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How to Get Rid of Ants in Carpet: Effective Elimination Techniques

Seeing ants marching around your home is never a welcome sight, especially when they’re in a hard-to-reach area like your carpet. In some cases, the ant problem is temporary, with the pests only making their way into your home to enjoy a food source you didn’t clean up properly. In other cases, ants in your carpet could be indicative of a colony making a home underneath the surface, sometimes to the degree of warranting a call to local pest control specialists. 

Regardless of the reasons why you’re seeing ants crawl on your carpet, the good news is that there are plenty of strategies you can employ to eliminate them and enjoy a pest-free environment once again. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective elimination techniques when you’re looking into how to get rid of ants in the carpet. 

1. Immediate Ant Removal

If you’re dealing with an ant problem that features more than just a few stragglers on the surface of your carpet, you want something that can get rid of the ants in your home now. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get rid of ants relatively quickly. Some of the best ways to kill ants efficiently include:

  • Vacuuming the Ants: It is commonly believed that ants cannot be effectively removed by a vacuum cleaner. However, you can indeed use a vacuum to remove ants from your carpet. There are a few important considerations to keep in mind, which we will discuss in more detail below. 
  • Use a Spray: If you can see carpet ants, you can kill them! Using a spray on ant trails is an effective way to stop ants in the carpet dead in their tracks. Once you kill the ants, it’s just a matter of disposing of them. Keep in mind however, that this may not address the underlying problem, and the ants may return (either the ants coming in from outside or the ants in the colony that are emerging from elsewhere in the house).
  • Consider Trying Dust or Powder: Dust or powder (such as Cimexa dust or diatomaceous earth) can be a desirable solution when you’re dealing with ants in your carpet. These can be best to use because they stay on the surface and get down between carpet fibers. Once ants crawl through them, their bodies start to dry out, and the ants inside will typically die within 24 hours. The ants don’t die immediately, but they still are taken care of rather quickly. 
  • Apply Ant Baits to Get to the Source of the Problem: Ant bait is an effective ant eliminator that not only attracts ants that are already in your house but eliminates them at the source. Gel, granule, and liquid ant baits are placed along the ant trail to entice ants to carry the food back to the colony. This then poisons the entire colony, getting rid of the ants in the house and preventing any more ants from entering. Again, it’s a more time-consuming way to get rid of an ant infestation, but an effective and relatively swift one nonetheless. 

Before you dive immediately into ant control, it’s also important to understand what type of ants you’re dealing with. Most tiny black ants or tiny brown ants like Argentine Ants or Odorous House Ants are a nuisance you’ll want to get rid of that pose no major threat. Red Imported Fire Ants are a bit more dangerous and can sting. However, the ones you don’t want to invade your home are Carpenter Ants.

These ants love decaying wood and will make their home inside any moist, rotten wood they can find. If you see wood shavings, hear scratching sounds, or see ants crawling across areas of the home that aren’t your carpet, they’re likely carpenter ants. Contact pest control professionals immediately to get rid of the ants and to learn the extent of the damage to your home. 

2. Natural Ant Repellents

Many homeowners looking to kill ants and to deter ants from coming back have pets and small children. As such, they want to make sure that their kids and pets are safe when they’re deploying insecticide and other ant killers on the rugs and carpets and around their homes. This brings up an important question: are there natural ant repellants that you can use to get rid of ants naturally without impacting the health of other humans or animals? 

There are! 

Boric acid or borax is arguably the top solution
How to Get Rid of Ants in Carpet: Effective Elimination Techniques 4

Boric acid or Borax is arguably the top solution that will get every ant in your home and outside of it so long as you use a full-concentration product. As with the dusts and powders, this type of bait will dehydrate the ants and address the root of the problem when they carry the poison back to the nest. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that this method can still be rather slow, as most natural methods are. 

The bulk of the other home remedies are mostly preventative measures. This includes white vinegar, cayenne pepper, and lemons, all of which may drive ants away and keep ants at bay, but only for a short time. You could try combining both boric acid and these preventative measures to kill ants and keep them from coming back, but it’s important to mind that some infestations may be tougher and require the support of a pest control company. 

