Posted by Justin on 11:55:33 6/4/2014 from 188.8.131.52:
We have one large cherry tree (the downtown D.C. type) and a maple tree, both 35 years old, in our front yard. Both of them have lots of carpenter ants living in the treetops somewhere and making nests in the mulch around the base (put there by previous owners, not us). So long as they keep to the tree and its immediate environs, I tend not to worry. But when I see a few on the sidewalk or porch near our front door, I cannot help but panic. I have never seen one inside our house, but I am worried that the colonies will only get larger since the trees are clearly not getting any younger. I apply Advance bait around the base of both trees from time to time, and this seems to have a moderate culling effect, though it never gets rid of them completely. I think I know what your response will be, but I just need to hear from you personally in order to ease my obsessive fears. I cannot bear to talk to any more crook exterminators, and after reading your website, I think I do not need to worry about these carpenter ants in our trees. It is not practicable to climb up them and find the exact site of the nest, and I am not in a position to pay for the trees to be cut down just yet (plus, the trees are quite beautiful and provide shade). This is nothing to worry about, right? Just keep applying Advance around the tree bases periodically during the warm months, and leave it at that? (One tree branch also is getting close to our roof - I plan to cut that back this Fall so they can't drop onto our roof and enter the attic). Should I also go so far as to try and remove the mulch mounds put at the base of these trees by the home's previous owners?
I very much want to get these carpenter ants out of my mind, and your reassurances would go far in helping me to do so. I know I sound like a paranoid baby, but the exterminator business - and me being originally from a fairly bug-free West Coast upbringing - have done wonders to play on my homeowner fears.
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