How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants in Trees – Naturally, around Tree Roots

Carpenter ants are known to be destructive ant species, be it inside or outside your house. These creatures are fond building their nests in moist wood often in rotting wood. You are likely to spot carpenter ants in wooden structures such as behind door frames, around the kitchen sinks, bathroom tiles, bathroom tiles, showers and dishwashers.

Read also: Carpenter Ants in Ceiling, on the Roof, Signs of Infestation, How to Get Rid, Naturally & For Good

The ants can inhabit hollow spaces in doors, curtain rods etc. They primarily live in rotten and decaying wood including in trees and around the root of the trees. Although they live in wood, they don’t actually feed on wood like termites. What carpenter ants do, is to dig tunnels in wood to allow them to move freely.

Their diet is simply dead or alive insects but they are more attracted on protein and sugar. When they infest your home, they tend to cause a significant damage to trees. So, how do you get rid of carpenter ants in trees? It is quite simple. Locate their entry points of their nests. You can either use powder or liquid insecticide to treat their infestation. In addition, you can combine ant baits around the trees, around the roots of the trees or basically on the ant trails.

If the damage on trees is beyond repair, you can cut down the entire root or remove it to prevent re-infestation.

Carpenter ants derive their names because they are able to establish their nests really fast. Once you spot a carpenter ant around your home or in trees, you should be on lookout. These ants are able to build their tunnels in woods really quick. This post is to give you a guide on how to get rid of carpenter ants in trees with various methods including naturally. Read more.

What a Carpenter Ant Infestation Means

Carpenter ants are destructive in nature. These opportunistic ants differ from termites in many ways. Unlike the termites, carpenter ants do not eat or pulp. They tend to infest decaying tree roots or tree that has a preexisting condition that has weakened it.

A tree that has a declining health issue is usually their first target. This is where they will build their nest. As their colony grows, the ants burrow into the heartwood of a tree. You are likely to notice the tree either partially or completely dieback of branches and roots.

To prevent re-infestation, you should cut down the tree. Otherwise, the infestation could become overwhelming and hard to deal with.

What are the Signs of Carpenter Ant Infestation in Trees?

How do you tell you have an infestation of carpenter ants in trees and around your home? First let’s talk how these destructive ants look like? They are somehow larger and their length tend to varies from ¼ to 3/8 inches. Their color is mostly dark brown but can also appear as black, to red or yellow. The queen is usually slighter bigger in size then the workers ants.

An infestation of carpenter ants colony can carry around 20000 workers but their colonies can grow up to 50000 workers. This means, if you are not keen and act fast enough, you may be overwhelmed making it difficult to get rid of the carpenter ants.

Here are some of the signs of carpenter ants infestation in trees to look out for:

1. Pile of Sawdust

As soon as you spot a pile of sawdust near or around trees, then that’s it. Look no further. Begin thinking of ways to get rid of carpenter ants. If left untreated, the damage could be far and wide. Pile of sawdust can in most cases be found at the base of the trees.

Keep in mind that, carpenter ants tend to build their habitat in wood. Chances are that if you look keenly, you will see the opening of their nest. Carpenter ants will build their nest in moist, humid areas. This also happens in decaying and damp wood. So, always be vigilant and be keen on the health of the trees.

2.  Trees Deteriorating Rapidly

This should be an obvious sign of carpenter ants infestation in your home and trees. It is the most common sign one should be keen. Carpenter ants are likely to live inside the tree for a quite some times before you notice them.

It may take some times before you notice the health of the trees deteriorating. As put, carpenter ants are opportunistic in nature, they are will infest a tree that was already damaged or a decaying tree. These are the trees you should check if you intend to effectively get rid of carpenter ants.

A damaged or decaying tree can be hard to salvage if carpenter ants have heavily infested it. If you are not really sure how to go about it when carpenter ants infest your trees, you may have to call pest control professionals.

Keeping on reading to know more on the ways to deal with carpenter ant infestation.

Are Carpenter Ants Killing My Trees?

Carpenter ants can build their nest in healthy trees for some years with damaging them. Instead they only used dead tissues to build tunnels and galleries. It may take quite sometimes before you notice them.

Carpenter ants do not kills the trees themselves but can cause some significant damage such that the trees will not be able to recover naturally. The damage can be far and wide such that the trees will not be able to recover. It is important to keep vigilant on your trees. Inspect them as quite often as possible. As soon as you notice signs of infestation, take immediate step to get rid of the ants.

Types of Trees that Carpenter Ants are likely to Infest

It is a major concern when carpenter ants infest your trees. But do you know the types of trees that the carpenter ants prefer? Some of the trees where you are likely to see an infestation of carpenter ants include sugar maple, oak, sweetgum, plum, peach, balsam fir, almond, , pine tree, cherry, and northern white cedar. Aphids, is the one obvious reason why the carpenter ants prefer these trees, they are the type of trees. Ants use aphids for food.

Do Carpenter Ants My Tree?

