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Carpenter Ant Baits

- New baits made specifically for these large, wood-destroying ants -

Summary: Baits are now available for carpenter ant control. These special baits are often used in conjunction with more conventional wall void and/or perimeter treatments to control ant nests.

Jack DeAngelis, PhD
OSU Ext. Entomologist (ret.)

Carpenter ant baits are a relatively new tool in the structural pest control arsenal. These baits are not the same as baits made for small household nuisance ants and, in fact, most nuisance ant baits are generally not useful for carpenter ants.

Carpenter ant baits should be used in conjunction with other more conventional control methods like wall void and perimeter sprays (see How To Control Carpenter Ants). If used alone baits may not be 100% effective in all climates.

winged & wingless carpenter ants
Winged and wingless carpenter ants (reproductives)

Carpenter ant baits are made from a food that attracts worker ants plus an insecticide. Worker ants find the bait and carry it back to the nest where it is consumed by other ants and the queen thus killing the whole colony.

The best use of baits may be in situations where conventional insecticides cannot be used. One example might be to use baits indoors where we would not recommend conventional insecticides. Baits should be placed where foraging ants will find the bait.

Since carpenter ants often forage indoors during spring, when nests are coming out of winter dormancy, baits could be used to get a start on colony control. Another use is in situations where conventional insecticides can never be used such as around water wells.

Carpenter ant baiting can be a DIY project in conjunction with a more conventional treatment such as wall void or perimeter sprays.


Professional carpenter ant baits

There currently are three popular carpenter ant baits, two granular formulations and one gel formulation. All three baits are available online. Which one is best? They will probably all work pretty well if used carefully following product instructions regarding bait placement. Carpenter Ant Baits can be purchased here (DoMyOwnPestControl).

Advance Granular Carpenter Ant Bait - The active ingredient in Advance Granular is abamectin. This bait is labeled for use in and around homes and commercial buildings. The bait is also labeled for use against nuisance ant species.

Niban Granular Bait - The active ingredient in Niban Granular is borate in a "weatherized" and moisture-resistant granule. This bait also is labeled for use against a variety of nuisance ants, in addition to carpenter ants, and for cockroach and silverfish control.

Maxforce Gel Carpenter Ant Bait - The active ingredient in Maxforce Gel is fipronil (same active ingredient as Termidor Insecticide) in a gel formulation that is especially useful for crack and crevice type treatments. As with the other baits this one also controls nuisance ant species. This gel is labeled for outdoor use but requires placement in a separate bait station.

Related Articles

Carpenter Ant Identification and Colony Growth

Using Termidor Insecticide Against Carpenter Ants

How to Inspect for Structural Pests

Rules for Selecting an Exterminator


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Jack DeAngelis, PhD,  , email:  [email protected]

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