? about getting rid of fire ants

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ajharris, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. ajharris

    ajharris Amanda

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    We have been invaded :flame: It seems as if every time my 3 yr old goes out side she gets attacked :grump: . I have never battled them. How can I get them gone? DD has been bit atleast 50 times in the past 3 days. Please help!!!!

    TIA
    Amanda
     
  2. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Well-Known Member

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    My personal favorite method is to take a shovel full of one hill and dump it on another. Then take a shovel of the second hill and dump it on the third. Fire ants are territorial and will fight another hill to the death. Let them kill each other off by shoveling them onto each other: it may take a few rounds.

    I have read here, but not tried, sprinkling grits (uncooked) lightly around their hills.

    Personally, I prefer to fight them barefoot. That way you feel the first ant. If you wear shoes, by the time you know there's ants on you, you have a shoe full of ants.

    Again, my preference is to avoid poison. Not in my back yard!
     

  3. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    I've heard that sprinking a few pounds of corn grits on the mounds helps. Supposedly the grits swell up in their abdomens and kills them.
     
  4. enota

    enota Well-Known Member

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    I have read that if you mix ASPARTAME with a little water and set it out that it will kill ants (including fire ants), in a very short period of time. Apparently they are attracted to the sweetness but the Aspartame kills them. It's worth a try anyway. I am told that fire ants are very difficult to eradicate.

    enota
     
  5. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    I know Aspartame will kill carpenter ants. DH just did a repair job at someone's home last week and found a beam half eaten by carpenter ants. He sprinkled aspartame around after he replaced the beam and came back the next day to find them on their backs convulsing. Kid you not! Makes me think twice before thinking of picking up a diet soda!
     
  6. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Dubai Vol, wish I new your method when I lived in Florida....I have been bitten so many times and was constantly at total war with those ants...Glad to be in Tennessee, no ants on the Cumberland Plateau.... Tennessee John
     
  7. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    None of those things have worked on the fireants here. They are HORRIBLE!! Amdro does help, but you have to keep appyling it frequently. There are some other ant poisons, ask at your local feedstore.
     
  8. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    I patrol my yard once a month with AMDRO. Put it around the perimeter of my slab, around the AC unit, around the well pump area, on each mound.

    Hubby likes to use Orthene, but it smells like spoiled sauerkraut, so I choose not to use it. It kills faster, but PPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWW.
     
  9. enota

    enota Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I read where it's a good idea to add a little water to help encourage them to eat it and take it back to the nest.

    enota
     
  10. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    I use the ant poison from Gardens Alive . It works great and totally irradicates the fire ants. It also keeps them away for several years. It only takes a couple drops on each hill. I don't know if they still use the same formula that they had 10 years ago, but back then I bought it cause it claimed it was safe to use around pets and kids. Here's a statement from their web site: "Gardens Alive!™ offers high quality lawn and garden products that work with nature. In using our products you may feel confident that you are doing your part in protecting the environment."

    If you want to try their products, you can order a free catalog from their website. The catalog comes with a $25 gift certificate so you can order the ant poison totally free, you don't even have to pay S&H. Can't beat a deal like that!
     
  11. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    The only way to completely get rid of fire ants is to move north. :p
     
  12. swamp man

    swamp man Well-Known Member

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    I've tried everything under the sun,and the aforementioned Orthene,or anything else with acephate as the active pesticide is the only "apply directly to mound"treatment I've used that seems to knock 'em out,and yes,it stanks,and it stanks bad.
    You cant entirely get rid of fireants,but you can lessen the problem.Because several hills can be part of the same colony,ya' have to be thurough,and stay on top of ALL the hills.
    My shaker of acephate and I take a walk around the yard every few days,and nuke all fireants who dare enter.I don't even bother trying to kill thim outside of the acreage that I mow.There's anthills out in my timber that probably reach over 3 ft tall.
     
