Pine tree ants, liometopum luctuosum, attacking oven insulation

We came across a very unusual pine tree ant infestation. The resident of a house in Sonora, on Villas Lane, had been gone a week, and when he came back, found his kitchen floor covered with a fluffy, dusty material.

Examination revealed an infestation by pine tree ants, and oddly, these ants were attacking the insulation around a couple of kitchen appliances, an oven and a dishwasher. Typically these ants excavate in soft wood, such as rotted parts of pine trees, and Celotex ceiling insulation. I’d not seen them try to nest in appliance insulation.

The ants had a handy food source, about 20 feet from the appliances: a hummingbird feeder on the front porch.

23 June 2020