Boric acid is an effective insecticide. It works as a stomach poison on insects. The insects must eat some of the boric acid in order for it to work.
There are almost thirty species of carpenter ants in the U.S. Fewer than ten species cause problems for homeowners. When carpenter ants invade a home, they make nests in void spaces like the insides of walls and under the bases of cabinets.
If carpenter ants find wood that is damp or decaying, they excavate nesting sites inside the wood. This habit is the reason people use the name of “carpenter ant” to describe these ants. This nesting habit causes considerable damage to structural lumber in homes every year. As a result, homeowners usually look for ways to control carpenter ants.
Boric acid is an effective carpenter ant control tool. It can be used in several ways. Two of the most common are: mixed into ant bait and in the form of dust.
Bait is an effective way to control carpenter ants. Ant bait with boric acid is made in the form of a liquid, a gel, and as solid pellets of bait. When the carpenter ant workers find the bait, they take it back to the nest. They share it with the other ants in the colony. As the ants digest the bait, the boric acid has its toxic effect on them.
If enough bait is applied for all of the ants to get a share, the colony will be eliminated. If the bait runs out before all of the ants get some, there will be survivors. The survivors will continue to infest. If the queen survives, she will continue to produce eggs until there are as many ants as there were originally.
Boric acid dust is an effective way to treat the wall voids and cabinet bases for carpenter ants. A small duster can be used to apply the dust into the void spaces where the ants make their nests. Only a small amount of dust is needed.
As the ants walk through the dust. They get it on their legs and on their bodies. They can swallow some of the dust as they groom themselves. This treatment does not usually produce quick control because each ant has to eat some of the boric acid. However, the boric acid treatment is effective for a very long time.