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By the age of twelve, I felt I had mastered most of life’s important lessons and I mostly stopped listening to adults giving out warnings. Luckily, I was smart enough to make a few exceptions. I remember the day on our grandparent’s Illinois farm when my brother and I told Grandpa we were headed back to Bear Creek to hunt crawdads. To get there, we had to walk across the big cow pasture. 

“Listen, boys,” he said with a deadly serious expression, “I moved the bull into the pasture yesterday and never turn your back on a bull… you may never know what hit you.” Minutes later, we climbed the rusty barbed wire fence and jumped into the cow pasture. Walking toward Bear Creek, I kept my eyes locked on that bull. He was the most powerful animal I had ever seen and I knew he could end my life in an instant. In matters of life and death, grandpa knew best.

Since I don’t enjoy being on the receiving end of lectures, I avoid giving them out. But, once in a while, I make an exception. And here it is: Listen, folks, never let branches touch your home. Ants nest in trees and they use branches as bridges into your kitchens and bathrooms. I’ve treated thousands of houses and sometimes the only way I can get the ants out—despite my arsenal of 21st century pest products—is to grab my ladder, climb up to the roof and cut branches. If you can’t safely cut your own branches, I recommend calling a professional tree trimmer—the sooner the better. It’s getting warmer outside and hungry ants are on the warpath. And that ain’t no bull.

Finally, if I come to your home and see branches touching your roof, well… I recommend you stay away from cow pastures. Have an ant free week, everyone!

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