  13. Cashs Cowgirl

    Cashs Cowgirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well here in Louisiana, we will never be free of fire ants! I got bit 10 times today on my feet while putting in posts for a new section of fence with my husband. Good strong poison is the only thing that will work. Put it on a bit heavier than the package states and often...
     
  14. sashay

    sashay Well-Known Member

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    When I lived in houston, the fire ants were hideous. I could eradicate every mound but then it would rain and they would migrate in from someone else's yard and here we got again. The aspartame works very well...but if you need more fire power...try "over and out"...I got it at home depot. It is FAST and very effective.
     
  15. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As an exterminator for 15 years, ants were one of the most common pests. Nearly all of the training by experts had something about fireants. We don't have them in Colorado, but I can tell you a few things.

    First their hills go very deep. We were told that if we used any liquid poisons they would have to be injected into the hill so the poison would go all the way down the nest. Liquid poisons are the most toxic and are not as effective as baits.

    Amdro is a fire ant bait. It works great. The ants that are outside of the nest carry it down to the colony and the queens plus other workers will die. The bait is made of corn grits with hydromethylnon. Hydromethylnon is very low in toxicity to people and animals. A teaspoon is enough for 100 square feet, and a pound will be enough for an acre. It doesn't last forever, and since fireants are common in your part of the country you can be reinfected often. So applying the bait when you see them is necessary.

    Baits work far better than contact poisons like orthene or other chemicals that require some contact. Orthene is pretty toxic to people an animals. There are many other baits on the market, and ants have a habit of changing their taste preference. Most of the baits in Colorado are not available in hardware stores or garden stores. It is usually simple to determine if the ants want the bait. Place a small amount near the nest. If the ants want it they will start taking it within a few minutes. A few tablespoons is enough to kill a large nest. It is not a good idea to place the bait too close to the entrance of the nest.

    Good luck.
     
  16. chris30523

    chris30523 Well-Known Member

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    They are coming your way!!We didn't have fire ants in NE GA until about 8 years ago and it has gotten progressively worse since then..The grits didn't work.I'll try the aspertame .
     
  17. GeorgiaberryM

    GeorgiaberryM Well-Known Member

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    http://www.spcb.state.tx.us/consumer/twostep.pdf

    The above link is for the "Texas Two Step" method of fire ant control. They know fire ants in TX!!! Folks who are able to treat a larger area will have better control than those who can just treat a city lot.

    Think of fire ant control as something you will be doing forever and just include it with fall and spring chores.

    Over and out has the ingredient fipronil - this is the stuff that works magic on fleas. I have had many people tell me that it provides great control for fire ants. But my own personal guidelines prevent me from trying it LOL. Seriously I stay away from poisons with residual effects - this product claims a year!.

    The problem we have had with amdro is the chickens wanting to eat it. We have used the plastic flats that 6pks of bedding plants come in, turned upside down, to cover the bait, with a rock or brick on top to secure, to keep chickens-kids-dogs from eating the amdro, but the ants can still forage for it.

    Good luck!
     
  18. desnri

    desnri Well-Known Member

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    Diatomaceous Earth works. You sprinkle it around the mounds and anywhere ants are crawling. It takes about 3 days to see any results and you have to keep at it. But, if you don't like using poison, then try this.
     
  19. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    There's been a home remedies infomercial on at night, it says to mix canned cat food, grape jelly, and boric acid. Form it into little balls and throw them near (not on) the mounds. The ants will take it back to the queens and it will kill them.
     
  20. pepper

    pepper Well-Known Member

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    hullo mr.ajharris,

    i second the 'texas two step' put foward by ms.?georgiaberrym.
    i also have free range chickens,a stupid dog and an organic farm so most baits are not a good idea.
    the combination of physical control of the d-limon [orange oil] with the aplication of the spinosad toxin [organic use approved] has done very well! i am not ant free, but the population is very small.

    the ants are now multiple queen colonies so the old shovel & let them fight is pretty ineffective and the ants have a class of workers thats job is food tasting/posion detection?!? so many posions are becoming less effective of queen killing causing people to put more than the label directs or putting it out more often $$$.