Carpenter Ants And Old Tree Stumps: What Should You Know About Them?

If you find numerous large, red-black or black carpenter ants on the inside or outside of your home, you may wonder where they come from and how can you get rid of them. Carpenter ants tend to live in places associated with decaying, wet wood, such as old tree stumps. The pests use the stumps as homes for their colonies but can also travel great distances to reach other structures and food sources. The insects can cause expensive damages to your property's structures by burrowing through the wood. Here's what you should know about carpenter ants and tree stumps, including how to get rid of them both safely and effectively.

What's the Best Way to Get Rid of the Tree Stump?

While it may seem cost-effective or even safe to remove the tree stump yourself to solve your ant problem, it may actually be unsafe. The safest and most effective way to remove the stump is to contact a professional tree service company. Here's why.

The stump may have a deep root system

Even if they appear old, crumbly and decayed, stumps can still have large root systems that run deep underground. The system may also spread out to other locations on the property that may cause damage if you pull or remove the roots from things that carry water and sewage, such as the home's sewer pipes. If a sewer line breaks, water may flood the property, which means that you may need to put off the stump removal until it's cleaned up.

The ants might bite you

In addition, although they may appear passive, carpenter ants will bite and release burning acids when disturbed or provoked. If you have allergies to insect bites, it's a good idea that you allow the experts to remove the stump with grinding tools, excavators and other digging tools. 

Although it's best to leave the stump removal process to the professionals, you can do a few simple things to make your home and property safe from carpenter ants.

What Can You Do to Help?

Carpenter ants may seek new shelter once they no longer have the stump to live in. It's important that you remove anything around the home that may hide or attract live ants after the contractors remove the stump.

First, put on a pair of long boots that reach your calves, thick rubber gloves and a long-sleeve shirt to protect your skin. Use a rake to remove any leaves around the tree stump and any trees close to it. Rake the leaves into a pile, then use a long-handled shovel to place them inside a trash can lined with a large bag. You want to avoid using any regular ant sprays when you clean up the area. The chemicals may cause most of the insects to scatter instead of perish. If you must use something, select a chemical treatment that doesn't have a scent. 

Next, remove any decayed or decaying matter you find lying around or close to the stump, such as pieces of bark and loose roots. Place the items in the trash can, then tie the bag tightly. Discard the bag inside a sealed container until trash day. 

You can also place enclosed ant bait stations around the tree stump to help control or reduce the colony. The ants will generally enter the stations to grab pieces of the chemically-treated bait, then take it back to the nest for the rest of the pests to feed on. To check the progress of the bait stations, monitor the tree stump for signs of ants until the tree removal contractors arrive.

For more information about removing a tree stump infested with carpenter ants, contact a service provider like Hudson Tree Service today.