Ants often annoy us once they feed on our food or bite us. Ant bites can be intensely painful and itchy but rarely causes a serious complications. Food that had ants on it does not simply tastes like ant but may also be contaminated because you don’t even know where ants came from before they feed on your food.
Carpenter ants are one of the common destructive pests in the northeastern US. They don’t just annoy you by eating your food or biting you. But they can also destroy your house. They are often mistaken to be termites because they live inside woods and have the ability to damage it. But unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat woods. They simply chew the woods to dig out tunnels. Like any other common species of ants, they also love to eat sugar and protein. When their nests are disturbed, they defend themselves by biting humans. Since their jaws are powerful and can break woods, they are likely to break human skin as well and secrete a venom called formic acid which increases the pain. Carpenter ants are bigger compared to more common species of ants. Their size ranges from 6 to 25 millimeters, can be color black, red or combination of both black and red.
• Prevent Moisture. Moisture attracts carpenter ants because it makes woods softer which lets them build their nest easier.
Detect and repair all household leaks especially the pipes and roofing.
• Make borax pastes by mixing borax, water, and sugar. The borax mixture interferes with ant’s digestive system. It is also an effective control for other household pests like termites, cockroaches, bugs, mice and more.
For ant control, place the borax in areas where you suspect that ants are nesting.
• Make a baited mixture by mixing boric acid and sugar in water. Add this mixture to the food you are using as bait. Apply it to areas where ants are nesting.
The sugar attracts the ants, while the boric acid kills them.
Like borax paste, boric acid bait is also an effective control for other pests.
• Try Diatomaceous treatment. Diatomaceous (DE) is a natural sedimentary substance found in a fossilized algae-like plant. You may buy it in powder form and sprinkle to areas where ants are nesting. It works by drying the internal body of ants and by scratching and destroying their exoskeleton.
There is food grade DE available in the market which is believed to be safe for kids and pets.
• Catch the queen ant. The queen ant commits itself in laying eggs. When the queen ant dies the rest of the ant colonies die as well.
To identify and be able to kill the queen ant, you have to locate any colony. Queen ant has wings, and larger than a regular ant. When you notice an unusual large-sized ant around other ants, it is likely to be the queen.
All the methods mentioned above may be cost efficient but may take some time and repeated application to take effect.