Does termite fumigation kill ants? It can, but NOT reliably.


I’ve had several readers write to me asking if termite fumigation exterminates ants too. Some of these folks had a home with a carpenter ant infestation and a termite infestation. So, they were hoping to kill two bugs with one stone.

While termite fumigation sometimes kills ants and is highly effective at eradicating drywood termites, you can’t rely on termite tenting to eradicate ants. Termiticides for termite tenting are designed explicitly for drywood termites. Further, drywood termite fumigants are designed to be applied with specific doses.

While fumigation works well for several types of insects, fumigants and their respective doses are designed specifically for each insect type. For example, Vikane fumigant can be used for termites or cockroaches, but the recommended dose varies for each.

Though the termiticide penetrates wood, drywall, attics, and basements and would get into any area that ants might be hiding in your home, there’s no guarantee that the termite fumigant will kill all ant species but it may kill some.

Video showing termite fumigation of home in San Diego.

Do ants come after fumigation? I’ve noticed many ants after my termite treatment.

If you recently got your house tented for termites, you can assume a significant number of termites perished inside your home. You won’t typically be able to vacuum up these dead termites because they die inside their galleries inside your home’s wood.

Since ants eat dead termites, sometimes ants find their way into a home after tenting, presumably attracted to the scent of dead drywood termites.

If you find ants after a termite treatment, they’re likely feeding on the termites killed during fumigation. If you see this, contact your pest control company to help address the new ant problem. Most companies that fumigate for termites have run into this issue and know how to deal with the follow-on ant infestations. Luckily most ants are less destructive to your home than termites and easier to remove. Sometimes ants will leave on their own after having consumed all the dead termites in your home.

Do other termite treatments kill ants?

A popular termite treatment other than fumigation is termite trenching, which is a termite ground barrier of soil mixed with a termiticide designed for subterranean termites. Because subterranean termites mostly stay under the ground, if they attempt to get to your home’s foundation through the termite barrier, it’ll kill them (assuming the barrier is not too old and intact).

Ants, however, typically enter a home from above the soil. So they wouldn’t be killed by termite soil treatments. There are also termite bait stations for subterranean termites. These attract subterranean termites to poisoned wood or cardboard that they take back to their colony, hopefully eventually reaching the queen termites. Most ants wouldn’t find these bait stations attractive.

For example, though carpenter ants also eat wood, carpenter ant bait stations use a different pesticide than termite bait stations (which often use Sentricon).

Video showing how to apply Termidor SC for termites and ants.

Does Termidor kill ants?

In addition to killing termites, Termidor states that Termidor SC will also kill the following bugs if they come into contact with Termidor SC:

  1. Ants (acrobat, Argentine, big-headed, carpenter, crazy, odorous, pavement, pharaoh, thief)
  2. Asian lady and darkling beetles
  3. Box-elder bugs
  4. Pillbugs
  5. Centipedes
  6. Cockroaches (Australian, Oriental, smokey brown)
  7. House crickets European earwigs Cluster flies
  8. Millipedes Silverfish Spiders (black widow, brown recluse, hobo, cellar)
  9. Brown dog ticks
  10. Paper wasps
  11. Yellow jackets

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