I have invested a lot of time and money in a tree house supported by two large oaks and one maple tree. I recently saw evidence of what I think are carpenter ants near the base of the trees. Can you recommend a product to protect these trees from damaging pests? I live in northwest Indiana and am a happy customer of the mister/bifen mosquito control equipment and chemicals I bought from you. Thanks for your help. S. B.
If you review our Carpenter Ant control article, you’ll see we have several options depending on what kind of activity you have, if you know where they’re nesting, etc. In general, its best to treat nests with Drione Dust when you know the nest location. But in this case, I don’t think that will be an option. Instead, I think you’ll get the desired results using Phantom spray.
Phantom is unique in that its a very slow acting chemical that takes days to work. But this is by design. The concept of Phantom is that insects don’t know its present. So they’ll readily walk over treated surfaces which in turn get them contaminated with the active ingredient in Phantom. They will then go back to their nests, share it with other members of the colony (by mistake) and when the active finally kicks in days later, they’ll all be dead. This generally leads to the nests demise.
In fact I’ve used Phantom a few times this year on my property to control several species of ants including carpenter ants. I’ve got a few large oaks I don’t want getting injured but they started showing ants active. I simply sprayed the bark of these trees, about 3-4 feet up and all around, and within 4 days of the treatment, all ant activity stopped.
I also had to treat a few pine straw areas where I couldn’t find any nests but did see them foraging throughout the pine. After a week of the treatments, all ant activity stopped and since then things have been under control for over a month.
So I say go for the Phantom. Apply 1-2 gallons around the home, on the trees you want to protect, etc. and be sure to hold off using the mosquito spray for at least a week following the Phantom application since the mosquito spray will interfere.