Well put. You want a bait that works slowly enough to get spread throughout the nest, and don't just be spreading (or heaven forbid spraying) pesticides everywhere. Many (especially home store sprays) are better at repelling ants than killing them. That won't reduce the colony population, just make things appear worse in areas you haven't treated.
Better pesticides don't repel at all, and contain baits to attract the ants. One thing to note is that some ants are more attracted to sugary baits, while some prefer the savory (protein and fat). Carpenter ants prefer the sugary baits. There are lots of references on this, and on how to identify what type of ant you're dealing with, such as:
If you choose to make your own baits (a mixture of honey or peanut butter with boric acid is often used, and is what is used in many bait stations you find at the store too) do NOT overdo the boric acid, thinking more must be better. Too much repels the ants, and they don't take the bait home.
My big question though is: are you sure it is carpenter ants? They're pretty easy to identify, and only nest in rotting wood. Unlike termites, they don't eat into good wood, so unless you have a wood pile next to your house, if you have a carpenter ant infestation in your house, you've got rotting boards and water intrusion. These are structural issues that need to be addressed. I would try to find the colony, and once exposed, dust it with boric acid.
Unless you have a wood pile next to your house, carpenter