Pest Control Treatment Timelines (Including Carpenter Ants)


Pests, bugs, insects, critters are found almost everywhere. Crawling and flying bugs invade our homes daily, looking for a safe, warm place to live and lay their eggs. Not all of these critters are harmful to us, but some of them do carry diseases. Others are plain scary and shouldn’t be in our homes or anywhere near us!

Pest control treatment timelines are dependant on which method you use. Chemical-based insecticides work quickly and can be longer-lasting than natural or organic methods. Repelling and prevention strategies can increase the effectiveness of the pest control treatment used.

There are ways that we can get rid of these unwelcome guests in our homes. Calling out pest exterminators is one way of getting rid of these pests, but their services can be costly, especially if more than one treatment is required.

On the other hand, ensuring that the pests have gone and will not return is worth the expense! How long does it take to get rid of critters from our homes once we start the eradication process? Let’s take a look at pest control methods.

How Do I Know That I Have Pests In My Home?

There are various ways that you can tell if you do indeed have pests, particularly carpenter ants, in or around your home. Pests are very good at hiding and living in areas which you don’t use often. However, the infestation may be more significant than you think, so check often and deal with the problem immediately.

Here are some of the apparent pest signs to look out for.

  1. Dead bugs or wings on the window ledge or near plumbing pipes. If there are many dead bugs of the same species, they are probably living in your home. Wings could mean carpenter ants or termites have established a new colony, so look for the nest and eradicate them immediately!
  2. Pest poop or frass. This could range from tiny black spots to bigger, organic tube-like droppings. Frass is a mixture of sawdust and dead insect parts which is expelled from the holes. A quick online search should aid you in identifying the feces to know which pest you are dealing with.
  3. Live pests. Often, this is the first sign that you do have an infestation, as most critters only leave their nests when they have become adults.
  4. Signs of nests. While rodents will grab any materials to make a nest for their offspring, smaller pests might be harder to spot. Always check dark, damp areas when looking for evidence of smaller pests.
  5. Holes in your wood and lumber. Small different-shaped holes are a sure sign of pests. May wood-boring insects will lay eggs inside your wooden items or even the structure of your home.
  6. Sawdust piles next to holes in the wood. Termites, in particular, chew into the wood and push the sawdust out of the hole behind them.
  7. Sounds in the walls! Yes, you can hear scurrying or rustling in the walls!Carpenter ants, in particular, prefer to make their nests around a good water source, so a bathroom or kitchen is ideal for them. By tapping on the walls, you could disturb ants leading to a rustling sound.

Pest Control Timelines And Methods

The best way to control pests in your home and garden is by following an integrated pest management program. This involves:

  • Finding and identifying pests around your home
  • Preparing your home for pest treatments
  • Applying pest control treatments
  • Pest prevention methods

Once you have identified the offending pests in your home, this is how you can treat the infestation.


1. Chemical Methods Of Pest Control

If you are going the DIY route in treating an infestation, always make sure that you wear the appropriate personal protective gear and follow the directions on the packaging. Also, insecticides are poisonous, so be careful how you use them.

All insecticides are designed to kill any adults, eggs, and larvae on contact and protect the area from further infestations for a time.

You can use many insect-specific treatments to eliminate pests from your home and garden. There are ways to safeguard your property. You can do so by spraying an insecticide around the perimeter of your property and over any identified infestation spots. Do this in the early spring of each year.

This type of insecticide treatment aims to eradicate overwintering pests before they emerge and become more significant problems. If you are in an area with very high summer temperatures, You should apply the insecticide every month or at least every 90 days.

Fogging your home is an efficient way to get rid of many pests living inside your home, but not all treatments are the same. Some have a residual effect which means that the insecticides will keep working for a long time after application, whereas others will only last for up to two weeks.

These are more straightforward ways to deal with infestations from common household pests like carpenter ants before they cause significant destruction to your home. Here are ways to eradicate carpenter ants.

  • Carpenter ants are nocturnal insects, which means that they come out of their nests after dark. Search for them using a flashlight; always check around the area where you discovered the frass or heard the rustling in the walls. Baited traps from a hardware store can be placed over the routes where the ants travel.

    Poison from inside the bait will be carried back to the nest to feed the colony. The colony is generally wiped out within a few days, but you might need a few traps. Placing new traps over their routes should be an annual treatment, starting every spring.
  • Use a commercial bug spray or an insecticide powder. Sprinkle or spray over their travel routes and around the perimeter of your home. These products are specifically designed to eliminate carpenter ants and are highly toxic. You will need to re-apply the insecticide after every rainstorm or when the powder wears away.

2. Natural Methods Of Pest Control

While insecticides are a more permanent way of getting rid of pests in your home, there are natural ways for those who prefer the non-toxic route.

Using natural remedies entails changing your way of life to include weekly investigations to look for pests and constantly adding prevention solutions to the address problem.

Try these natural ways to keep carpenter ants away from your home. By being vigilant and fighting the pest problem, you should eradicate them from your home. While these methods are not permanent solutions, they should eliminate pests for a while.

  • Essential oils. Cedar, lemon, and cinnamon repel ants, so place a few drops in an old lid and place them over their travel routes or around their entry points outside your home to keep them from coming inside.

    Repellents will stop them in their tracks instantly, and make them look for an alternate route. In contrast, cedar oil suffocates ants and kills them instantly.
  • Liquid soap and water sprayed onto the nest will instantly kill any ants, eggs, and larvae.
  • Boric acid. Mix a few teaspoons with a drop of water and a teaspoon of sugar and mix to a runny solution. Place in an old lid and set down over the travel route. The worker ants will be attracted by the sugar solution and carry it back to the colony, wiping them out in a few days!

The idea is for the worker ants to carry the poisonous substance back to the colony to eradicate the colony. However, there are methods available to kill the ants on application, which is satisfying but does not eliminate the colony, which will send out more ants!


Professional treatments are expensive, but there are less costly solutions to control pest infestations in your home. DIY treatments often mean using more products, and the treatments have to be carried out more often.

In addition, extra care needs to be taken during mating seasons each year, especially when trying to get rid of bugs and insects!

Generally, the amount of treatments needed to eliminate the pest problem depends on the size of the infestation, so the sooner you spot them, the better!

You should always follow prevention methods once any eradication treatment has been done. By being vigilant and looking out for pests, you should be able to prevent them from causing any significant damages to your home.


Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and an FHA 203k Consultant. I started to help people better understand pest control and what they can do about invasive insects, rodents, reptiles, and other mammals around their homes.

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