Antweb’s Ant Blog

Of all the ant sites on the internet, few are as effective an outreach tool as’s excellent Ant Blog. Reader questions about everything from ant-rearing tips to identifications to pest control are farmed out to the appropriate experts. Responses are characteristically authoritative and good-natured. Consider the Ant Blog’s answer to the above question about patio ants:

…many ants regularly relocate their nests on their own, and it turns out that this behavior has been previously studied in Formica subsericea (Smallwood 1982 – full citation below). According to Smallwood (1982), Formica subsericea change nest sites about every 90 days. So if you wait long enough, they may leave on their own, though they could be replaced by yet another colony. Hoelldobler and Wilson have a section on ant nest relocation on page 171 of their 1990 book, “The Ants”. They discuss a number of factors that are known to motivate some ants to relocate their nests including mechanical nest disturbance, flooding, competition, and predation. I doubt you want to prey on these ants but, given enough disturbance, they may choose to leave on their own. Digging up your old patio may be all the motivation the ants need to leave.

Ant Blog is a valuable service, performed entirely for free. Contact with your questions.

6 thoughts on “Antweb’s Ant Blog”

  1. “performed entirely for free”


    Somebody must pay the costs, even if those who directly benefit do not.

    1. “Antweb is funded from private donations and from grants from the National Science Foundation, DEB-0344731 and EF-0431330.”

      so there you have it ! In part, your tax dollars at work.

      1. I love how you conservatives make snide comments about taxpayer-funded projects on the same internet that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for government-funded research.

        1. LOL you do love your categories. My point was that there is no free, only someone’s agenda. Only a progressive could see that fact about a framing error as snide.

          Intarwebs was Defense Dept funded (DARPA), if you please. Defense of the country is the MAIN JOB of the federal government, in case you needed that little factoid, even if I come away feeling unclean whenever I deal with them, and DOD was the main beneficiary of their research for the first few years. The university DOD scientists hijacked DARPANET and it was good, but that was pretty much the end of Fed contribution. They got something for their money, unlike all the billions poured down the AGW rathole, which only generated ratturds.

          Did you know some propeller head thinks global warming causes smaller brains ?

  2. Nice article. 90 days is long enough to wait for them to relocate their colony and it is not an assurance that other colony will not be replaced by the other colony.

  3. Water! Slow, judiciously applied water. If a nestsite becomes too wet ants will relocate. One way to collect entire colony ant colony (and any other insects living with them) is to encircle a nest with, for example, a soaker hose. If you apply the water slowly enough the ants will move away from the too wet conditions, ie toward the center of the circle, taking their brood with them. If you provide a dry place for them to move into and the whole area is too wet… they will move brood and all into the artificial nest provided. After all its do it or die. If more than one species or colony is thus “herded” into the same space, bloody war is quite possible. Of course if you just want them to go somewhere else (close by probably) just make the area you want to clear too wet. If you apply too much water too fast you’ll kill ’em.

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