Carpenter ants rarely eat trees, but instead chew through to create different tunnels and chambers they use to move freely. The pile of saw dust seen is a sign of carpenter ants infestation and possibly a colony inside.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants in Tree

Dealing with carpenter infestation in trees can be hard to deal with. Why is this so? Obviously, once the infestation has progressed, they only option is to cut or remove the damaged tree. However, there is hope. All you have to do, if you intend to successfully get rid of carpenter ants, is finding the ant colony and destroy it.

Below here are some of the steps to get rid of carpenter ants in trees:

1. Locate the Carpenter Ants’ Colony

This is the basic but very important step if you are going to successfully get rid of carpenter ants in trees. Find the nest and the holes that the ants use to enter their nest. The hole must somewhere in the tree, as put, getting rid of the carpenter ants requires you to find their nest. You have to be keen to see where a lot of the ants are coming from. That is where their nest is built.

2. Apply Appropriate Insecticide, Ant Baits or Dust

Applying the appropriate insecticide, ant dust or baits shouldn’t be difficult. It all requires you to find their nest and that’s it. There are various options to choose from. You can either use dust or liquid insecticide. Ant baits are also effective in getting rid of the ants. Although ant baits are slow-acting, they will get the job done.

If you intend to use insecticide dust or powder for getting rid of the carpenter ants, try to apply it evenly around the entrance of the nest.

Here are some of the best insecticide dust to get rid of carpenter ants:

I) Delta Dust Multi Use Pest Control Insecticide Dust, 1 LB

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This ant dust will kill the ants on contact and will kill the rest that also come into touch with the dead ants. It is a simple and effective method to get rid of carpenter ants in tree. You have to reply the dust especially if it rains.

II) Syngenta 73654 Demand Cs Insecticide

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While use this insecticide, you have to cover as much area as possible. The ants will try to escape under the ground. Meanwhile, while spraying, target the nest to get rid of the entire colony. The aim is to reach the queen. If you succeed killing the queen, your problem will be solved once and for all.

Ant Bait for Carpenter Ants in Trees

Other than ant insecticide dusts or powders, you can use ant baits as an alternative method to get rid of carpenter ants in trees. Place several carpenter ant baits around the roots of the trees and where a lot of ants are seen to be coming from.

Here are some of the ant baits to use on carpenter ants infesting your trees:

III) Amdro 100099307 Block Home Perimeter Ant Bait Granules, 12 Ounces

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This will help get rid of the entire colony of the carpenter ants. You may be required to place several baits around the infested tree. Always make sure the baits are replaced severally to effectively get rid of the carpenter ants infesting your trees.

Although the ant baits are somehow slow-acting, be sure the results will be amazing. You only have to patients. Once the worker ants eat the bait, they will carry some of it to the nest before the queen ingests eat and eventually dies.

NOTE: while getting rid of the carpenter ants infestation, DO NOT use insecticides and baits in the same area and same time.

3. Check and Estimate the Health of Infested Tree

Obviously, it may be hard to notice if the trees infested by the carpenter ants can still be allowed to grow further or to maturity. Some trees are heavily infested and it may be too late to salvage them. You may try to save some but others it may beyond control. Remove or cut down the tree that is beyond help. Try to save some trees by getting rid of the colony by applying treatment, insecticides or dusts.

4. Inspecting Regularly

This is the final but still important step to get rid of carpenter ants infesting trees. Always check the whole area to ascertain the trees are in good shape and healthy. This is to ensure no new colonies from the carpenter ants are re-established.

How to Get Rid of Carpenter Ants in Tree Naturally

There are quite a number of natural remedies that can equally get rid of carpenter ants in trees. Below here are some of them:

a) Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is one of the best natural treatment for all ant problem. Ants hate the strong smell of peppermint. Mix 20 drops of peppermint oil with ¾ gallon of water. Spray it all over the tree and around the trees and especially where the nest is most likely to be located. You may need to repeat this procedure several time in a couple of days to get good results.

b) Cedar Oil

Cedar oil is another natural remedy to effectively get rid of ants infesting your trees. How does cedar oil kill carpenter ants? As soon as the ants get in contact with cedar oil, their bodies get dehydrated and die from suffocation.

Spray cedar oil around the tree and in most case closely to their nest. You may have to repeat the procedure to get good results.

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c) Boric Acid

Boric acid is completely safe to use and doesn’t cause harm to humans or pets. It is very toxic to pests and specifically to carpenter ants. Add 1% of boric acid to 10% of sugar. Add water and mix thoroughly. Place the mixture in containers. Put the baits around the trees infested with carpenter ants. Boric acid can be purchased in stores near you or in online stores – Buy on Amazon

d) Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is another excellent natural remedy that can deal with all your ants’ problem including the carpenter ants. Spray diatomaceous earth directly on the carpenter ants and some on their nest. It is completely safe to use since it doesn’t cause any health risk to humans and pests. Applying it once is not enough, reapply several times especially after it rain to get good results.

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Carpenter ants are the most destructive ants especially on wooden structures inside your home. Outside and specifically in trees they can cause significant damage to trees. If you notice that carpenter ants have infested your tree, take immediate steps to get rid of them. I hope this post has been of help to deal with your problems.

Follow the steps and instructions whenever carpenter ants infest your trees. The methods discussed above are also effective in dealing with carpenter ants infestation in your home.


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