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Insect Rod
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PostInsect Rod on 4/1/2017, 8:20 pm

Me and the wife going through our oak and hard wood forest looking for insects in the mostly rotten and softer wood, what we found inside all the wood over many acres was ants, and not just a few but hundreds of thousands over the observation span.
They were living inside the wood and this new ant generation of eggs were inside most if not all the wood we busted open. These are not the imported fire ants we also have, but these ants live in trees and in the rotten wood.
What gets me is you can`t open up a chunk of wood without these ants being inside, and I was wondering if they could be the cause of certain wood beetle larvae demise over the last 40 years or longer.
I don`t find any logical way to get rid of them and the question remains if they attack and kill beetle larvae in the rotten wood.
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Salmon
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PostSalmon on 4/1/2017, 10:00 pm

If these are large ants (workers 1 centimeter or larger) that don't sting, they're Camponotus or carpenter ants. I'm sure they kill and eat beetle larvae if they came across them while building their nests, but they're native and have been coexisting with native beetles for hundreds of thousands of years. If they are indeed native carpenter ants, I find it doubtful that they would be responsible for a decline in beetle population unless some other factor is causing an increase in their population.

But carpenter ants are usually found in dryer wood that isn't particularly rotten, while many other ants will nest in more well rotted wood like the kind beetles would utilize. So they might be something else, especially if they're small. Pictures would be helpful.
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Insect Rod
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PostInsect Rod on 4/1/2017, 10:45 pm

Small ants for sure, no larger than 0.25cm at best. I generally do the photo`s but today was an exception with gathering the substrate from the rotten wood.
No doubt a stereo scope photo can be provided of this species of ant. If they are killing off the beetle larvae, i`m not sure what ca be done about that
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T.C.
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PostT.C. on 4/2/2017, 11:10 am

Can you provide an image of these ants? If we know the species then we would know whether they are an invasive species or not.
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Insect Rod
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PostInsect Rod on 4/2/2017, 4:35 pm

We have been doing some home remolding so I had to move my camera equipment and stereo scope, tables etc. into another room for now, away from the dust etc.
What I have at this time is aprox. 200 lbs. of oak substrate, leaves and a rotten mixture in a very large container. So now i`m trying to drive the ants out with lots of well water; this is sort of working, but to be sure I will have to bake certain amounts of the substrate to kill the rest of the invaders, natural predators, live in`s etc. With the water process I just noticed an insect (beetle?) I have never seen before that came up from lower areas to the top of the substrate. More about that if I find it again.
Just going from one corner of our wooded farm land to the other corners I haven`t found a spot that was absent of these ants.
I don`t have any desire to raise ants along with beetle larvae even though the ants seem to love the mixture.
Insect rod

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