3. Cleaning and Vacuuming Tips

As stated above, vacuuming your ants can be a great way to get rid of the visible ants on your carpet, even more so if there’s just a small trail of them coming from outside. However, there are some tips and tricks that you want to have in mind if you’re looking to properly dispose of ants and make sure that they don’t keep coming back. Here are a few cleaning and vacuuming tips for preventing ants from infesting your home, carpet, or otherwise. 

  • Use a high-powered vacuum cleaner with a removal system to ensure the successful removal of all the ants pulled into the vacuum. Most ants are usually easily pulled into a vacuum, but some ants can get caught or may fail to be pulled into the vacuum altogether. Keep this in mind when you see a trail and decide to use a vacuum.
Use a high-powered vacuum cleaner with a removal system
How to Get Rid of Ants in Carpet: Effective Elimination Techniques 5
  • Carefully dispose of the ants. You want to make sure that they’re not so close that entering your home is an easy feat for them. 
  • Follow up with the proper preventative measures, including applying an ant spray or dust and powder and using ant repellent to keep the ants out of your home. These should be applied after you vacuum your carpet and remove the ants and as often as needed. 
  • Remember that there’s a reason why ants were on your carpet. Food particles and food crumbs as well as sweet liquid cause ants to come into the home. Clean your carpet regularly and eliminate any messes that ants are attracted to as soon as they happen. 

4. Preventing Future Ant Infestations

Learning how to kill an ant is the first step in dealing with the problem. However, what you want to make sure you do is prevent them from coming in later on too. So, what can you do to prevent future ant infestations?

  1. Identify the Source of the Issue: If you see Black Carpenter Ants, you will have a vastly different issue than someone who sees other black ant species walking around on their carpet. You must understand the source of the issue so that you can effectively stop it from happening again. If there are ants in your home because the structure of your home is compromised, you will need to address that to prevent more from coming. On the other hand, if ants are coming in because there’s food on the ground, you just have to make sure you’re more careful about your eating habits and cleaning routine in the future. 
  2. Spray Around the Perimeter of Your Home: Ant sprays and ant baits work to eliminate the ants, but prevention is crucial as well. Use a preventative spray that’s employed around the perimeter of your home to kill ants quickly and ensure they’re never able to make it inside the home. Defense sprays will need to be used regularly, but they’re well worth the investment. 
  3. Remove Any Potential Nesting Opportunities for Ant Colonies: Ants walk to whatever space that offers access to food they’re looking for, but they all come from somewhere. You can prevent ant hills by taking care of your asphalt to ensure there are no cracks they can make a home in, sealing off any cracks on the outside of your home that they can wander through, and making sure your landscape is well-maintained so they can’t easily climb in through bushes and trees. 
Make sure your landscape is well-maintained
How to Get Rid of Ants in Carpet: Effective Elimination Techniques 6
  1. Tackle Ants As They Come: If you see an ant come in via your pets, take care of it immediately, If you see a stray ant or two come in and discover a crumb you missed, be sure to use a vacuum to catch them quickly. Tackle ants as they come. If you ignore the issue and think that it might just be one or two odd ants coming in, the problem can spiral out of control quickly without the proper intervention. 

Most importantly, if you need commercial pest control support, make sure to get it! Sometimes, normal courses of action won’t suffice and you might need professional support to successfully tackle your ant problem. Once you have professionals on your side who can remove the ants, you just have to focus on following through with the preventative tips above!

Picture of Michael F

Michael F

Owner, Elevated Cleaning

Michael started Elevated Cleaning to help fill a gap in the Florida cleaning market. With a focus on quality, and a passion for giving back to the community, Elevated Cleaning continues to serve hundreds of happy homeowners each month.

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Picture of Michael F.

Michael F.

Owner, Elevated Cleaning

Michael started Elevated Cleaning to help fill a gap in the Florida cleaning market. With a focus on quality, and a passion for giving back to the community, Elevated Cleaning continues to serve hundreds of happy homeowners each month.

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