Cut down a standing dead tree and it is full of ants

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Hearth Supporter
Jun 6, 2008
I cut down this tree that is dead and cut it up to the right size to fit in my stove. When I started splitting the wood I see it is infested with black ants. I started splitting this up in the woods and did not bring it near the house. What should I do now? Split the stuff and stack it up in the woods and wait for the ants to leave? It has been pretty cold here and the ants seemed like they were not very active?
Yeah, those are probably carpenter ants and you don't want to get those anywhere near your house or wood pile!!!

I'd do like you said and split it all up in the woods and hope that they get perturbed enough to move on to another tree.......

Yes, split it in the woods and leave it there until winter. Just put a couple of poles under it to keep it up off the ground. You can even wait until next spring to go get it but best to keep it away from the home.
Same thing happened to me but it was only the base of a pretty small tree, 6-8 diameter. I left the infested chunks in the woods and will check them out again in a couple of weeks. I have found that once you split and get rid of the rotten pieces the ants find another home. I sometimes spray the pieceas with insecticide as well just to prevent ants running around my basement.
Backwoods Savage said:
Yes, split it in the woods and leave it there until winter. Just put a couple of poles under it to keep it up off the ground. You can even wait until next spring to go get it but best to keep it away from the home.

I've found that most times they are gone within a couple of days, sometimes even hours. Once they've been disturbed they tend to scatter. But better to be safe then sorry, i.e your wood pile turned to saw dust!!
We run into that around here with any dead tree that's been standing out in the woods. By the time I get the tree cut and ready to haul in they are leaving for an new tree. Just leave it for a few days and they will usually move on.
was it a cherry tree? They love cherry trees. One fell down this year that had the heart eaten out of the tree for about 6 feet straight up. I split the pieces and they appeared to move on.
I am not sure what type of tree it is since it is so dead that it almost looks like a telephone pole lol
I have had logs delivered in the fall that I started splittting in the winter. When I'd run into a log with ants I'd finish splitting it and stick it ot the side until I was ready to call it quits or take a break. Then I take the infested pieces and stick them in the stove. That tends to stop the spread to other trees or into buildings.
I usually split the ant-infested pieces small, to try to open up most of their tunnels and deprive them of a place to live. I have plenty of lawn around where I stack my wood, so I spread the anty pieces out on the lawn. The ants from each piece ma try to live beneath the split for a while, so I roll the splits over every couple of days, and eventually they leave alltogether. This works fine for me, but would be a real pain if I got lots of ant-infested wood. So far it has been only a log here or there. I am not sure where the ants go, but by the time their tree is cut down, bucked, and split, i think so many of them are dead or scattered that the colony is doomed. Or maybe they are all living in my shed.
I don't see too many ants but when I do, I split it down small like Wood Duck said and they seem to scatter to find a new home. Also, I notice that after I split and walk away, I typically see birds around the pile that I think are eating the ants.
Split in the woods . . . leave for a few days once the weather is cold . . . they generally move on . . . or get eaten. I had a cherry last year that was infested . . . beautiful standing dead cherry that was ready to go into the firebox . . . after splitting it I left it outside for a week or two . . . by the time I picked up the wood the ants had left . . . they left without even saying good bye to me or forwarding their address.
Carpenter ants. I see them a lot. By the time I get done cutting, splitting, and hauling it out of the woods, they have usually disappeared. They do not live in the woodpile with the processed firewood, I think they prefer whole trees or logs. I certainly never see them years later when the wood is going into the stove.
firefighterjake said:
. . . they left without even saying good bye to me or forwarding their address.
If they paid first and last, just keep their deposit and mark their mail "return to sender".

Anytime I encountered ants, they vacated when I split the wood or peeled off the loose bark they were under. I have never found ants in my seasoned wood piles. The only bugs I ever find in seasoned firewood are the longhorn beetle.
Newsflash...many of the ants don't die in the cold winter season.

The queen and most of her girlfriend worker ants will survive along with the eggs.
The queen can live a few years.
When I find em while splitting I just throw the afflicted piece of to the side of the pile
and later when I'm done the chickens are on em like white on rice.
They love those big white larva thingies that you find under the bark too.
Got to get you some chickens'

Free wood ,free chicken food,gotta love it.
Ratman said:
Birdman I like your family of saws.

Thanks bro.
I had a old homlite c72 that I sold
cause all the other saws kept picking on it.
I always keep a gallon of dish soap and water near me when I'm cutting.
When I cut through a nest I dump the mix on them and it kills all the ants.
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