How To Get Rid of Ants In Carpet – Easy DIY Guide

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Dealing with ants in carpet? It’s essential to act fast. These tiny invaders are drawn to food and moisture trapped in carpet fibers and can quickly become more than just a nuisance.

In this article, we’ll delve into why ants are attracted to carpets, how to identify them, and offer effective solutions to keep them at bay.

Key Takeaways
  • Immediate action is needed for ants in carpet to prevent infestations.
  • Recognizing why and which ants invade carpets is the first step to effective removal.
  • Prevention and home protection are crucial for keeping future ant problems away.

Understanding Ant Infestation in Carpets

ant on carpet

Ants can be a nuisance when they invade your home, especially when they infest your carpets. Understanding the behavior of ants in carpets is essential for effective eradication.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Ants are not typically attracted to carpets unless there is food or moisture present.
  • Some species of ants, such as pharaoh ants and crazy ants, can reside in carpets and cause an infestation.
  • Ants in carpets can be difficult to spot and remove, making it important to act quickly when you notice them.
  • Ant infestations in carpets can be persistent and frustrating, and it’s essential to identify the ant species to choose the most effective treatment.

If you’re dealing with ants in your carpet, it’s important to take action to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Here are some steps you can take to eliminate the infestation:

  • Vacuum your carpet thoroughly to remove any visible ants and their nests.
  • Use ant bait to attract and kill the ants. Place the bait in areas where you have seen ants.
  • Apply ant powder or diatomaceous earth to your carpet to kill any remaining ants and prevent future infestations.

It’s important to note that severe ant infestations in carpets may require the help of a professional exterminator. However, most people prefer fixing the problem themselves before calling in the experts.

Why Ants Are Attracted to Carpets

ants attracted to food

Ants are attracted to carpets for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons is the presence of food crumbs, sugary substances, and spilled drinks.

Carpets can also trap moisture, which can attract ants looking for water. Ants can even be attracted to the scent of pets or the smell of rotting wood underneath the carpet.

Carpenter ants, in particular, are known to be attracted to damp or rotting wood, which can be found in the subflooring beneath carpets. If you notice large black ants in your carpet, it may be a sign of a larger infestation in your home.

Ants can also be attracted to ant bait that has been placed under the carpet. While ant bait can be an effective way to eliminate ant colonies, it can also attract more ants to the area in the short term.

Identifying Different Types of Ants in Carpets

Different types of ants have distinct behavior patterns and preferences, which can influence the choice of control methods.

Here are some common types of ants that you may find in your carpets:

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are large black or red ants that can grow up to 1 inch in length.

They are attracted to moist wood and can cause damage to your home’s structure. Carpenter ants do not eat wood but instead excavate it to create their nests.

They are usually found in damp areas such as crawl spaces, attics, and basements. If you see large black ants in your carpets, they may be carpenter ants.

Odorous House Ants

Odorous house ants are small brown or black ants that emit a strong odor when crushed. They are attracted to sweet and greasy foods and can invade your carpets looking for food.

They are usually found in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas where moisture is present.

If you see small brown or black ants in your carpets that emit a strong odor when crushed, they may be odorous house ants.

Argentine Ants

Argentine ants are small brown ants that are commonly found in homes. They are attracted to sweet foods and can invade your carpets looking for food.

Argentine ants are known for forming large colonies and can be difficult to control. They are usually found in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas where moisture is present.

If you see small brown ants in your carpets, they may be Argentine ants.

Crazy Ants

Crazy ants are small brown or black ants that are known for their erratic behavior. They get their name from their fast and erratic movements.

Crazy ants are attracted to sweet and greasy foods and can invade your carpets looking for food. They are usually found in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas where moisture is present.

If you see small brown or black ants in your carpets that move erratically, they may be crazy ants.

How to Remove Ants from Carpets

Ants can be a pesky problem in your home, especially when they start to invade your carpets. Luckily, there are several ways to remove ants from your carpets and keep them from coming back.

Here are some effective methods to try:

Vacuum Up Ants and Clean Your Carpet

The first step to getting rid of ants in your carpet is to vacuum up any visible ants. Be sure to use a vacuum cleaner with strong suction power to ensure that you remove as many ants as possible.

After vacuuming, clean your carpet thoroughly with a carpet cleaner to remove any remaining ant trails or scent markers.

Use Ant Baits to Remove the Colony

Ant baits are a great way to remove ant colonies from your home. Ants will carry the bait back to their nest, which will kill the entire colony.

Place the ant bait near the ant trail or suspected ant nest, and be patient. It may take several days for the bait to take effect, but it is a highly effective method.

