We have an old poplar tree in our back yard. I have noticed
large black ants
active in a crevice in the trunk that I believe are carpenter ants.
What can I use to get rid of them and keep them from feeding on this
The black carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) is the most
common carpenter ant species in the northeastern United States.
Although they might be nesting in your poplar, they are not “eating”
it. Research indicates that they prefer to nest in moist, decaying
wood. However, they are scavengers, and they primarily eat other
insects (dead or alive); tend aphids or other sap-feeding insects to
feed on the
they produce; the juice of ripe fruit; and the sap from various
trees. They nest in wood, but they do not eat it.
Ants work in cooperation with aphids and will 'farm' aphids, moving them to the best
feeding locations in exchange for honeydew.
Check growing tips first for aphids since that is their favorite
In their natural habitat, carpenter ants help with
the decomposition of decaying trees. They nest in logs, stumps and
hollow trees. They can become a problem in houses, particularly in
wooded areas, when they come looking for food. If old or unprotected
wood in the house has begun to decay, they may build satellite nests
there to be closer to their food source. Carpenter ants do not
usually invade sound wood.
The presence of a colony of carpenter ants in your
tree is a strong indication that the tree has some type of interior
rot that was caused by fungi rather than insects. I can suggest some
products that can help control the carpenter ants and keep them from
invading your house. However, you should contact a certified
arborist to examine the structural integrity of the tree, because
the interior rot should be more cause for concern than the ants.
They are but a symptom of a more serious problem.
Low toxicity carpenter ant treatments
Dust formulations of diatomaceous earth or
can be blown into the crevice of the tree to kill the ants. These
products have no or very low mammalian toxicity and are safe to use
around people and pets.
Almonds and Pecans