Top 5 Best Carpenter Ant Killers Reviewed (**2021 Edition**)

Looking for the best carpenter ant killers? Great, you're in the right place!

In this Pest Strategies guide, you'll learn:

  • Our #1 rated carpenter ant killing pick out of 5 most popular reviewed
  • What carpenter ants are and how to identify them
  • Types of carpenter ant killers to choose from
  • Some home remedies for carpenter ants
 best carpenter ant killers
ImageProduct
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Syngenta Ant Bait Gel
  • Works for several species, including carpenter ants
  • Excellent attractant lures ants quickly
  • Fast-acting ingredients
  • Works for several species, including carpenter ants
  • Excellent attractant lures ants quickly
  • Fast-acting ingredients
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Terro Outdoor Liquid Bait
  • Comes With 6 Outdoor Traps
  • Can Be Left For 3 Months
  • Uses Potent Borax Killing Ingredient
  • Comes With 6 Outdoor Traps
  • Can Be Left For 3 Months
  • Uses Potent Borax Killing Ingredient
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Zap-A-Roach Boric Acid
  • Easy to apply
  • Works for carpenter ants
  • Safe alternative to aerosol sprays
  • Easy to apply
  • Works for carpenter ants
  • Safe alternative to aerosol sprays
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Advance Carpenter Ant Bait
  • Kill On Contact Spray
  • 4 Week Residual Killing Chemical
  • Easy To Use Aerosol Spray
  • Kill On Contact Spray
  • 4 Week Residual Killing Chemical
  • Easy To Use Aerosol Spray
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Taurus SC
  • Excellent non-repellent formula for most types of pests
  • Provides a lasting barrier treatment for carpenter ants
  • Strong active ingredient
  • Excellent non-repellent formula for most types of pests
  • Provides a lasting barrier treatment for carpenter ants
  • Strong active ingredient
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated as of October 13th, 2021

  • Works for several species, including carpenter ants
  • Excellent attractant lures ants quickly

The use of bait gels is a preferred method for treating carpenter ants within a home or business. This bait gel by Syngenta contains a highly attractive material that lures ants easily. It also has one of the most potent active ingredients available to eliminate most infestations quickly.

To use, place in cracks, crevices, and voids where carpenter ants invade. The workers pick it up and eventually feed the queen as well as the rest of the colony. 

Below is a quick look at our selections for top carpenter ant killers.

More or less all the products we reviewed were very effective at killing carpenter ants, but our decision came down to versatility of the traps and their ease of use combined with what you get for your money.

Rating: 97.50

Our #1 Ranked For: Termites,Bed Bugs, and Larger Infestations

Rating: 97.00

Our #1 Ranked For: Ants, Roaches, Spiders, and Rodents Issues

Rating: 95.70

Our #1 Ranked For: Mosquito Removal, Fleas, Ticks, Wasps, And Other Stinging Insects

The Carpenter Ant Killers We Reviewed

You need to keep your eyes open for these pests and take action with the best carpenter ant killer you can find when you first identify them. If not, it may be extremely costly in home repair further down the line.

Infestations typically start with a "home nest" in an old stump or decaying wood eventually branching off into various "satellite nets" in search for food.

And contrary to popular belief, carpenter ants don’t actually EAT wood, but rather they tunnel through it (termites DO eat wood). This tunneling can hollow out the wood used in your home creating structure issues.

I’ll just come out and say it, carpenter ants can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare.

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What are Carpenter Ants?

Carpenter ants are huge. They’re some of the largest ants in the US and can be up to 13 mm in length!

carpenter ant picture

Most of them live outdoors in hollow wood and sometimes go indoors to nest in places with a lot of moisture. You can see them in a variety of colors based on the type of species ranging from black and brown to sometimes red and even yellow.

The Queen can live for several years and the life cycle of a worker ant is less than 12 weeks. Reproduction rates are fast and infestations can happen quickly.

These ants are especially bad because they can cause a lot of damage to your house's structure.

Places with a lot of vegetation and moisture are their preferred habitat, but it’s not uncommon to find them around the foundations of your house and patio. Sometimes they come indoors and sneak under the carpets.

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How Do I Identify Carpenter Ants?

The most common feature of a carpenter is that they prefer to live in and around wood they’ve tunneled into. This is important because, unlike other species, they can actually cause significant damage if left untreated. Here is a quick comparison when compared to a termite.

termite vs carpenter ant

The biggest sign is that they’re large and you tend to see a lot of wood shavings ("frass") near their nest. Large workers and several winged swarmers are also another sign. The latter suggest that the colony is mature and is about to reproduce. If you see this, in combination with the other characteristics, it’s time to take action. You can learn more about identifying carpenter ants here.

