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How to Get Rid of Ants in Carpet

Ants are nuisance pests that can infest indoor areas by getting through small cracks and openings, or they may move indoors looking for a place to nest.

Almost always, where there’s one, there’s more. You’ll typically find rows of ants or large gatherings in one area. If you leave them alone, they can end up doing some serious damage to your home. 

There are several ways that you can get rid of ants in carpet, including ant bait, boric acid, a high-powered vacuum, or carpet disinfectant. If nothing seems to be working, you can always call out a pest control service to see if there’s anything they can do to help. 

Reasons Ants Invade Your Carpet 

Ants are not going to invade your carpet without a good reason – or at least what seems to be a good reason to them. Things like food spillage, dirty carpets, and even rotten floorboards could contribute to an ant infestation. 

Let’s take a closer look at these reasons: 

Food Spillage 

One of the most common causes of an ant infestation is leftover food. Ants are attracted by two things: food and moisture. This means that carpets are the ideal grounds for feeding and nesting. 

Therefore, the next time you think you want to drink some juice or munch on some chips while sitting on the carpet, you might want to reconsider. After all, this will attract unwanted pests. 

If there’s just no getting around eating/drinking on your carpet, make sure that you take the time to clean well after you’re done. 

You must understand that even the smallest drops of liquid or crumbs could be a full day’s meal for an ant. Just taking a bite out of a cookie could leave tiny crumbs on your floor, which is what gets the attention of the ants. 

Therefore, just avoid eating on your carpet as much as possible to keep it crumb-free. 

Food crumb on carpet

Dirty Carpet 

Another potential reason for ants in your carpet is a lack of cleanliness. Pay attention to the areas in and around your carpet. 

Ants are known to quickly migrate from one area to the next. As long as you can keep your carpet clean and free of debris, you won’t attract them and risk them taking over your home. 

If you’re not regularly cleaning your carpets and the area around them, ants will eventually make their way to it and hide in the gaps/fibers, which is a major problem because you can’t see them moving around. This means the colony can grow and they can take over. 

Darker color carpets are especially an issue when it comes to ant infestation because you can’t see them moving around. 

Therefore, you must make sure that you’re keeping up with the cleaning/maintenance of your carpets to keep the ants from nesting there. 

Rotten Floorboards 

The third and final potential reason for ants invading your carpet is rotten floorboards. If you have wooden floorboards, you should know that when they start getting old, they do start rotting. 

The moisture and the rot are what attract the ants to your carpet. They find their way in through cracks in the floor and begin to build their colonies. 

They will then come out of the floorboards seeking food that may be in your carpet.

How to Get Ants Out of Your Carpet 

Once you have ants on your carpet, you must take steps to get rid of them. 

Keep in mind that this is not likely to be a “one and done” type of treatment process. You may need to do it a couple of times, and you may even need to try multiple processes to find the right one for you. 

Below, we’ll talk about using ant bait, boric acid, a high-powered vacuum, or carpet disinfectant. 

Of course, if all else fails, you do always have the option to call in a professional. 

How to get rid of ants in carpet

1. Use Ant Bait 

Ants in your carpet are foraging for food to carry back to the nest. 

Therefore, by placing out some ant bait, they’ll carry that back to the nest to feed their colony. Then queen will consume the bait and die. 

If the colony has no queen, they die as well. Be sure to place the bait near the carpet, not in the fibers. You don’t want them to even have a chance to enter the carpet. 

2. Use Boric Acid Powder 

When it comes to treating an ant infestation, boric acid is a highly effective treatment method. 

Simply sprinkle this powder all over the carpet, making sure that it settles well into the fibers. Allow it to sit overnight. 

The boric acid will kill any ants that are present in the carpet. The next morning, vacuum the dead ants and the powder. You can purchase boric acid in most grocery stores or online. 

3. Use A High-Powered Vacuum 

In some cases, the easiest thing you can do is vacuum them up. 

However, if you use this method, it must be done before the carpet has been overrun with ants. Vacuuming is one of the most effective ways for keeping the carpet clean. 

