fire ants

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by james dilley, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 21, 2004
    deep south texas
    The old time rememdy was to use Diesel fuel. Take a pair of rubber gloves ,Put them on, Then take a bucket of diesel and a broom handle wet the hadle and insert into the mound then pour about a pint into the hole you made after about 2-3 treatments theres no more fire ants. It really works best when hot and dry. It will discolor the soil around where the mound was, I don't know about the waiting period befor grazing though,.
  2. MaryNY

    MaryNY Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2004
    New York
    I've heard that if you can find one or more ant mounds near each other, that you take a shovel and then scuff up one mound real good with the shovel, then take a shovel full of ants from the other mound and mix it in with the first one; then scuff up the second mound and shovel ants from the first into the second; etc. - until all the mounds are scuffed up and all the ants are fighting each other to the death. Supposed to make them kill each other off. Might take two or three "treatments", but it's supposed to work, and shouldn't leave anything behind to hurt the cattle. Hope they have good luck getting rid of those nasty things!


  3. idontno

    idontno Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Western Kansas
    Just take a cup of gasoline and pour it in the hole.Then cover with newspaper or plastic to seal it off.Put some dirt on top to hold it in place.Ants will be gone in a no time.....
  4. loveappies

    loveappies New Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    MaryNY's idea really works. I've done it many times. You know they are gone when you see little piles of dead ants. They actually pile up their casualties. It is kind of sad but fire ants are so nasty that I can't even feel sorry for them. I think it is OK to use gasoline or diesel in a small well-defined area, but boiling water works immediately and has no lasting effects on the earth or vegetation. Once I have a couple of teakettles boiling I'll take a pitchfork out to the mound and make holes, then pour in the boiling water.
  5. craisbeck

    craisbeck "Simple Life"

    Jul 19, 2005
    We used to use to hav ea cattle rub in with our cattle that we soaked in desil fula about 4 times a summer. The cattle will rub on leaving just a trace of fual on the hair. Won't hurt the cattle at all. It will keep the bugs off including ticks, flies, and musqetoes. Might work for ant's too. If you can place it in a high traffic area like near a water or in a barn yard run way works best.
  6. BeeFree

    BeeFree Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 22, 2004
    Ripley Co. Mo
    You all get those fire ants killed off before they spread to Southern MO.

    My Sister lives in lower AR and she is all time fighting those things. They can even mess up an engine of a car. I can see how they could kill an animal as when they bite it hurts like heck.
  7. GeorgiaberryM

    GeorgiaberryM Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2004
    southwest AR
    This link describes the Texas two step method to control fire ants.

    Also there is a pamphlet available from any TX extension agent.

    OK, this has really worked for us. Not only do we live in a totally infested area, but we work as landscapers, so fire ant control is part of our daily lives. The two steps are 1) broadcast a bait, and 2) treat mounds.

    Broadcasting bait is the most important, by far. It takes VERY LITTLE bait to control ants, the amount for Amdro is one to one and a half pounds per acre. Amdro is the only thing that we have used that actually works. Unfortunately, chickens eat it . . . so be careful. Where that is a problem, we put out piles of bait and cover them with the plastic trays that hold 6-packs of bedding plants, turned upside down, and with a brick on top to keep from blowing away.

    To broadcast the bait, put it in a spreader, we use a handheld one, and spead it in a grid pattern about 25 ft in between passes. This is the distance that fire ants forage. Spread it when the grass is dry and no chance of rain that day. At this application rate the Amdro is only $10-$15 per acre.

    It will take a couple weeks to see control in the population. Then you must keep doing this treatment, in spring and fall or late summer, probably forever. I think fire ants are here to stay.

    The second step is mound treatment. The best way is to put one Tbsp. of amdro sprinkled on the mound. Try to disturb the mound as little as possible. Don't worry they will come out and find the bait. With this step added, you should see results within days. But treating mounds can be expensive (uses alot of bait), and if you are willing to wait for the broadcast application to work you really don't need to.

    The more area you treat, the more effective. In other words of you treat five acres with your house in the middle, you won't see as many ants return as if you live on a 1/4 acre lot and your neighbors aren't treating for ants.

    I know this is getting long, but a couple more tips - in my area in Arkansas, a Little River county sells Amdro at wholesale prices to the public. Just call the county barn. Also the Miller county extension agency (prob other counties also) loans spreaders for use in fire ant control - I have used the on that fits on a Mule a few times. Contact your local extension agent - they are eager to help with this problem.

    I know torturing fire ants is fun - pouring boiling water over them , soaking mounds in diesel and setting them on fire, making them fight. I do it too - my favorite is filling the mound up with water ( use a hose!) and watching all the little eggs float away to be eaten by chickens. But none of these methods really controls ants on a large scale, like a cow pasture. Torturing a mound and then coming back to find it dried up and dusty is fun, but I think the ants just move. Colonies are unbelievably huge and mounds are just entrances. Colonies can have several.

    Good luck!
  8. chickengumbo39

    chickengumbo39 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2003
    Beautiful Arizona!
    Just wanted to report we've pretty much licked our fireant problem using boiling water with a little dish soap added into it poured into the mounds....liberally...until it won't hold anymore! What ants DO resurface seem very localized instead of the "ants ants everywhere" feeling....we can actually walk barefoot. With chickens, sheep, horses, turkeys and kids, we had great success with this simple nontoxic method, even in the enormous mounds (we had a huge one under our boardwalk that was unbelieivable in size!) Ammonia poured down the holes also seemed to work but of course it costs more than dishsoap in some boiling water, so we went with the lower cost treatment. We walk the property about once a week to locate mounds and I'll put out bait such as eggnog or goat minerals that the ants tend to flock to and then follow their trail home (not so easy in a pasture, but doable). I did notice once we got rid of the ants, we got ticks!!! Never had ticks here when we had ants....???!!! Good luck with whatever method you choose...just wanted to give feedback on our success with the treatment we went with.