Dealing with a carpenter ant infestation can be challenging, as these large and fast-reproducing ants are among the most difficult to eliminate. While carpenter ant baits are highly effective, it’s important to know that they don’t work instantly and will take time for them to completely eradicate the colony.
How do carpenter ant baits work? Carpenter ant baits work by using specific ingredients that are attractive to these ants. The baits also contain a slow-acting poison, such as borax, that does not kill the ants instantly. When the ants carry the bait back to their nest and other ants consume it, the entire colony is eventually eliminated.
Baits are highly effective against social insects such as ants and termites. These insects share the food they collect with the entire colony, meaning even the ants that never leave the nest can be exposed to the poison.
In the following sections, we will provide a guide on how to apply carpenter ant baits and offer recommendations for the most effective options. Let’s get started!
How to Apply Carpenter Ant Baits?
To ensure the best results, it’s important to take the time to locate the trails that carpenter ants use when foraging before applying the bait. Placing the bait directly on these trails is the most effective way to target the colony. If the ants have consumed the bait, be sure to apply more.
It’s possible that certain types of bait may not be effective if the carpenter ants don’t find them appealing. In this case, switch to a different product or use one of our recommended options.
Remove all other competitive food sources before applying the bait. If there are plenty of food and crumbs throughout your house, the ants may not even touch the bait. Insects that produce honeydew can also become a bait competition, so treat your plants with products that help eliminate aphids.
Finally, ant baits are more effective when temperatures are above 70°F. If it gets too hot during the day, consider applying the product at night when the temperature drops. Ants do not like high temperatures or direct sunlight.
Related: How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants Without an Exterminator
Top 5 Best Carpenter Ant Baits: Detailed Review
What is the best bait for carpenter ants? There are a lot of ant baits to choose from and some of them can be really ineffective. This is why we have done our detailed review of these products. Now, here are our top 5 best carpenter ant baits that we recommend.
1. Terro 1806 Outdoor Liquid Ant Bait
- Kills the ants you see and the ants you don’t
- Pre filled bait stations are ready to use
- Contains sodium tetraborate decahydrate (Borax) (5.40%) and other...
- Flexible placement: in the ground using the stakes or on decks,...
- Patented station protects the bait from the elements, prevents it...
Even though our first option is an “outdoor” ant bait, it can still be used indoors as well. The box comes with pre-filled bait stations that are ready to use. The main active ingredient is borax. The shape of the station prevents the poison from drying out.
There are six stations in the box that can easily be activated – all you have to do is push down and twist the cap. Place the station in the area, where you have last seen the insects.
This liquid bait can be used not only for carpenter ants, but also for ghost ants, pavement ants, odorous ants, crazy ants, and many others. Bear in mind that the bait includes slow-acting ingredients.
That means that right after you start using the station, the number of ants might increase for a while (a lot of creatures would love to feed on the sweet liquid). However, very soon the poison is going to destroy the whole colony. The trap should be replaced every three months, but the chances are high that you will get rid of the infestation a lot sooner.
2. Syngenta – Optigard Ant Bait Gel Box
- Target pests: For indoor and outdoor control of...
- Highly attractive formula promotes ready transfer of the active...
- Powerful, active ingredient knocks out workers, brood and queens
- Approved for use indoors and outdoors, applied in cracks and...
- How does Optigard Ant Bait Gel work? Ants that feed on the gel...
This option is a bit more expensive, but it’s extremely effective. Moreover, you will be getting four tubes in the package. You can use this gel both outdoors and indoors. With the help of this bait, you will surely be able to get rid of carpenter ants and a few other ant types (excluding pharaoh, harvester, and fire ants). The active ingredient is thiamethoxam (0.1%).
Optigard is a clear gel that doesn’t leave stains. It has little to no odor. The formula is packaged in 4 ready-to-use syringes with a plunger (30 grams). This type of bait is especially great for applying in cracks and crevices. The gel will remain palatable for 14 days after baiting (both outdoors and indoors).
