The day of hurricane Sandy we were left without electricity, and I got a couple of recently cut black locust logs from a neighbor to light a fire. Of course, my wife wasn't to keen on the idea of using the fireplace for the first time ever, and that idea fell by the wayside. In the meantime, the logs were left inside by the fireplace.
Today the idea that I could have brought into the house termites suddenly popped into my mind, and I inspected the logs. To my surprise, there were tons of ants, some of the winged - I'm attaching some pics of them, but I presume they are ants.
The question stems from the fact that under the fireplace grate, there were these cocoons or eggs forming tiny fuzzy white balls. I have no idea if these go together with the ants, or it is a different problem.
Any help will be very welcome. Thanks in advance.
infestation in the house?
The ants appear to be carpenter ants; finding them in black locust is not surprising. The fuzzy white balls may contain spider eggs; they certainly are unrelated to the ants.
Any advice as to what to do other than getting rid of the logs?
I presume the ants had a good four to six weeks to get around the house...
These ants usually will not attack wood unless it is damaged in some way, such as by water or decay - http://www1.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/carpenter-ants/ .