I have an old oak tree and it has ants crawling all over it. They are all the same. Small red with dark pointy rear. I want to get rid of them without hurting tree.
Sounds like acrobat ants. Most people think of CARPENTER ANTS when they find ants nesting in wood but in fact acrobat ants are another species that will bore out nests in structural wood as well as trees. Suffice to say this can be a problem when they nest in either location so its best to get rid of them before they hurt your tree or worse yet, move into your home!
The good news is they’re easy to control with the right product. And there are two approaches that can be used.
The first approach is the direct treatment method. This can only be done if you know exactly where the nest is located. So if you follow their trails on the tree, you should be able to learn quickly if the nest is close to ground level or if it’s up high and out of reach. Acrobat ants will many times nest just under the bark or in a damaged section of the tree so focus on any bark that has cracks, seams or damage.
And if you locate any sensitive areas and find the acrobat ants are moving in and out of some hidden area where these cracks are obvious, you should be able to directly treat the nest using DRIONE DUST.
Drione dust is a white dust that will penetrate all the cracks, gaps and hidden voids when puffed into the entry points of their nest. When puffing it out, you’ll notice it becomes like “smoke” and will permeate through and through any air spaces you can’t see. This makes for quick control of the acrobat ant nest and is very much the suggested way to proceed if you can find the exact nest site.
Use a good HAND DUSTER to apply the Drione like this one:
Now if you spend 10-15 minutes watching them go up and down the tree but all you can notice is that they’re climbing up and out of sight, there is a good chance the nest is too high to directly treat with Drione. In cases like this, it would be best to treat with PHANTOM.
Phantom is a concentrate that is mixed with water and sprayed using any standard PUMP SPRAYER. Simply coat the bark of the tree with the spray and make sure you get all the sides and as high up the tree as you can. This insures they’ll be walking over the treatment no matter what part of the tree they use. This will happen because they have to travel over the treatment to get to the ground to forage.
Pump Sprayer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/good/pump-sprayers
Now don’t expect instant results. Phantom is unique in that it won’t do anything for several days. But this is very much by design. As its name implies, the product is like a “phantom” to insects. Basically they don’t know its there so they’ll have no clue they’re walking over anything bad. This means they’ll go about their business as if nothing is happening.
But as they’re walking over the treatment they’ll be picking up trace amounts of the active ingredient. These trace amounts will then be carried back to their nest where it will rub off onto other colony members thus infecting the entire nest. And after 3-4 days of the product working its way into the colony, they will all succumb to the chemical when it finally “kicks in” and starts to work. This enables you to kill the entire nest without having to know where it’s located (or in many cases, when its located really high in a tree).
Now since trees will absorb the treatment, you may have to renew the Phantom a few times to make sure you get all the nests. In most cases one good spraying will take care of the problem but if you spot activity a week later, spray again.
Lastly, its a good idea to spray the entire foundation of your home with the Phantom right after you spray the tree. This way if there are any satellite colonies or stragglers foraging about, the home will be protected. Phantom works on a wide range of insects and comes in an aerosol form as well. The aerosol is a great choice for use inside the home. It goes on “dry” and is odorless.
Phantom Aerosol: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/aerosol/pt-phantom-17-5oz
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