UC IPM Online UC ANR home page UC IPM home page

UC IPM Home

SKIP navigation

 

How to Manage Pests

Key to Identifying Common Household Ants


Use baits to manage satellite colonies of carpenter ants.

Managing carpenter ants with baits

  • Boric acid baits that have a low concentration (less than 1%) of the active ingredient and are formulated in a sweet liquid are slow acting and non-repellent.
  • First attract ants to a nontoxic food like a sugar-milk solution or sliced crickets.
  • Once ants feed from this food source, replace with several different toxic baits that are labeled for carpenter ant control and let them choose.
  • Place baits outdoors; indoor baiting may attract more ants into the home.
  • Place baits in protected locations inaccessible to children and pets.

How baits work

  • Worker ants will be attracted to the bait and take it back to the nest where the entire colony, including queens, may be killed.
  • Bait must be slow-acting so workers won't be killed before they get back to the nest.
  • Results may not be evident for several weeks.
  • Killing workers does little to control the colony, because as few as 1% of a colony's foraging worker ants are able to provide sufficient food to support nestbound queens and larvae.
  • Bait stations or ant stakes are easiest to use and safest for the environment.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /TOOLS/ANTKEY/carpbait.html revised: July 10, 2014. Contact webmaster.