Some people may confuse carpenter ants with termites. The key difference is that termites eat wood whereas ants burrow through it.

Click here for more on the differences between carpenter ants and termites!

Rating: 97.50

Our #1 Ranked For: Termites,Bed Bugs, and Larger Infestations

Rating: 97.00

Our #1 Ranked For: Ants, Roaches, Spiders, and Rodents Issues

Rating: 95.70

Our #1 Ranked For: Mosquito Removal, Fleas, Ticks, Wasps, And Other Stinging Insects

How to Control Carpenter Ants

In order to know how to control carpenter ants, you first need to know what carpenter ants like to eat. If you can eliminate their preferred food source, then you can reduce the chances that these ants will decide to make your home their home.

Take a look at the below video for more carpenter ant tips.

Carpenter ants tend to have varied diets, which makes them tough to nail down with one type of trap.

For example, a known food sources that carpenter ants like to eat is aphid honeydew. This is a sweet liquid secreted by aphids living on shrubbery. Keeping bushes and shrubs at least a foot away from your home can significantly help with prevention in this area.

Curious about termite diets? Click here for our list of 15 things termites like to eat.

If you suspect that you have a carpenter ant problem, it’s important that you find the nest quickly and treat it.

Pro Tip: Nest Location

A common method to finding a carpenter nest includes leaving out something sweet near the suspected location. When left out, ants may begin a trail to it. The trail will likely lead back to a colony, where you can begin baiting more effectively.

Be careful when you find the nest as the ants bite with their large mandibles and may release a formic acid.

When you DO find the nest, baits have been documented as one of the best carpenter ant killing methods.

You also need to take preventative measures in conjunction with destroying the colony, which may include:

  • Removing any moist decaying wood from around your property
  • Moving stacks of wood (decayed or not) away from your property
  • Inspecting nearby stumps for ant colonies
  • Sealing entry ways (cracks and crevices) into your house

Types of Carpenter Ant Killers

These ants can cause serious damage to your property you don’t treat them. This means that you should quickly invest in powerful killers as soon as you identify that they’re carpenters. Some still swear by homemade methods, despite them not having much effect.Let’s take a quick look at both.

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Homemade Remedies for Carpenter Ants

There are two common homemade treatments for carpenter ants.

The first uses vinegar as an acidic composition that deters ants. You should mix it with water in equal amounts. A lot of people use this, but it’s not very effective.

The second popular homemade solution uses boric acid combined with a sweet solution (jelly or honey) as an attractant has more success. The acid kills the ants on contact. This does work, but it’s a short term solution and has no effect against the majority of ants that you can’t see.

Baits and Sprays are the Best Carpenter Ant Killers

Trust me on this, you need to buy something that actually works. It may be an expensive upfront cost, but compared to the amount you would save if the infestation grew and destroyed your property.

Most baits use a slow acting insecticide (borax is one of the most popular slow acting ingredients) that can be picked up and brought back to the queen ant before killing the worker ant.

carpenter ant damaged wood

Baiting produces results because it's fed to the queen and disrupts the reproductive cycles of ants in the nest.

When you use a bait, never disturb the nest before using it. This causes the ants to scatter and it won’t kill them all, and the infestation may start again somewhere else around your house.

Another option by using a repellent aerosol around the perimeter of your house. This works best in combination with baiting to kill the colony and to stop any coming back.

Carpenter Ant Product Reviews

Carpenter ants are a major type of pest, and one that you should not take lightly if you suspect that there’s an infestation. Here are five of the best carpenter ants killers that usually work in the long-term.

  • Works for several species, including carpenter ants
  • Excellent attractant lures ants quickly
  • Fast-acting ingredients

The use of bait gels is a preferred method for treating carpenter ants within a home or business. This bait gel by Syngenta contains a highly attractive material that lures ants easily. It also has one of the most potent active ingredients available to eliminate most infestations quickly.

To use, place in cracks, crevices, and voids where carpenter ants invade. The workers pick it up and eventually feed the queen as well as the rest of the colony. 

Pros

  • Works for several species, including carpenter ants
  • Excellent attractant lures ants quickly
  • Fast-acting ingredients
  • Approved for indoor and outdoor use

Cons

  • Can be easily contaminated, so it's best to avoid touching with fingers
  • Uses Potent Borax Killing Ingredient
  • Can Be Left For 3 Months
  • Can Be Placed Around Your Home (Garage, Lawn, Basement)

One of the most well-known brands in ant control, TERRO delivers a quality product that gets results.

