Drying wood with carpentry ants.

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Forum topic by Marcinchicago39 posted 06-08-2017 12:53 AM 1025 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 1854 days

06-08-2017 12:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: carpentry ants ash solar kiln drying infested

Hello. I have a nice log of ash,when I rip it in slabs I found big colony of carpentry ants. I left sliced log for few days and now I don’t see no ants. If I’ll cut out rotten places I’ll still have a lot of good wood. My question is, if I will put this log into my solar kiln am I going to kill all ants? Looks like they gone now, but maybe they are hinding somewhere deep in wood. I already have other wood in kiln, is it possible ants will move to other pieces? I don’t want to infest good slabs with ants, but don’t want to dispose infested ash log which is really nice. I spend some time and resources to haul it, rip etc and want to keep it.
What do you think? Is it safe to put this log to solar kiln or should I first kill ants somehow?
Thank you for your help.

7 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6206 posts in 3669 days

#1 posted 06-08-2017 01:05 AM

Yes bugs move from one stack of lumber, just like they move from one log to another in nature.

For sterilization in a kiln, you need temperatures in the 130-140 degree range. Time at that temp depends on lumber thickness. See the article about kiln drying in the June 2017 issue of Woodworker’s Journal for all the details.

I use a DH kiln, but the concept is the same with solar. It’s just harder to regulate the temperature.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2624 days

#2 posted 06-08-2017 01:45 AM

These ant normally leave once the wood dries up because they need the moisture to keep their eggs alive. Put it somewhere to dry out for a while and they will pack their stuff and leave.


View TravisH's profile


724 posts in 2791 days

#3 posted 06-08-2017 02:31 AM

These ant normally leave once the wood dries up because they need the moisture to keep their eggs alive. Put it somewhere to dry out for a while and they will pack their stuff and leave.

- mahdee

My experience in the past and just yesterday started milling up some osage orange logs I picked up early winter from some of the power line clean up. One had decay in the center and contained some carpenter ants/eggs. I split the log down the middle and then cleaned out some of the bigger dead pieces and positioned the logs to get some sun. No ants this afternoon.

View Marcinchicago39's profile


10 posts in 1854 days

#4 posted 06-08-2017 04:33 AM

I think I’ll left it outside on sun for a while and if ants will move out I’ll put log into kiln.
If they still sit in my log I’ll call sheriff department to start eviction of unwanted guest ;)
Thank you for all your advise.

View WDHLT15's profile


1819 posts in 3332 days

#5 posted 06-08-2017 11:38 AM

These ants need decayed or rotten wood. They infest trees that have heart rot. They will not infest solid wood. You are OK to put the wood in the kiln with other wood. The ants are mostly likely already gone, and if there are still some left, they will expire in the kiln and not bother the other wood.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln.

View ksSlim's profile


1304 posts in 3746 days

#6 posted 06-08-2017 11:47 AM

mix equal parts of sugar and borax. Very effective ant killer. Ants will be attracted to the mixture and take it back to their living quarters and the borax will dehydrate any survivors left behind. Usually takes a couple of weeks to get all.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View OnhillWW's profile


256 posts in 2088 days

#7 posted 06-08-2017 12:18 PM

WDHLT15 and mahdee have it correct. Carpenter ants are not like Powder post beetles or termites; Carpenter ants only colonize damp wood.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

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