Firewood cutting.. carpenter ants. Freak or ignore?

Jotel me this Posted By Jotel me this, Apr 9, 2019 at 4:41 PM

  1. Jotel me this

    Jotel me this
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    A large tree fell over in my neighbors yard. Looks nice, wood is solid and white.
    I cut up about 2 face cords with the chainsaw and was cutting through a 15" branch when carpenter ants started pouring out of it.

    It was like a horror film. Ants everywhere. I think they were screaming BLOOD! when they saw me.

    Anyways..

    I threw the log on the fire pit and destroyed them.. at least... i think i did. Did I?

    What do you pros do when you come across carpenter ants while chopping wood for the next winter? Living in an all wood house carpenter ants are my nemesis. Do i have to cough up all my hard work and not take the wood to my house in fear that they will spread into my trees/property? There were hundreds of ants. Hundreds. Probably 1 1/2" long.

    Trying to think rationally, it has to happen to other people (right?).. that youre cutting a tree up and ants come out. You cant just give up and move on to the next tree.... i think.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Zack R

    Zack R
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    I run into this problem now and then as do many others. Cut the tree into rounds, and leave it on the ground for a few days so the birds can eat most of the ants. Once most of them are gone start splitting but leave the splits on the ground until the rest of the ants are eaten.

    After the birds work is done then stack as usual, away from the house.

    I recall having them come out by what seemed like the gallon at times. The birds went crazy for the meal!
     
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  3. spudman99

    spudman99
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    Worry not. Carpenter ants like to nest in wet wood. It all depends on how close you are to your residence. If you were more than 60' or so away, and it was daytime, you are probably ok. Carpenter ants eat protein and sugar, they do not eat wood. You can set a bait trap nearby your wood if you want to draw them away from the house. Grab a house defender spray or other pest management sauce and spray the perimeter of the building near the wood area as a pre-caution (read the labels, consider animals when applying).
     
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  4. Simonkenton

    Simonkenton
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    I have cut up lots of wood that had carpenter ants. You noticed how they all hauled ass when you cut the branch up. That is because you just destroyed their home. You brute.

    I ignore 'em. Cut it and stack it they will go away. They don't want a little 15 inch long house that is drying up.
     
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  5. johneh

    johneh
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    We often get the little buggers just split as usual toss
    onto grass the robins wait for me they eat them up .
    after a day or two stack as normal not an ant in sight
    No big deal At least for me and I live in a 160 year old log house
     
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  6. Ashful

    Ashful
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    I keep a small (1/2 gal) pump sprayer full of ant spray with me when splitting. When I come across a round like that, I hit them with a shot of spray, they’re all dead on the ground within a few minutes. I’m not trusting any flock of birds to that job, I’d rather know they’re dead, now.
     
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  7. Jotel me this

    Jotel me this
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    thanks. ill have to figure out a happy mix between the two answers. what if birds dont come around at the time because im outside and the ants have time to crawl into the forest. the house is only 20 feet away from where i cut.
     
  8. Jotel me this

    Jotel me this
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    if i wrap a camo bandana around my forehead, mist the wood pile with gasoline, and light it... would that help as well?

    :ZZZ_g
     
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  9. Ashful

    Ashful
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    I don’t know about the gasoline, but the bandana has got to help.
     
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  10. bfitz3

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    Don’t bother with the ant spray. Split, wait, and the birds will take care of things. There’s only one ant that can cause real problems... the queen. When you see the hoards, remember that they are just energy for bird songs.
     
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  11. weatherguy

    weatherguy
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    I always spray the perimeter of my house twice a year with demon but if I get a round full of ants I do what everyone else does, feed them to the birds.
     
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  12. Simonkenton

    Simonkenton
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    You don't need to spray those ants. As I said, once you cut up their houses, and stack the and houses in short pieces to dry, the ants will go away.

    Do what you want but ant spray is not real healthy for humans either I don't want that stuff in my house.
     
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  13. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Where exactly is “away,” and what if I don’t want them there?
     
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  14. Sawset

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    Chicken feed.
     
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  15. Sawset

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    There is far more under foot that anyone realizes. I'm sure that doesn't change anyones mind, but it is kind of astonishing what bugs lurk in and around us. Strange things come out at night, a lot of which we'll only read about and never see. Ants, they're everywhere - and nowhere. The queens can fly, and will set up residence where they see fit. We have quite a few wood structures here. And lots of carpenter ants around. The buildings are old, yet no sign of ant damage.

    I think stag beetle larvae are the dangdest things. 40ft up on a felled oak, frozen solid in January, bigger than a thumb, yet are very much alive when thawed. And the miserable looking giant beetles they produce - hmm. And the adults can fly.
     
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  16. Grizzerbear

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    That's no kiddin lol. My chickens love when I split wood. If I bust in to a piece with ants they go crazy and make short work of them. Anyways you are destroying their ideal environment and the wood is still good for burning.
     
  17. Ashful

    Ashful
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    I had a primary porch beam fail this winter, thanks to carpenter ant damage. There was an unknown gutter issue, leading to moisture, which made it an attractive home for the ants. It is immediately over the area where I keep firewood at the house, which is likely how they were initially transported to the house. Once they found that nice moist home, they were set.

    Replacement was a fun job, dimensional 4 x 6 x 22.5 feet long, a size on available locally in #2 PT or green Doug fir. I would have preferred Doug fir for the strength, but went with PT, as I’ve had too many troubles with green DF twisting and checking, once installed.
     
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  18. Sawset

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    Have you ever seen ants in your dry firewood? Maybe it's a regional thing. I just don't seem to see anything at all when moving the wood around after it's dried out. I'll have to watch what I say, and preface it as a "here" thing.
     
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  19. xman23

    xman23
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    It took me a lot of years to find the ants nests on my wooded lot. They hide in wet hollow trees. They never give away where they are. So if you see them on a tree, they are there be the thousands. When I'm splitting I have the fir pit up and running.
     
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  20. Ctwoodtick

    Ctwoodtick
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    No chemicals needed. The ants are nothing to think about. This question comes up a lot. Ain’t no thang.
     
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  21. Simonkenton

    Simonkenton
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    You are right. The woods is full of mean spirited bugs that are intent on destroying your house. And carpenter ants are the worst. Of course you don't want them there.
    Get a 2 gallon sprayer, and every time you see some ants, spray a gallon of Malathion on them.
     
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  22. Ashful

    Ashful
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    I haven’t... but I was thanking the spray I used at time of splitting, for that! I see lots of circumstantial evidence of active bugs in my hickory, but rarely see any actual bugs in CSSd wood, except wasps, spiders and stink bugs.

    I had them wipe out a few of the maples in my splitting area, though.
     
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  23. hickoryhoarder

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    My basic approach is don't stack wood near the house. Carpenter ants seem to especially like hickory, even though it's so dense. Any splits I have that have ants, or could have ants, I put them in the driveway one by one, where air, heat, birds, etc. give the ants trouble. If a split has active ants in winter (it can, on the inside), I won't bring it in. But that has never happened.
     
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  24. xman23

    xman23
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    Where I am if the trees are hollow and wet inside the ants are in there. But after splitting I get rid of all the voids and dry the wood under my covered stacks. No more ants.
     
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  25. firefighterjake

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    When I find carpenter ants I stop, get a drink and write up an eviction notice which I post on the split that I have tossed to the side.

    Seems to work since when I come back a few days later the ants are all gone.
     
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