Getting To the Colony
If the ants are outside, the homeowner does have a few choices if he or she wants to try dealing with the problem directly. Unlike other species of ants, it is difficult to cause a carpenter ant colony to move. You must kill them all including the queen.
The problem, if the colony appears to be in a tree is how to get any insecticide into the colony itself. Generally, while you may see ants on the outside trunk of the tree, most carpenter ant colonies have entrances coming in from underground through the root area. So look for trails of ants entering the soil within a few feet of the trunk of the tree. That will be one place to try to get insecticide into the colony. If you can’t find the location of the nest, then it makes no sense to blindly spray insecticides all around the area in hopes of dealing with the problem.
Some tips for locating the colony: Interview children who are familiar with the property. Have they seen any concentrations of ants? Have they spotted any piles of sawdust? Children often see more detail in our properties than we do. Inside the house, you can use an indoor insecticide as a flushing agent. Spray it into cracks, crevices, or holes in the wall to try to excite the ants and get them moving around. Put drops of honey or corn syrup on the sticky side of masking tape. Make observations late at night, looking for concentrations of trapped ants, which might lead to the source of the nest.