Damage To Wood By Ants
Damage To Wood By Ants:
Attached is a picture that Melissa took of ‘damage’ which ants have done to some wood. This ‘damage’ looks quite serious but ants will generally only take advantage of rotten wood or other materials to expand their nests.
If the wood or other material is in a good state then the ants will work around it. They do not have the capability to damage sound wood like other wood boring insects such as wood worm or termites.
The most common place that I have found for ant damage is at the bottom of patio doors. These areas usually have a wooden seal that is prone to decay due to the position and ants will often expand the nest into these types of areas expelling the rotten material, soil and sand to make room for their nest. It is not the ants causing damage directly but taking advantage of a rotten or damage material.
Most calls concerning ants are about flying ants. These are the Queens and Drones, the fertile males and females. Their breeding system is the same as Honey Bees and social wasps in that the workers are sterile females and only the Queen lays eggs. The males or Drones function is just to mate with the Queens. When the humidity is right, the workers kick out all the Queens and Drones, the idea being that this happens locally over a wide area so Queens and Drones from one nest mate with Queens and Drones from other nests, so mixing the gene pool.
Ants may get confused if the nest(s) are effected by artificial conditions created in a house and may swarm when they really shouldn’t. Ants may also swarm after the surrounding or nearby areas have been treated with insecticide as this can put the nest under stress so as a last resort it swarms.