Seeking Advice on Avoiding Conflict with Western Thatch Ants

Hi folks,

I am going out on a limb here, hoping to get some advice, from people with more practical experience with Formica ant species.

I live in Western Washington State, on a rural island where Western Thatch Ants are quite common. We have several mounds around the property where we live. This spring, I noticed that what I perceive to be a new mound is developing near the walkway to our front door. I am loath to immediately move to conflict, however I don’t have enough knowledge and/or experience to do a good job with this situation. Thatch ant nests/hills/mounds can get quite large and in the rockery where it’s starting, it could eventually engulf our walkway. Which even if we are giving them respectful space would be likely to result in conflict.

Of course if I try to look up any conflict/advice, the immediate response is to dig them up and kill them all. Not my first choice. Or second. The local master gardeners that work with our extension service had good thoughts, but nothing really specific to Formica.

I know that seeking the commons on a really specific question is inviting a lot of opinions. What I’m hoping is that someone who knows these ants and how people can co-exist with them might have thoughts. Thank you so much and apologies if this is an inappropriate question here.


Definitely a good question. I also live in western Washington, and have several and mounds near my house. I dont know much about the ants, so I could be wrong with this, but I think when the nest is still very small like that, it would be fine to just dig it up and put it somewhere else, as long as you also moved the dirt and stuff thats currently surrounding the nest. Maybe look at the other nest around you property, and see of their are any common themes to ware they are placing them. Then look for a spot that fits those parameters, and does not have an already existing nest, and just put the ants their. I dont think many of them would die.


That makes sense! Thanks for the thoughts!

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