To ensure that you do a thorough, effective job, you need a high-powered vacuum that is made to clean carpets. You should ensure that it has a HEPA filter to clean harmful pollutants found in the carpet fibers. 

A powerful vacuum will help you make sure your carpets remain free from ants as well as other insects. For best results, you’ll want to make sure that you vacuum at least 3 times a week. 

4. Use A Carpet Disinfectant 

Another method to get rid of ants in your carpet is with a carpet disinfectant. 

Of course, you need to be careful and read the instructions carefully before you apply the product to your carpet. 

There are some that need to be combined with water. When you put water on your carpet, you must take the time to ensure it’s properly dried or you’ll end up with an even bigger infestation. 

5. Call the Professionals 

While it’s true that the above DIY methods can effectively eliminate ants from your carpet, you may need to call professionals to handle a severe infestation. They will be able to figure out what is causing the infestation and eliminate the insects. 

An inspector will carefully inspect your carpet to determine how severe the infestation really is. Though ants typically will not set up a colony in the carpet, they still forage for food, hiding within the fibers for the best access. 

Before they spray any disinfectants or poison on your carpet, they will first take the time to thoroughly clean the carpet. 

This method is going to end up costing you much more, but it’s a highly effective way to eliminate the problem. 

However, if you do choose to go this route, you need to do your part to keep them gone by regularly cleaning your carpet. 

Preventing Ant Infestation in Carpet

Now that you know how to eliminate an ant infestation in your carpet, there are a few ways that can keep them from coming back. 

Perhaps you’re lucky enough if you have not had an issue yet as these preventative techniques will keep them from establishing their presence in the first place. 

Make Sure to Keep the Carpet Clean

The best way to prevent ants from infesting your carpet is to make sure that you maintain cleanliness. 

As we mentioned earlier, ants are primarily attracted by dampness and food particles.  

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that you have no cracks in the foundation or the walls of your home, as these are ideal locations for ant colonies. 

Be sure that you are vacuuming your carpet on a regular basis and cleaning up any spills of food or beverages immediately. You may also want to make a rule in your home that there is no eating or drinking in the carpeted areas, which will eliminate the issue right away. 

Vacuum cleaner

Check Attic and Floorboards Regularly 

If you have leaks in your roof, the attic can quickly become a safe haven for ants because they love setting up in damp areas. You want to make sure that you fix this issue as soon as you notice it before it becomes an out-of-control infestation. 

Similarly, if you have any rotten or moist floorboards, you need to replace them immediately. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Will Ants Establish A Nest in Carpets?

Typically, ants will not establish their colonies in the carpet. However, they will build their nests under your carpet, especially if there are some rotten floorboards or if you have a damp, decaying foundation. 

Both of these are very enticing environments for establishing a colony. 

Can I Spray Poison Directly on My Carpets? 

Sure, poison is effective for killing ants. However, it can also end up leaving stains on your carpet and damaging its appearance. 

Therefore, it is recommended that you do not spray it directly on your carpet unless the label says that it’s safe to do so. 

Since many of the liquid insect treatments will leave behind stains or have strong odors that are harmful to human health, it’s best to use powder or granules instead. 

If you do use powder, you should do it at night before you go to bed and then vacuum it up the next morning. That being said, powder treatments typically need to be applied more than once for maximum effects. 


If you are ever walking across your carpet barefoot and experience the sting of an ant bite, don’t be too upset. Ant infestations do happen and are actually fairly easy to treat if you take action right away. 

Start by taking the time to inspect the floor under your carpet. 

Additionally, you’ll want to check all of the potential gaps behind the furniture and/or appliances, on walls, in the foundation, and all around the carpet. This will help you figure out if more places have been infested by ants. Once you determine the source of the infestation, you can try out the above DIY methods to eradicate the problem within a day or two. 

The best method for treating an ant infestation in your carpet is using ant bait along with regularly vacuuming the carpet. 

If you don’t feel like you want to use poison on your carpets yourself, you might consider calling in a professional pest control company. They will be able to effectively deal with your ant infestation- but once they eliminate the ants, you need to do your part by making sure that you keep your carpets clean.

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