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Aster's avatar

Are neighbors' ants our fault ?

Asked by Aster (19949points) June 29th, 2015

Our neighbors next door have had their house for sale for six years! This is their second note to us. The first had to do with our needing to get our yard mowed “since we are trying to sell our house.” Today’s note said they have “carpenter ants and Terminix “traced” the ants to YOUR house.” So happens we have an automatic insect misting system along the entire perimeter of the house including on top of the fence. Could the ants be racing over to their house to escape the chemicals?
Oh, I wish we could move to the country.

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26 Answers

josie's avatar

As a point of order, how does Terminix “trace” the ants.

The neighbor’s real problem is their price is too high.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Was Terminix on your property without your permission? That is trespassing.
Ants go whereever they want, usually from old or dying trees.

JLeslie's avatar

If you are treating your property then yes, the bugs might be more likely to go next door. Not your problem. They need to pay to fumigate their property.

Although, if they are saying you have carpenter ants they are doing you a favor trying to let you know you need to do something about it to save your house.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Tell the neighbor ‘bullshit’.

Thet have no business telling you to mow. And the ant story is a complete crock.

2davidc8's avatar

I agree with @josie. Most of the time when a property doesn’t sell, it’s because the asking price is too high for the condition that the property’s in.

Pandora's avatar

I would investigate and see if I have carpenter ants in my home or search for any rotted wood out on my lawn or near by in any wooded area close to the neighbors.

If I don’t have any signs of carpenter ants I would tell them that it isn’t my job to fumigate the whole neighborhood nor is it my job to keep the insects on my lawn.

I had a neighbor who use to get annoyed that I would kill the ant homes on my lawn and they would go over to his lawn. I told him he was free to kill the ones on his lawn just as I am free to kill the ones on mine because I wasn’t going to stop him. Also told him my name isn’t God so I have no control over where and what they do and that he was letting his yard overgrow so he was making them an invitation.
He started to cut his lawn and take care of his own bug problems.

Blueroses's avatar

“Hey there, Aster. You may know I’m your neighbor over here… how’s it going? Good… good. Listen, I don’t want to be a dick or anything, but I’ve been working on negotiations with the ant population to back off during my listing and it seems you’ve been undermining my efforts here. I’d appreciate if you’d speak with your sources and let ‘em know we don’t want a turf war, we just want a detente. Pass the word, would you?”

Blueroses's avatar

I’ve read Lord of the Flies but never knew that Aster was Ruler of Ants

Judi's avatar

How funny! What is it exactly that they expect you to do?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How’d they trace them back to you. Numbers on their backs?

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Blueroses – “turf war” – good response

Zaku's avatar

That’s pretty funny, but no, unless you live in a condo or gated neighborhood with special “let’s look affluent and tidy” rules, you are not responsible for butchering all unseemly lifeforms from your property. You could tell them they’re lucky you have your “automatic insect misting system along the entire perimeter of the house including on top of the fence” and ask if they’d like to contribute to its maintenance costs, and what they think about the idea of you installing bee hives or roosters, and/or declaring your yard an official wildlife habitat that prohibits any mowing whatsoever.

Do they still live there?

jca's avatar

Do they think you should pay for their pest control? What is their point by making that comment?

Coloma's avatar

Just be careful that your leaves don’t blow into their yard too lol
. Gah..I know someone that complains about the neighbors leaves blowing into their yard every year.
I would just tell them that you have an ongoing pest control program in place and where the ants go is out of your control. Maybe your automatic bug misting system will give them brain cancer and they will just go the way of the ants. evil little grin

Coincidentally I have been watching a series lately called ” fear thy neighbor” about all kinds of crazy disputes among neighbors that end up with someone getting murdered.
A common theme I have noticed is a lot of the ones that go off the deep end are ex military types living next door to free spirited types. Order vs. chaos. lol

fluthernutter's avatar

I would talk to the Terminix guy. His job is to know about bugs. And he’s kind of a neutral party.

Instead of taking it as an absurd accusation, I’d agree with @JLeslie and @Pandora. They may actually be doing you a favor.

Our neighbors had a beetle infestation. Turns out it was totally our fault. I had left a tree trunk in our yard (planning on making it into a side table). But it had started to rot and beetles had moved in. When our gardeners disturbed the trunk, the beetles went over to our neighbors’ house.

I understand that it’s much easier to swallow an explanation for an infestation when you come to it yourself (like I did) versus as an accusation from your neighbors. But it doesn’t make it any less true.

Do yourself a favor. Put whatever grudges you may have with your neighbor aside and actually investigate if this might be true. An infestation of carpenter ants isn’t something you want to ignore.

Aster's avatar

@fluthernutter I don’t see how we could have an infestation . The misting system goes off every single night and the insecticide label clearly states it kills ants. All kinds of ants. There is a tree stump between our houses, now that I think about it, since they paid to have the tree cut down. Perhaps the ants are coming off of that.
Later on I can go out there and check out the tree stump and pray to God they don’t accuse us of being the “owner” of the stump. And yes; there are lots of rules here about keeping your yard mowed which we do. We have a guy who comes every two weeks.

JLeslie's avatar

You spray every night? Sounds like a lot of pesticides.

snowberry's avatar

It sounds like you don’t know where your property line is. You need to know that for lots of reasons besides this one. If they cut down the tree it should be on their side of the property line.

Seriously, I wouldn’t waste to much emotional energy on these folks. They’re kind of strange, but the ants sound like their problem not yours, and you can politely tell them so.

fluthernutter's avatar

@Aster If they paid to have the tree cut down, it should have also been their responsibility to remove the stump. But I would still check it out. Seems like the stump might provide enough coverage from your spray radius.

Regardless of who the stump belongs to, you don’t want the carpenter ants to move into your house where they can do real damage.

Good luck!

Aster's avatar

” it should have also been their responsibility to remove the stump.” Hey! That’s right!

jca's avatar

Whose property is the stump on?

Coloma's avatar

Go to your local pet store and buy a few dozen giant, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and toss them in their mail slot when they aren’t home. another evil little laugh.

Yes, if it the tree stump is on their property there’s a good chance the ants have a nest in the decaying stump. I had an ant colony of amazing proportion in a hollow oak tree in my front yard about 8 years ago. I sprayed into the hole and the next morning it looked like someone had dumped about 20lbs. of coffee grounds at the base of the tree.

sahID's avatar

Perhaps you should call Terminix & ask them how they identified your house or yard as the source of the carpenter ants. (That way, you can also uncover whether the cretins next door really did call them. It is entirely possible they didn’t and are merely blowing smoke in your direction.)

A much more realistic nesting site for the ants is the tree stump, which is their responsibility to remove if it is on their side of the property line.

Coloma's avatar

@sahID You mean they are blowing smoke up their ants. lol

keobooks's avatar

I think that they were making up the Terminex people telling this, OR perhaps one of their employees made a mere speculation. I searched around to see if they offered to locate the origin of an infestation. I saw several posts from them about them helping you discover sources that are within your own house, but they don’t seem to offer to discover any source off your property.

My best guess would be that they specifically asked the bug man if there was a possibility of the bugs coming from your house because you spray. The bug man said something like, “Well, sure, I guess that just might be the case…you never know.”

Zaku's avatar

Maybe using a poison-misting system every night that’s trying to kill all ants, has resulted in the bloom of a strain of ants which can’t be killed by poison… and who are attracted to silly neighbors.

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