ASD). Helps me be creative.

BTW I was told by pest control guys that the ants won’t pull your house down. They only eat wood that is damaged already, apparently. Could be true, may not be, too.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18269 posts in 3673 days

#6 posted 08-02-2010 08:12 PM

I never found the nest, but i spray around the house with a barrier type insecticide that is suposed to work for a month. It keeps them out all year long, or at least their roaming season :-))

If you go out in the middle of the night with a flash light, you can watch to see where they are going and try to follow them to their nest. Ours must be underground, possible under pavement by the street, but not sure.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3104 days

#7 posted 08-06-2010 07:10 AM

If you find an entrance or just a very busy area and dump about twenty or thirty bags of the sweetener Aspertane, it will kill all the colony. This stuff is the best ant killer ever made.

Now if it just worked on these destructive ground squirrels…..Rand

View Mike's profile


391 posts in 3614 days

#8 posted 08-06-2010 11:50 AM

Terro is the best. They have outdoor and indoor applications. The ants eat the ants take it back and the colony dies. It is safe around pets.

I had a colony of reds and they would not go near it, the blacks go right for it. Problem with the reds, I put one in it then he left the trail leaving the reds started. Goodbye ant.

Little sugar to wood ants….no more ants.

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3763 days

#9 posted 08-07-2010 02:00 AM

What Mike said…....... the stuff works if you give it time.

View Broglea's profile


685 posts in 3088 days

#10 posted 08-07-2010 02:55 AM

You will need to find the queen and kill her. Carpenter ants will make their home in moist/rotton wood. I can’t tell if that’s a window from the picture, but the nest is probably behind the siding. You will need to pull off the siding until you find it and then hit it with some poison.

The other thing about Carpenter Ants is as the colony matures it will send out new Queens looking to make another colony close by. The ants with the wings are new queens getting ready to leave the colony. Don’t be surprised if you will need to find more than one colony.

In my last house I had to track down 4 colonies to get rid of my ant problem. They were behind the window molding, behind the siding, at the corner of the house and in the tree 30 feet from the window. Good luck.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3763 days

#11 posted 08-07-2010 03:00 AM

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I heard that the ants don’t actually eat the wood, they just tunnel in it. Pretty much the same results though. They like moist wood to build their home.

Edit: I just wanted to add a little info about the Terro. It is a chemical. But if you use your brain, there are ways to put this stuff out where your pets or children won’t be able to get to it. Just put a few drops on a piece of foil and slide it in to a used up paper towel roll. There are others, just use your imagination.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18269 posts in 3673 days

#12 posted 08-07-2010 08:29 AM

I don’t kknow about all of them, but that is what carpenter ants do; tunnel:-(

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2994 days

#13 posted 08-07-2010 02:19 PM

I have eliminated a mound of ants in the lawn with Baking Soda and Vinegar. Sprinkle baking soda first, 1 hour later use vinegar to remove the “Scent” that the scout ants leave. I have had succesful results 3 different times.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View jcsterling's profile


462 posts in 3582 days

#14 posted 08-07-2010 04:59 PM

FYI. I see that you have cedar shingles on the house. If you used tyvek as a house wrap it is best to have a air space behind the cedar and the housewrap. The ants are attracted to the rotting wood under the siding. Fix the source of the problem once or douse with chemicals etc every year.

-- John , Central PA , on facebook:!/pages/JC-Sterling-fine-furniture/104430802928776

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3763 days

#15 posted 08-07-2010 05:22 PM

I think John has the right idea. Get rid of the moisture and get rid of the ants.

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