The consistency of the gel is perfect. Some baits might be too gooey, which prevents the ant from transporting the poison back to the nest. Optigard’s consistency makes it easy for the carpenter ants to take the substance to the queen. By the way, the gel is able to maintain its properties even under harsh environmental conditions.
3. Amdro Ant Block Granule
Amdro ant bait is designed for outdoor use only. This solution will create a barrier around your house and make sure that the carpenter ants never invade it. All you have to do is shake the package around your home and overall this bait is very easy to apply.
The great news is that this protection lasts up to three months, so once you have used the treatment, you can forget about the ant problem for at least a few months.
The bait kills carpenter ants and 24 other ant types (including fire ants). The active ingredient used in this bait is hydramethylnon (0.88%). In a lot of cases, the poison will kill the queen within a week of application.
That means that in around two weeks, you will be able to get rid of the whole colony. Bear in mind that you should not apply the product when the ground is soaking wet or when rains are expected.
4. BASF – Advance Carpenter Ant Bait
- You MUST ALWAS RED THE LABEL BEFORE USIN THE PRDUCT! !
- cmpany and distbutr of pest control produc. PesControl Pros can...
- ou MUST ALWAYS READ THE LABEL BEFORE USING THE PRODUCT! !
- Package Weight: 0.068 kilograms
This is an outdoor focused bait. The granules are relatively large and contain abamectin. Unlike a lot of other ant baits, this option is not as toxic (but you should still be careful with the poison, if you have pets running around, for example).
This product is weather-resistant, though you would still have to reapply it from time to time. Depending on the size of the granules, the bait can be used to cope with different types of ants. The product has a slightly fishy smell.
The thing that makes this particular bait stand out is the fact that it is a protein/fat granule bait. The solutions that we have mentioned above are sugary. However, carpenter ants are also attracted to protein. In case you have figured out that the carpenter ants around your house are not fond of sugary stuff, then this can be a great solution.
Unfortunately, sometimes carpenter ants might be picky, so you would have to try a few different baits in order to find the one that they like the most. All you have to do to make this bait work is to apply the granules where you suspect the insects are coming from. That can be around dead trees or wood piles, for example.
5. Combat Indoor and Outdoor Ant Killing Gel
- Easy to use
- Child resistant
- Leaves little to no mess
- Gel bait kills ants and the entire colony
- High water content encourages faster feeding, so it starts...
The package includes one syringe that is ready to use. You can place the gel directly onto the targeted area fast and easily, without making a mess. Thanks to the fact that this bait has high water content, the ants will eat the poison faster.
The manufacturer promises that the bait will start killing the insects within an hour and the whole colony will be poisoned within 3-5 days. Ants often travel along hard-to-reach areas, such as crevices and cracks. It is easy to apply the product to these challenging places thanks to the syringe. The gel doesn’t have a smell.
The product can be applied both indoors and outdoors. It is great for small, targeted areas, such as cracks. In case you need to protect the whole perimeter of your house, then you should use granules. The active ingredient is fipronil. The gel is effective against carpenter ants, as well as argentine, pharaoh, pavement, odorous, and little black ants.
For better results, make many spots of gel around the areas where you have seen the ants. You should not apply this product to a place that has recently been sprayed with insecticide. Also, do not spray insecticide over the gel as it may cause the bait to become a repellant.
This was our review of the top 5 best carpenter ant baits. Whatever you choose from this list will certainly get the job done. A lot of these solutions can work both indoors and outdoors. Always remember to read and carefully follow the instructions before using any of the options mentioned above as the ingredients include slow-acting poison.
If you have a severe carpenter ant infestation and your wooden objects in the house are getting damaged, in our opinion, the best course of action would be to call a professional ant exterminator. Click on the following link if you are interested, and you will get free quotes from the best ant exterminators in your area. Best of luck!
Related: How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants in Trees: A Complete Guide