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Is digging up an ant colony a good idea?

digging ant colonies ant colony

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Ender Ants - Posted May 2 2017 - 3:38 PM

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So is digging up an ant colony a good idea? Like, I know you may hurt the queen, but is it a good idea otherwise? 



#2 Offline fortysixandtwo - Posted May 2 2017 - 3:43 PM

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This depends on a lot of factors.

 

Type of ant.

 

Type of nest.

 

Ability to excavate nest with minimal loss of workers, brood, queen, etc.

 

Really going to be a case by case basis.

 

For example, I just found a C modoc colony in one of the boards that comprises one of my garden beds. I picked away a few pieces of wood to see what the colony looks like. They go in deep and there would be no way to get them easily without either killing most of them, or losing most of them in the process.

 

I also found a T. sessile colony under a rock I was moving. It was relatively close to the surface (queens and brood visible on surface) and didn't appear deep. I could have easily dug out the entire nest with a large shovel then placed it in a container to carefully pick apart.

 

Use common sense. If you can't get them all relatively quickly without causing a lot of damage, its not worth it. 


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#3 Offline Martialis - Posted May 2 2017 - 3:56 PM

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It's not too great of an idea to excavate native, mature nests (past the founding stage).


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#4 Offline Spamdy - Posted May 2 2017 - 4:06 PM

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It's not too great of an idea to excavate native, mature nests (past the founding stage).

because queen and workers might not be able to adapt to captivity and die. Then you have accomplished nothing, I would not recommend it.


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All my colonies are dead. 

 

 Except:

  

  Pogonomyrmex barbatus

  Pheidole obscurithorax

  Pheidole morens


#5 Offline Vendayn - Posted May 2 2017 - 4:15 PM

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I don't tend to LIKE to dig up ant colonies. The only time I do is if they are under intense threat by Argentine ants, or/and construction and irrigation is built near them.

 

For example, I re-located a bunch of Pogonomyrmex californicus colonies because they changed an entire area to be irrigated. Very soon after that, hundreds of thousands of Argentine ants moved in. A couple colonies of Pogonomyrmex were also close to being bulldozed at some point to build the actual apartments on top of their nests.

 

Which means I've actually dug up a lot of colonies, because everywhere I move to is stupid construction all the time. Like non-stop construction everywhere. And then they build irrigation, which draws in Argentine ants. Down in San Diego, they completely destroyed so many countless miles of valley areas to build a bunch of housing. I saved a few colonies, but the area was too big for one person to go down and move colonies. Eventually the whole area was taken over by Argentine ants, and a big portion destroyed by housing.


Edited by Vendayn, May 2 2017 - 4:16 PM.


#6 Offline Ender Ants - Posted May 2 2017 - 7:27 PM

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This depends on a lot of factors.

 

Type of ant.

 

Type of nest.

 

Ability to excavate nest with minimal loss of workers, brood, queen, etc.

 

Really going to be a case by case basis.

 

For example, I just found a C modoc colony in one of the boards that comprises one of my garden beds. I picked away a few pieces of wood to see what the colony looks like. They go in deep and there would be no way to get them easily without either killing most of them, or losing most of them in the process.

 

I also found a T. sessile colony under a rock I was moving. It was relatively close to the surface (queens and brood visible on surface) and didn't appear deep. I could have easily dug out the entire nest with a large shovel then placed it in a container to carefully pick apart.

 

Use common sense. If you can't get them all relatively quickly without causing a lot of damage, its not worth it. 

ah, ok. Thanks for the advice!


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