Get Rid of Ants in Your Carpet | Tried and Tested Methods for Eradication

Written by Thomas Matthews

Ants can be an unwelcome surprise when walking barefoot on your carpet. Fortunately, there are effective methods for getting rid of them. Insecticide powder/dust and ant baits are the most appropriate solutions. Ant sprays are not recommended due to potential staining and residual effects harmful to children and pets.

To eliminate ants from your carpet, first, identify the source of the infestation. Ants are attracted to food and water, so ensure any spills or crumbs are promptly cleaned up. Once you’ve addressed the source, sprinkle insecticide powder on the affected area. Alternatively, place ant baits near the infestation to attract and eliminate the ants.

Remember, prevention is key to keeping your carpets ant-free. Keep food and drink away from carpeted areas and vacuum frequently. With these tips, you can enjoy a clean and ant-free home.

Why Have Ants Infested Your Carpet?

There are two main reasons why ants have infested your carpet:

  • They found some leftover food
  • The flooring beneath the carpet is rotten

Keeping your carpet free of food scraps is important to prevent not only ants but also other pests. If you have kids or pets, be sure to regularly clean up any food after them.

If the floorboards under your carpet are old and starting to rot due to moisture or other reasons, this can attract ants to your carpet. They find cracks in the floor and gradually build their colonies, making your carpet an ideal place to search for food. It’s important to address any issues with the flooring to prevent further infestation.

Related: What Attracts Ants? Information and Facts

Do Ants Like Carpets?

Ants do not necessarily like carpets, as they prefer to build their colonies and nests in more secluded places. When ants infest a carpet, they are in constant danger of being noticed and driven out, making the carpet an inconvenient place for them to live. Ants may come to the carpet to collect leftover food, but will typically leave as soon as possible.

Can Ants Live on the Carpet?

Can Ants Live on the Carpet

When the ants forage for food they can move through the carpet, but they don’t have the necessary conditions to build nests on carpets or long term live inside them.

They tend to inhabit convenient places where they can hide and in homes, those places are usually inside the walls, under some rotten boards or behind appliances. Contrary to those spots, carpets can’t keep them out of sight and they are always in danger of being stomped.

Can Ants Live Under the Carpet?

Ants generally do not live under carpets but may end up there due to leftover food or decayed floorboards caused by moisture. If you find soil under your carpet, this may indicate a problem with ant colonies inside walls or the floor.

Ants are attracted to food and damp places, making these the main reasons they may choose to make their home under your carpet. Regularly cleaning the floor of food scraps and checking the structural integrity of your floor can help prevent ant infestations. If you suspect ants are living under your carpet, it’s important to investigate the construction of your house to address any potential issues.

Do Ants Eat Carpet?

Ants do not eat carpets. The common pests that may eat carpets are carpet moths, carpet beetles, and silverfish. There are no known ant species that are attracted to or feed on carpets. If you notice holes in your carpet, it is more likely to be caused by one of the above-mentioned carpet pests rather than ants.

Related: What Do Ants Eat? | Ant Feeding Habits

Can You Spray Ant Spray on the Carpet?

Can You Spray Ant Spray on Carpet

Using any insecticide in liquid form directly on the carpet is not recommended because liquid-form insecticides have a strong residual effect and odor. This residual effect can last for days and it is extremely dangerous to small children or pets. Also, some ant sprays can leave stains and ruin the looks of your carpet.

Even home remedies like borax are not recommended for use in liquid form directly on the carpet. If you want to attack ants in carpets the right way, then using some insecticides in the powder form that you can vacuum later is the best option to go with.

Can You Spray Raid Ant Killer on Carpet?

It is not recommended to use Raid Ant Killer on the carpet as it can in some cases leave stains on the carpet and ruin the way it looks. This applies to almost every liquid insecticide, there are some that don’t leave stains but still can have strong residual effects. This is why it is better to use something in granule or powder form instead. The powder can be later vacuumed after it has done its part.

How to Get Ants Out of Carpet – Step-by-Step Instructions

There aren’t a lot of effective ways to get rid of ants from your carpet, so we will stick with what really works. We combined two methods for more efficient results but you can also choose any of them separately and still get good results.

Step 1: Start With Using the Ant Bait

The ants will pick up the ant bait and carry it into their nest. When the queen consumes the ant bait she will die and that will result in the death of the entire colony. Without the ant queen, the colony can’t survive. Ant baits are placed next to the carpets to bait the ants away from them.

TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Killer, 12 Bait Stations
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TERRO T334B Indoor Multi-Surface Liquid Ant Bait and Ant Killer - 4 Discreet Ant Bait Stations - Kills Common Household Ants
  • Attracts & Kills – Kills common household ants including...
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  • Works Fast – You should see a significant decrease in the...
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Raid Ant Killer Baits, Child Resistant Bug Killer for Indoor Home Use, 0.24 Oz, 8 Count
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Combat Max Ant Killing Bait Stations, Indoor and Outdoor Use, 6 Count
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Step 2: Ant Carpet Powder

For the remaining ants, we recommend using insecticide in powder form. If you see a larger group of remaining ants, cover them with powder. That will kill them quickly.

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TERRO T600 Ant Dust Powder Killer for Indoors and Outdoors - Kills Ants, Fire Ants, Carpenter Ants, Roaches, Spiders, and Other Insects
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Ortho Orthene Fire Ant Killer1, Kills Queen, Destroys up to 162 Mounds, 12 oz. Dry Powder, Ant Poison Works in 60 minutes
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REVENGE Ant Killer Dust, 1 lb. Ready-to-Use Long Lasting and Waterproof Formula for Indoors & Outdoors, Perimeter Treatment
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2-Pack TERRO 600 1-Pound Ant Killer Dust
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How Do You Kill an Ant’s Nest under a Carpet?

It is not common for ants to make nests under the carpet and they only do it in cases when the flooring or the foundation is decaying. If the floorboards under the carpet are rotting that can be a good spot for ants to move in.

They will move inside the cracks in the boards and in some cases, it will be extremely hard to find their nests. Also, cracks in the concrete below the floorboards can be a home for ants. All those humid and well-hidden places can be a place where they can make their nest.

When it comes to fighting ants in those hard-to-reach places the best choice is to use insecticide ant bait. Lay the bait next to the carpet. After some time they will pick up the bait and carry it into their nest. It takes some time for the ant baits to work but they will show the best results.

There are some other options, like diatomaceous earth in powder form. It is regarded as a less toxic option when compared to insecticides, but its effectiveness is not as great. It will be able to kill those ants that stumble upon it, but all the rest will stay alive and well hidden below the carpet.

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Home Remedies for Ants on Carpet | How to Get Rid of Ants in the Carpet Naturally

The home remedies for ants on carpets are listed below.

  • Peppermint Oil: Use a peppermint-based spray to get rid of ants on your carpet. Spray liberally after combining one quart of water with three parts peppermint oil. In order to serve as a deterrent, spray the area around each entry to your property.
  • Cucumber: Cucumbers repel ants. To fend off the ant invasion, scatter a few peels next to it. Although it won’t actually kill the ants, it will cause them to flee. If you don’t have a severe house ant infestation, this is a good natural cure.
  • Honey and Borax: One tablespoon of honey, hot water, and borax will all attract ants. Wait a day or two after placing the combination close to the infestation. Ants will eat the mixture and perish.
  • Cayenne Pepper and Garlic: Create a spray by combining two tablespoons of cayenne, three cloves of garlic, and one cup of water. Spray liberally on the ants and the nest while you wait.
  • Cinnamon: The scent of cinnamon repulses ants. To stop an ant trail, scatter some cinnamon around the carpet’s margins. Sprinkle the nest and wait if it’s under your carpet. Use something more powerful to kill the ants if they refuse to depart. Remember that cinnamon works best as a preventative approach to stave off an infestation.
  • Dish Soap: Dish soap is useful for avoiding carpet infestation. Fill a spray bottle with water and 1/4 cup dish soap. Spray liberally to prevent the ant track from reaching your carpet.
  • Lemon: Lemon aroma repels ants, which helps to sever the ant track. To prevent ants from entering your home and constructing a nest under your carpet, sprinkle lemon juice around the doors and windows.
  • Honey and Borax: One tablespoon of honey, hot water, and borax will all attract ants. Wait a day or two after placing the combination close to the infestation. Ants will eat the mixture and perish.

How to Prevent Ant Infestation Under Carpets?

The best method for keeping ants from invading your carpets is to keep your house clean and well-maintained. Ants are attracted to food leftovers and damp places like attics and basements. Be sure to check your walls and foundations for any cracks because those spots are perfect for ant nests.

Vacuum your carpets and floors regularly, throw away any pet food remains (if you have pets), and pay attention to any ant movement. If you notice a couple of them, more of them are nearby for sure. Do a regular check-up of your attic because if your roof is leaking your attic will quickly become a great spot for ant nests as well.

Related: How to Get Rid of Ants | Safe and Effective Methods

List of Sources

When Ants Invade – Insects in the City, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Potter M., Ant Control for Householders, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Integrated Pest Management: Ants, California Childcare Health Program, University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing

Ants, Illinois Department of Public Health

Thomas Matthews
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