Tips & Tricks: Why Carpenter Ants are the Termites of the North


August 3, 2014


Cisse W. Spragins

Cisse W. Spragins

Carpenter ants are sometimes called the termites of the North because of their propensity to damage wood and the fact they’re not limited to the more temperate climates. Colonies generally have a single queen, and the main nest is most often outdoors. When they establish an indoor satellite colony, they often pick a wall with a moisture problem or pre-existing wood damage. It can be 100 ft. or more from the main colony.

For treating an existing infestation, follow trails back to nest sites. For nests in walls or reachable outdoor areas, use a nonrepellent dust. Place sweet syrup or gel baits along trails and at the base of trees where main nests are. Granular bait also should be scattered in the area. However, don’t pile this bait unless it’s placed in a secure bait station to help ensure nontarget animals don’t eat it.

Dr. Cisse W. Spragins is owner and founder of Rockwell Labs Ltd.

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  1. Richard says:

    You should mention that to find the carpenter ant nest, you will most likely have to follow the trailing ants at night as they are mostly nocturnal insects.

    1. PMP Staff says:

      Good point, Richard! Thanks for commenting. —The Eds.