Ants in Carpet – How to Get Rid of Ants in Carpet

Updated on by Jared Belson | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

If you’re like most people, seeing ants traipsing all over your carpet would really give you the shivers. And what if you were sitting there on the couch minding your own business with your feet on the ground and you felt an ant bite on your foot?

No matter where in your house you find ants, this is a bad situation, but there is something about finding them in your carpet while you are trying to relax that makes it worse!

But you don’t need to suffer for long. There are a few easy ways to eradicate the ants from your carpet, so you will be back to relaxing in no time!

Reasons Why Ants Are in the Carpet

There are several reasons why there are ants in your carpet, and you need to understand the reasons why ants get in your carpet in order to prevent them in the future.

  • Ants get into your home via cracks in the walls or floorboards, or other areas open to the outside such as vents or cable line holes. Once they are in, they go immediately towards food and moisture.
  • Ants are attracted to food. Every time you sit munching snacks on the couch, you are dropping little particles of food into your carpet. Although you may not notice them, to a colony of ants they are a feast. As long as the crumbs keep coming, the ants will stick around.
  • Ants are also attracted to moisture. Although hard to believe, your carpet can hide moisture, either from a spill, or even the humidity in the air.

Another way your carpet could be damp is if the floorboards underneath are rotting and retaining moisture.

Can Ants Live in Carpet?

The technical answer is no, ants cannot live in any carpet. Normally ants nest outside in cracks in the pavement, in the lawns, or other areas they find appealing. And if an ant queen decides to build a nest inside, the ants will want to build a nest near a high moisture area.

In most cases, your carpet is not a high moisture area in your house.  But if the floorboards underneath the carpet are rotting, this could be a good spot for the ants to make their home. You can follow the trail of ants on the carpet line to see where they are nesting.

Should I Vacuum Them Up?

When you see ants on the carpet, your first instinct is probably to grab the vacuum and suck them up. While this might get rid of some of the ants, this is not a quality, long-term solution.

Sure, the ants you suck up will die in the vacuum, but you won’t be getting rid of the actual problem. You will also need to find the nest and get rid of the ants at the source.

If you do choose to vacuum up the ants you can see, fair warning –  you will need to empty the vacuum bag and then could have the ants crawling all over you. This job will be distasteful for many and may cause you to rethink your strategy.

Confusion with Carpenter Ants

Just because words can be confusing, sometimes ants in your carpet get confused with carpenter ants. These are not the same thing at all. Carpenter ants burrow in wood and make their home there, and can cause destruction, especially with any rotting wood in your home.

The ants in your carpet, however, are just searching for food and moisture, though, and are not interested in burrowing in your wood. You would be more likely to find Crazy Ants or Argentine Ants searching for food in your carpet.

Getting Rid of Ants in Carpet

If you notice ants in the carpet, you should follow their foraging trail to determine their path. They generally like to travel along baseboards or walls, or anything that forms a line.

Knowing in what direction the ants are moving will help you determine where to lay your bait (I recommend using this ant killer bait). You don’t just want to kill the ants you can see, but you want the ants to take the poisons back to the colony to eradicate the whole thing.

Killing the ants you can see is just a drop in the bucket. The queen must be killed in order to get rid of the entire population of ants.

There are many techniques to getting rid of the ants that are outlined below. Whether creating a borax bomb, sprinkling cinnamon on the carpet or using a professional product, you need to choose the solution that is right for you and your family.

Natural Deterrents

If you have small children around, you might not want to use harsh chemicals in combating your ant problem because this could harm the children and animals. There are several natural remedies that will send your ants packing without harming others in the home.


Vinegar naturally repels ants, and this would be a good place to start with your natural remedies. Put vinegar on cotton balls around the area where the ants are, and they will start to leave you alone.


Ants do not like the smell of mint. Pouring some essential mint oil on cotton balls will alleviate your ant problem, and leave your house smelling great!


There are several spices that are natural deterrents to ants in your home. You probably already have these lying around your house, so this is also an inexpensive way to solve your problem.

  • Cinnamon suffocates ants so if you leave a trail of cinnamon around ants will die. The secondary benefit of cinnamon is that it is non-toxic and will make your house smell nice.
  • Cayenne pepper and black pepper are other spices that ants do not like. If you sprinkle these around, the ants will leave.


Borax is another way to get rid of ants. It is best used in combination with something sweet, so that the ants are drawn to the sugar but receive the poison while they are there. Create a Borax bomb by mixing Borax with powdered sugar.

Mix half a cup of sugar, 1.4 cups of water, and 1.5 tablespoons of borax together in order to make your bombs. Leave them around the infected carpet so the ants will take the borax back to their nests.

Professional Products

If you don’t have the time or want the hassle of using natural ingredients to eradicate the ants from your carpet, there are several products on the market that will offer what you need. Make sure you use the right product for the job, or you could do more harm than good.

  • Terro 600 Ant Killer Dust is a great alternative to choose in getting rid of your ants. It kills on contact, and is safe to use indoors.
  • Terro T300 Liquid Ant Traps are great if you do not want to sprinkle a powder on your carpet. These easy-to-use bait traps (you don’t even need to use scissors!) can be placed in the corners of your room for the ants to find.

This ant poison will be taken back to the nest by the ants who come into contact with it, and thus you can kill the whole colony.

Using a liquid spray ant killer is not recommended on your carpet because it can cause discoloration and be difficult to get out of your carpet. Although you may have some lying around the house, choose a trap or a powder if the ants are on your carpet.

Call an Exterminator

If you are too busy or too grossed out to deal with the crawling creatures in your carpet by yourself, calling an exterminator will take care of the problem quickly and without the personal hassle of dealing with it yourself.

Keeping Ants Away

If you go to all the trouble of eradicating ants from your carpet and your house, it is important that you take specific measures to keep them out once you succeed, There are several ways to do this effectively.

  • Clean your home often and thoroughly. Take special care in vacuuming up crumbs, (hopefully without any ants along for the ride!), wiping up spills, and making sure any food remnants are put in the trash receptacle immediately so that other ants are not attracted to your offerings.
  • Store all of your food in airtight containers. This will go a long way in keeping ants out of your kitchen and other areas of your house.
  • Seal the cracks in your house that are allowing ants to get in. These might be in the baseboards, floor, or other areas such as where the cable lines enter your house.

Carpet Conclusions

By using the tips above, you should be able to eradicate ants from your carpet. So the next time you are relaxing on the couch, you will be able to truly relax and not worry about the possibility of an ant coming up and nibbling on your toes.

After finding the nest, you can use a variety of methods to eradicate it. Additionally, you need to take the steps to keep ants away by cleaning and storing food in airtight containers. In this way, you can enjoy an ant-free home and relax in peace!

Leave a Comment