Author Topic: Carpenter ants!  (Read 289 times)


  • Stubble
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Carpenter ants!
« on: February 14, 2019, 06:53:30 AM »
So my scavenging firewood off craiglist has backfired.  The last load I brought, I started splitting the rounds, and out came carpenter ants!  I thought (hoped) they were dead, but a quick experiment of bringing one inside in a cup confirmed they're just in wintering mode.

Most of the pieces of wood seem unaffected, but a couple definitely had big clumps.  Definitely 100s, if not 1000s of these suckers.  The upside is they aren't much for finding a new home right now.  I found an old pdf of a guy who did various torturing experiments on ants to see what conditions they will recover.  Even now that they're exposed, I can't expect the cold to kill them. 

The torturer said 2 minutes of 122F water had a 100% mortality rate.  I don't think I can keep up 2 minutes of 122F, but I sure can do a few seconds of 212F!  I have poured a few kettles worth of boiling water on the affected wood splits and will burn them tomorrow in the outdoor firepit (after getting it roaring with seasoned wood).  The pouring targeted individual ants and clusters as I found them.  Also poured on my splitting block and the ground around it.

I sure hope St. Peter isn't an ant.

Anything else I can do to battle these suckers before they wake up in the spring?


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Carpenter ants!
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2019, 05:17:42 PM »
Why are you fighting them?

A) Don't pile the wood next to or touching the house.

B) They are ant . . . that means they are everywhere and the new queens can fly. It also means that there will only be one queen and nest.

C) They don't eat wood, they build a nest in wood, much less damage than termites.


D) They seem to prefer moist soft wood. Which means 1) Your free firewood probably not very good in terms of heat production and likely hard to light and 2) that if they like the wood of your house you likely have water intrusion and the start of rot.