I have large black ants in my home and I'm pretty sure they're carpenter ants. I see them on the counter, around my dishwasher and in my pantry. The problem is I have 2 cats, a dog and some kids I don't want to poison. Is there something I can do that won't hurt my pets or kids but still get rid of the ants? I really don't want to spray inside but I've heard these ants can cause a lot of damage so I guess I have to do something.
The good news is that you should be able to treat this problem without putting your family at any real risk. We have a bunch of information about Carpenter Ants and I suggest you take some time to read through it if you haven't already. It's important to understand that carpenter ants can cause a lot of damage and of all the ants that can nest inside, they're probably the only one that can do any significant damage to a structure if given the chance.
Fortunately there are several products available these days which are both good at controlling carpenter ants and safe to use. Inside, you'll need to set out some Carpenter Ant Gel where the ants are active. This can be up in cabinets, out of sight and where only the ants can find it. Foraging ants are looking for food and the Gel is something the love to eat. Once they find it and start taking it back to their nest, you'll notice a big reduction on how many you're seeing.
Outside requires some liquid treatments to the foundation. These treatments will insure more don't come inside and should be done every 2-3 months once the problem is resolved; more frequently when you're seeing activity. Choose one of the liquid materials we have listed in our Carpenter Ant Article or the ECO IC Non Toxic alternative. The ECO IC won't last as long but is safe for us in sensitive areas and would be a good choice if you're hesitant about spraying but really do want to get rid of these ants.