We especially liked this product due to the self-contained weather resistant bait containers that can be placed just about anywhere. 

The liquid baits use a sugar based bait to attract carpenter ants and borax to provide the killing punch. The slow acting insecticide easily spreads throughout the colony and kills the ants you can and can’t see. This is one of the most effective and consistent long-term solutions on the market.

Each package comes with 6 bait traps, which you can disburse around the perimeter of your house. 

Some of the traps have ramps and/or mini-stairs to help the ants travel in and out of the container.

Click here for a full review of Terro ant bait traps!

Pros

  • Affordable And Powerful Attractant
  • Residual Effects Can Last Up To 3 Months After First Use
  • Consistent Results

Cons

  • Ants May Avoid It After A Few Days
  • Can Be Difficult To Open Resulting In Liquid Splashing Out
  • Easy to apply
  • Works for carpenter ants 
  • Safe alternative to aerosol sprays

A non-repellent insecticide such as boric acid works well to treat and prevent carpenter ants inside wall voids and other enclosed spaces. Consider Zap-A-Roach Boric Acid as your first choice. 

It contains 100 percent boric acid dust, and it comes in a convenient squeeze bottle that can double as an applicator for crack and crevice treatments. 

The high residual effects of this dry powder are well-understood by DIY homeowners and professionals. It's also reliably safe when applied according to label directions. 

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Works for carpenter ants
  • Safe alternative to aerosol sprays
  • Works well for several types of crawling insects

Cons

  • Suitable for dry applications only
  • Excellent non-repellent formula for most types of pests
  • Provides a lasting barrier treatment for carpenter ants

Taurus SC is a professional insecticide concentrate you mix with water. Use 0.8 ounces per gallon to provide the correct mixture for carpenter ants.

Spray outside perimeter areas to create a residual barrier against these pests:

  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Centipedes
  • Scorpions
  • Termites

With fipronil as the active ingredient, it works quickly to knock out carpenter ants in a short time. Also, it provides lasting protection for up to three months. 

Pros

  • Excellent non-repellent formula for most types of pests
  • Provides a lasting barrier treatment for carpenter ants
  • Strong active ingredient

Cons

  • Requires one-gallon garden sprayer to use according to label directions
  • Outdoor Focused Bait
  • Weather Resistant
  • Relatively Nontoxic

Advance Carpenter Ant Bait is a protein/fat granule bait with the active ingredient "abamectin" that’s been highly rated, relatively nontoxic, and effective at taking care of carpenter ant problems.

This product is weather resistant and well suited for outdoor use. Just apply the granules where you suspect the carpenter ants are coming from (around dead trees, wood piles, stumps, etc) and you should eventually find dead ants as a result.

Pros

  • Powerful Attractant And Good Long Term Solution
  • Waterproof And Doesn't Dissolve
  • Long Lasting Residual Effects
  • Relatively Nontoxic To Humans

Cons

  • It May Not Eliminate The Whole Colony
  • Needs Regular Use And Maintenance
  • It May Take A Few Days To See Significant Results

Want To Solve Your Pest Problem Now?

We’ve partnered with Terminix to bring you exclusive discounts and priority service for your pest control needs. Click to get your free instant price quote.
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Limited Time: Save $50 off your pest control service.

Our Top Pick: Syngenta Ant Bait Gel

The use of bait gels is a preferred method for treating carpenter ants within a home or business. This bait gel by Syngenta contains a highly attractive material that lures ants easily. It also has one of the most potent active ingredients available to eliminate most infestations quickly.

To use, place in cracks, crevices, and voids where carpenter ants invade. The workers pick it up and eventually feed the queen as well as the rest of the colony. 

As a reminder, we do always recommend you consult a licensed exterminator before taking things into your own hands, especially for carpenter ant removal as taking the wrong steps could always make your problem worse! Click here for our tool to help match you up with someone.

For more information on ant removal check out the below guides. Any questions, leave a comment down below. 

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Because pest control products can be dangerous to your family if mishandled, we always recommend consulting with an exterminator even if just to ask for advice on how to apply pest control products yourself.

Our pest experts review each company for quality, cost, customer service, safety, and 100’s of other important factors and assess a rating out of 100. Below are our top 3 picks based on that review for pest removal. We’ve set up a direct line with each company so you can get fast free quotes right now.

Rating: 97.50

Our #1 Ranked For: Termites,Bed Bugs, and Larger Infestations

Rating: 97.00

Our #1 Ranked For: Ants, Roaches, Spiders, and Rodents Issues

Rating: 95.70

Our #1 Ranked For: Mosquito Removal, Fleas, Ticks, Wasps, And Other Stinging Insects

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