Dead tree stumps make a great home for carpenter ants. Carpenter ants burrow through decaying wood, creating maze-like tunnels to use as a nest. Hollowing out a tree stump and nesting inside it protects the ants from rain and predators, making it the perfect place for them to create a colony.
Carpenter ants wouldn't cause any problems if they remained inside the tree stump. Unfortunately, they'll start to migrate as their colony grows larger. Carpenter ants will be attracted to any decaying wood inside your home, including things like wooden window frames and attic rafters. The ants will burrow into any decaying wood they find in order to create a nest, which can cause structural damage to your home. If you have carpenter ants in a dead tree stump in your yard, you'll need to eliminate the infestation in order to protect your home. To find out how you can get rid of the ants, read on.
1. Spray Ant Repellent Around Your Home's Exterior
When you disturb the carpenter ants in the tree stump, you may stress them out and cause them to leave the stump. You need to make sure that they don't immediately head toward your home. Before you start eliminating the carpenter ant infestation, spray ant repellent around the entire exterior of your home. The repellent will keep the ants away, and they'll look for other suitable nesting sites if they decide to leave the stump they're currently nesting in.
2. Apply Boric Acid to the Carpenter Ant Tunnels
Boric acid is a very effective method of killing carpenter ants. It comes in both powder and liquid form, and it will stick to the ants' legs if they move through it. When the ants try to clean the boric acid off of their legs, it will poison them. Boric acid is common, and you can find it at most home improvement stores.
Once you have some boric acid, take a screwdriver and chip some of the decaying bark off of the dead tree stump in order to expose the ants' nesting tunnels. If you're using a liquid boric acid formula, spray it onto the surface of the tunnels. If you're using a powder, sprinkle the powder onto the tunnels, then push it deeper using a thin wire brush or pipe cleaner. Applying the boric acid to the tunnels will ensure that it's not washed away by the rain.
3. Remove Other Potential Ant Nesting Areas in Your Yard
Once you've applied boric acid to the carpenter ant tunnels, remove any other potential nesting sites in your yard. You'll need to remove any dead tree branches that are on the ground since those will provide another home for the ants. You'll also need to bag and remove any mulch in your yard that has started to decay since this will attract more carpenter ants and other pests.
If you have other dead tree stumps in your yard, drill into them to make short, horizontal tunnels, and then apply boric acid to the inside of the tunnels. If the carpenter ants decide to nest in another dead tree stump, they'll run into the boric acid and become poisoned before they're able to start another colony.
The boric acid will slowly eliminate the colony that's in your dead tree stump, and they'll be prevented from entering your home or building a nest elsewhere in your yard. If you're still seeing carpenter ants in your yard even after removing as many nesting locations as you can, call a carpenter ant control service for help. A pest control service will apply commercial insecticides to your home's exterior and any decaying wood in your yard, which allows them to quickly eliminate your carpenter ant infestation and keep your home protected.
For more information, contact a local company, like San Juan Pest Control.