Try DIY Methods

A person holding a bottle of borax

If you prefer to use natural or DIY methods to remove ants from your carpet, there are several options to try. Some popular DIY methods include:

Vinegar Solution

Mix vinegar and water in a 1:3 ratio and spray the solution onto the affected area.

This will repel ants and remove their scent trail.

Ant Carpet Powder:

Sprinkle ant carpet powder onto your carpet and let it sit for several hours before vacuuming.

This will kill any ants that come into contact with the powder.


To create a homemade ant bait, you’ll need 1 and a ½ tablespoons of borax, 1 and a ½ cups of warm water, and ½ cup of sugar.

Mix the sugar and borax in a bowl, then stir in water until it forms a thick paste. Put the paste in a container if you are using one, or saturate cotton balls with it.

Finally, put these as close as you can to the ants’ nest or along an ant trail.

Read more: Read our full article on using Borax to get rid of ants here.

Diatomaceous Earth

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth onto your carpet and let it sit for several hours before vacuuming. This will kill ants by drying out their exoskeletons.

Learn more: How to kill ants with diatomaceous earth.

Use Ant Spray as a Last Resort

If all else fails, you can use ant spray to kill ants in your carpet. However, this should be a last resort, as it can be harmful to pets and children.

Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and use the spray only in areas where ants are present.

Preventing Future Ant Infestations In Your Carpet

Now that you have successfully removed ants from your carpet, it’s time to take some preventive measures to avoid future infestations. Here are some tips to help you keep ants out of your home:

Keep Your Home Clean

Cleanliness is the key to preventing ants from infesting your home.

Make sure to:

  • regularly vacuum your carpets
  • sweep your floors
  • wipe down your countertops.

Ants are attracted to food and water, so make sure to clean up any spills or crumbs promptly. Also, don’t forget to take out your garbage regularly.

Seal Entry Points

Ants can enter your home through even the tiniest cracks and crevices. Inspect your home for any entry points and seal them with caulk or weatherstripping.

Pay special attention to areas around windows and doors, as well as pipes and wires that enter your home.

Eliminate Scout Ants

Scout ants are the ones that search for food and water and then lead the rest of the colony to the source.

If you see a scout ant, it’s important to eliminate it quickly to prevent an infestation. You can use a natural solution like vinegar or essential oils to kill scout ants.

Keep Outdoor Ants Away

Outdoor ants can easily find their way into your home.

To prevent this, make sure to keep your outdoor space clean and free of food debris.

Also, consider using a natural pesticide around the perimeter of your home to keep ants away.

Consider Professional Pest Control Services

If you’ve tried all of the above and still have an ant infestation, it may be time to call in the professionals. A pest control service can help you identify the source of the infestation and take the necessary steps to eliminate it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get rid of ants in my carpet?

If you’re dealing with an ant infestation in your carpet, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them. You can start by vacuuming up any visible ants and their nests. You can also try using ant bait or ant carpet powder to kill off any remaining ants. If the infestation is severe, you may need to call in a professional exterminator to help you get rid of the ants.

Is ant carpet powder safe for pets?

Most ant carpet powders are safe for pets, but it’s important to read the label before using them. Some powders may contain chemicals that can be harmful to pets, so it’s best to choose a product that is labeled as pet-friendly. You should also keep your pets away from the treated area until the powder has settled and vacuumed up.

Can ants live under carpet?

Yes, ants can live under carpet. They are attracted to food crumbs and moisture, which can be found in carpets. Ants can build nests under the carpet and create tunnels to travel back and forth to their food source. If you suspect that you have ants living under your carpet, it’s important to take action to get rid of them as soon as possible.

How do you know if your house is infested with ants?

If you see a few ants in your home, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an infestation. However, if you start to see large numbers of ants, especially around food sources, it’s a sign that you may have an infestation. You may also notice ant trails, which are lines of ants traveling back and forth between their nest and their food source.

Can you vacuum ants out of carpet?

Yes, vacuuming is an effective way to get rid of ants in your carpet. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to suck up any visible ants and their nests. You can also use the vacuum to remove any food crumbs or debris that may be attracting the ants. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the canister outside of your home to prevent the ants from returning.

Will borax kill ants in carpet?

Borax is a natural ant killer that can be used to get rid of ants in your carpet. Mix equal parts borax and sugar and sprinkle the mixture on your carpet. The ants will be attracted to the sugar and will take the borax back to their nest, where it will kill off the colony. However, it’s important to keep pets and children away from the treated area until the borax has been vacuumed up.

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Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. With over 15 years of hands-on experience in home ownership, lawn care, and gardening, Aaron is a seasoned expert in areas like lawn care, DIY, HVAC, and pest control.

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