Classic Carpenter Ant Dinner


We had the same problem in our cottage a few years ago. I was preparing to hang a heavy shelf and when I drilled a hole through the wall and into the stud, ants came pouring out like a parade. I found they were coming in through a partially rotted/waterlogged rim joist.
I had the pest control guys out and they did their thing but in the end, a homemade solution worked best. First I replaced the rotted crawlspace rim joist with PT lumber. Then I made up a dry mixture of 50/50 powdered Borax detergent and powdered icing sugar. I put some in about 6 empty water bottles and laid the bottles on their side around the area they were coming in before we went back to the city. When we returned to the cottage a week later, the bottles were full of corpses. Haven’t had a problem since.

Very interesting John. I’ve had a minor Carpenter Ant problem on and off over the past few years. I’ve had a few different types of treatment done with varied success. I’m going to try your remedy. I noticed one of the little pests last night.:twisted:

Classic carpenter ant damage…not dinner. These guys don’t eat the wood.

That’s probably being too picky…Sorry!

Hey Richard,

Too Picky? On this board? Impossible. :wink:

You’re right, I should have said Classic Carpenter Ant Addition: Subdivision? Re-development?

See ya around town.


you’re right. and to be more picky and a little geeky, they actualy process out the carbohydrates in wood and fiber products for there dinner. 'Tis bug season. all the little buggers are getting established for the new season, so be on the look out.:wink: :cool:

Well…now that I’ve started…

Jay, you are thinking about termites whose digestive tracts contain bacteria that enable them to convert the cellulose in wood to a usable, if somewhat boring, diet.

Carpenter ants, on the other hand, don’t eat the wood at all. They **remove **wood to make space for nesting and then forage elsewhere for food. You could say they eat out.

And I know what drink they have to make their dining out more enjoyable. :smiley:

Years ago I noticed a parade of carpenter ants entering my house through a small opening near the back door. This was in early winter right before a deep and prolonged freeze. I sprayed the area, but never found more than a few corpses. Later in the winter, I noticed a few more dead ants upstairs near a doorway to an unheated storage room. I decided to poke around through the items stored in a closet in the unheated room, and found THOUSANDS of the suckers apparently hibernating in a dish stored in the cabinet. Queen and all. They filled up the dish! I double bagged the suckers (dish and all) and they soon took a ride far, far away in the garbage truck. Never a carpenter ant issue again, and that was at least 10 years ago!

i knew about the cellulose and termites, but i was told by an exterminator (in the biz for 8 yrs) that they do forage elswhere as you said, but they also extract the carbs from wood so that they can get to the other end and go looking for food. kinda like buying a snickers bar on your way to dinner. those long lines make me hungry. in fact my moms house that we’re renovating, had an old wall that used to be the outside wall before the addition, clap board siding (sort of), i poked a hole threw the paint with my finger and about 20 or so carpenter ants came out in a hurry. i taped it, call by exterminator and he took care of it. but i only know what i’m told.:wink: