Ant’s are constantly crawling on your carpet. But you’re not sure how to get rid of them.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll go over how you can get carpet ants out of your carpet once and for all.
Let’s dive in!
What Are Carpet Ants?
There are no such species of Ants called Carpet ants. But there are species of ants that invade homes and, sometimes, hide in carpets, including:
- Pavement ants
- Odorous house ants
- Acrobat ants
- Carpenter ants
- Pharaoh ants
Carpenter ants are often confused with carpet ants because the names sound similar. Carpenter ants are ants that live inside wood.
Why Do Ants Infest Carpets?
Ants are attracted to carpets for three things: shelter, moisture, and food.
Let’s address each one.
Carpets allow ants to scavenge for food undisturbed. Ants are tiny, so a thick rug is enough to provide them safety from predators and humans.
Carpets also trap moisture. If you spill water or juice on your carpet, it typically takes a while before it dries. The floorboard under the carpet can also provide moisture if it’s decaying.
Finally, carpets are excellent at hiding food crumbs. It’s easy to miss small pieces of food hiding on the carpet when cleaning.
With that said, ants don’t live on carpets. They typically nest inside walls, voids, and soil.
Can Ants Build Nest Under Carpets?
Typically ants will not nest under carpets. There are a few instances that ants may nest under the carpet.
Ants don’t typically build nests on or under carpets. But it may happen for a couple of reasons.
One, ants may build a nest under your carpet if there are cracks and voids in your floorboards. Holes in your foundation will provide ants direct access to soil, which allows them to build a nest.
The second reason ants may build a nest in your carpet is if your floorboards are decaying. Decaying wood will make it easy for carpenter ants to tunnel in and create a nest inside.
Can Ants Live under Carpets?
Ants will only live under carpets if they can build a nest under them.
While ants won’t usually build a nest on your carpet, it may happen in some instances. In particular, Carpenter ants can tunnel into your foundation if it’s moist and rotting.
Ants may also live in your carpet if you have cracks and crevices on your floor, giving them direct access to the soil underneath.
Typically, though, if you find ants on your carpet, it’s more likely that they are there to forage for food. Carpets are an excellent place for ants to find crumbs of food as well as moisture.
Where Do Ants Hide In Carpets?
You’ll typically find carpet ants along the walls, baseboards, door frames, and under the carpet.
To find where the ants are coming from, begin inspecting the walls and baseboards facing the room’s exterior.
The ants are likely coming from outside and entering through a crack or void on the walls.
Follow the ants and see if they lead to any nest right outside the bedroom wall.
Look for ant piles of soil the ants may be nesting in.
Ants can also get inside your house through voids on your floorboard.
It’s also possible that the ants are nesting inside rotting wood walls or floors. Carpenter ants are ants that tunnel through moist wood to create a nest.
To inspect ants coming from under the carpet, pull up the carpet’s edge using a pair of needlenose pliers.
Pull up the carpet’s edge every 3 to 4 feet to find the ants and where they are foraging. Use your feet to press the carpet back down after inspecting.
Try not to pull up large carpet areas, as it may be challenging to place the carpet back correctly to its original state
While following where foraging ants are coming from can be time-consuming, it’s essential to eliminate them quickly.
How To Get Rid of Ants In Carpet?
1. Clean your carpet
The most common reason ants are in your carpet is food and moisture. As such, it’s cleaning your carpet should be the first step in getting rid of the ants.
Unless your ants are nesting under your carpet, cleaning alone should work in removing ants.
Make sure to vacuum under furniture thoroughly.
Brush your carpet using a carpet brush to reach deeper and release crumbs that most vacuum cleaners can’t reach.
Use a vacuum cleaner hose to remove any remaining dirt or crumbs.
If possible, use a carpet cleaner. Carpet cleaners are a great tool to remove any stains or sugar leftover from spills. While this step is not necessary, it can help.
2. Apply bait to your carpet
Baiting is the most effective treatment for removing ants on your carpet. This treatment is fast, easy, and permanent.
While aerosol sprays are popular, they are temporary solutions.
Ant baits are a mixture of attractant and insecticide.
When a worker ant finds the bait, they take a portion of it to bring it back to the colony.
The bait will then get mixed in the ants’ food storage area and contaminate the rest of the food.
Eventually, the contaminated food will kill the entire colony.
You have two options when using baits:
- Bait stations
- Gel bait
Both are effective, but gel bait is more versatile.
Gel bait comes inside syringes. The syringe packaging allows you to control the amount of bait you during application.
It also allows you to access hard to reach areas such as voids and crevices.
Unless you apply the bait in cracks and crevices, I recommend placing the bait on wax paper before placing it on your carpet. This will keep it from staining your carpet.
You want to place bait around corners or edges of the carpet. Ants frequently walk along edges and corners when they infest carpets.
Bait stations are much easier to use than gel. You’ll only need to place the stations in areas where you think ants travel.
Bait stations are sealed, so they are ideal if you have kids or pets.
While bait stations are easy to use, the packaging is large. As such, these are not ideal for targeting cracks, voids, and hard to reach areas.
Monitoring them can be difficult as well due to the enclosed casing.
3. Use Dust Around Your Carpet
There are two dust applications you can use for your carpet:
Corner and Crevice Treatment:
To prevent ants from entering other rooms, you can place insecticide dust around the walls of your home
To quickly kill and repel ants, you can place a layer of dust on the surface of the carpet.
Any ants that walk through the dust will die.
When applying dust directly on the carpet, always wear a mask to prevent inhalation. Use a brush to allow the dust to enter the cracks. Leave the dust for 30 minutes.
Avoid direct contact with the carpet when treating with dust. Once 30 minutes have passed, vacuum the dust off your mat.
Keep in mind that, unlike ant baits, this type of treatment doesn’t target the colony. So the ants can come back, especially if there are food and water left in the carpet,
Here are two dust options I recommend:
Delta Dust kills ants within hours of direct contact. It is effective at eliminating ants on your carpet.
However, some ants may avoid it if they are sensitive to synthetic pyrethroids. And because the ants need to have direct contact with the dust to die, the dust may be ineffective in certain situations.
Insecticide dust is best used to treat areas that are difficult to reach, such as deep or small voids, cracks, and crevices.
Delta Dust is both indoors and outdoors. It is non-staining and odorless.
Diatomaceous Earth or DE is an excellent natural dust alternative to kill ants.
DE is safe for humans and pets, will destroy the ant’s exoskeleton and kill them.
To treat your carpet with DE, apply a thin layer of dust across the entire surface of the rug.
Apply extra along the walls.
To treat small crevices and voids, I recommend using a duster between the wall and the carpet.
For the best results, leave the DE undisturbed for 24-48 hours.
The longer, the better. If you don’t have that much time, let the dust sit for at least 4 hours.
When applying, make sure you are wearing a mask. While DE is safe for humans to touch, it can be dangerous when inhaled in excess.
I also recommend wearing gloves if you have sensitive skin and goggles to protect your eyes.
Once you finish the treatment, vacuum the carpet to pick up the dust and remove dead ants.
4. Seal Entry Points
Ants infestations always start outside and move indoors.
So, if you want to get rid of ants permanently, treating outdoor infestations is something to consider.
To do this, inspect the outside facing walls of the room to find direct access points. Once you’ve found the ants, follow the trail and see how they are getting inside.
Once you’ve found their entry points make sure to seal them. The harder it is for ants to get in, the less likely they will try and enter your home.
Seal up any cracks, holes, and crevices around your home using caulk.
Some common places to look outside are:
- Cracks in foundation
- Holes or cracks on walls
- Door or window sills
- Under or around windows and door
- Pipes or wires that penetrate walls
Common places to look indoors include:
- Cracks on walls
- Around windows and doors
- Foundation or edges walls
- Under sinks where there are pipes
- Electrical sockets
It is also a good idea to apply a dust insecticide into these crevices before sealing them up. The insecticide will kill any ants hiding inside these voids.
5. Apply Non-Repellent Ant Spray Around Your Home
Non-repellent sprays are a great way to enhance your attack against ants. While they are not necessary to eliminate ants, it can provide additional protection.
Non-repellent insecticides are slow-acting and undetectable by ants.
Because ants are not senstive to them, they will not be able to avoid them.
And because it’s slow-acting, any ants that walk over a surface will be able to return to their nest to spread the insecticide to the colony.
The insecticide will kill any ants that it comes in contact with.
Apply the spray around your home and on the surface of your house. You can expand to spraying it on your driveway or sidewalk as well if needed.
Make sure you choose an insecticide spray with a residual effect.
The residual effect will keep the insecticide active for 3-6 months before reapplication.
How To Prevent Ants
The best way to get rid of ants is an effective prevention strategy.
Take steps ahead of time, so you never have to deal with ants inside your home.
1. Eliminate Food
Ants come into your house in search of food and water. As such, the best way to keep them away is to keep your house clean.
Without access to food and water, ants will have no reason to come into your home.
Make sure to clean your floors and counters regularly. Vacuum often remove crumbs of food that falls on the floor.
Wipe any spills thoroughly, especially if it’s from a sweet drink.
Keep your food sealed in airtight containers.
If you have pets, make sure to clean their bowls and keep their food sealed as well.
Make sure you address any excess moisture issues both inside and outside of your house.
Fix any plumbing issues and leaks.
Remove any standing water on plants and grass outdoors.
2. Trim Vegetation
Trim any branches that are touching your walls, windows, roof, etc.
Ants can use these as a bridge to enter your home.
Carpenter ants, in particular, live in trees. So, excess vegetation is a great way for them to access your home.
3. Keep Your Yard Clean
Piles of trees give ants an ideal shelter. They allow ants to hide undisturbed, as well as provide the moisture they need.
Remove anything that can collect water, such as stacks of wood and overturned plant pots.
4. Minimize Mulch
Minimize the use of mulch around your home.
Layers of mulch trap moisture and insulates against harsh temperatures. This provides ants with the perfect shelter.
Instead of mulch, consider using rock, gravel, pebbles, and rubber as an alternative to mulch. Pebbles or gravel is typically too dense and compact for ants to tunnel through.
If you must use mulch at home, make sure to replace old mulch with new ones at least once a year.