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How to Drown Carpenter Ants

By Brittiany Cahoon ; Updated September 21, 2017
Carpenter ants are easily distinguished because they are larger than other kinds of ants.

When the weather starts getting warm, you know it's time to start looking for ants. Carpenter ants in particular like to nest in damp, rotting wood and can be quite destructive. Different substances attract different types of ants, so getting rid of carpenter ants is a matter of knowing what attracts them. After attracting them, you'll need to follow them to find their nest in order to get rid of them completely. Drowning them with a liquid insecticide will do the trick.

Dab some honey on the floor in various locations throughout your home between sunset and midnight. Wait for ants to come and take the honey back to the nest for the other workers to eat.

Place red cellophane over the lighted end of a flashlight. Secure the cellophane with a rubberband.

Use this flashlight to follow ants back to the nest, since ants cannot see red light. Track the ants until they enter a hole in the wall or an exposed area of damaged or rotting wood, such as a woodpile.

Pour the liquid insecticide into a chemical sprayer if the nest is not exposed. Spray the liquid insecticide into the opening to coat and suffocate the ants. Repeat the process with any other spots where you find ants, since ants tend to build several nests in one location. Pour the bottle of insecticide itself into the anthill entrance if your ants lead you to an anthill.

Remove any damp or rotted wood from your home after the ants are killed. Keep firewood far from the house, and keep it covered and dry so that ants are not attracted. Hire a contractor to assess damage and fix the walls if ants have been nesting in damaged paneling or beams.


Things You Will Need

  • Honey
  • Flashlight
  • Red cellophane
  • Rubberband
  • Liquid insecticide
  • Chemical sprayer


  • Bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, or permethrin can all be used as liquid ant killers.
  • If the ants do not disappear, you probably have a large infestation on your hands. You will probably need to call a professional exterminator.


  • Ventilate areas that have been sprayed with ant killer, as the chemicals can be toxic. Wash hands after any contact with ant killer.

About the Author


Brittiany Cahoon began writing professionally in 2003. She has been published as a reporter and columnist in the "Mountaineer Progress," "The Rattler" and other regional newspapers. Cahoon holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brigham Young University.