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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,031

    Default Re: fire ant control

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapfe View Post
    Oh, and if your believe "if your gona play in Texas you gotta have a fiddle in the band," then bee sure to check out The Old Time Tennessee Valley Fiddlers Convention in Athens, Alabama this October. Our local bee org will have a booth there.
    Club Trio - Mingus, TX. has a band that plays every now and then that has 2 fiddle players in the band!
    Last edited by Hambone; 04-14-2011 at 01:02 PM. Reason: awesomeness
    Chuck Norris once roundhouse kicked Hulk in the face. Now he hides in the forest and changed his name to Shrek

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
    Posts
    341

    Default Re: fire ant control

    Go online and get a product called "termedore". My spelling might be wrong. I cannot get it in any store in NC. The product is Fipronil or something like that-same chemical as front-line flea & tick control. I was told it is a bait and will get to the queen. I've used it for the large roaches (water bugs) and it is gold. Also used it for fire ants and it worked like a charm. Personally I would have no problem using this as a tool to get rid of fire ants around the hive. It will also take care of hive beetle larvae. I would make sure the hive are at least 12-14" above the ground and do the drench when the bees are in for the night so vapors don't rise.
    JMOHO

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Adams Co., Colorado, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: fire ant control

    You Southerners might be appalled at the waste of your favorite food... but dumping a bunch of dry grits around an anthill will take their numbers down. They eat them, swell up, and explode.

    I've also had some luck with aspartame, aka Sweet'n'Low. I don't think I'd use it around bees though, unless I was sure they wouldn't touch it. Kills ants for sure... and FDA approved for your soda pop!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: fire ant control

    Quote Originally Posted by Apiator View Post
    You Southerners might be appalled at the waste of your favorite food... but dumping a bunch of dry grits around an anthill will take their numbers down. They eat them, swell up, and explode....
    Sure they do. A few decades ago urban myth believers attempted to pass laws against throwing rice at weddings. The urban reasoning being the rice swelled up in the crops of song birds who ate it, producing a horrible death.

    The truth is bird crops are designed to re-hydrate dried seeds and grain and then hand off this food to the bird's gizzard, where it is further PROCESSED. BTW, isn't the phrase "rural myth" an oxymoron?

    Ok, now for the rest of the story. Fire ants are carnivorous. If you think they eat veggies or tofu, have I got a surprise for you. Come visit me and my fire ants one weekend this summer. Wear only sandals, and shorts, no socks allowed. Unless you have two wooden legs, if you can stand in a fire ant hill of my choosing for 15 minutes quietly and without moving I will buy you a case of beer. NO Derek, sit down! This offer isn't for you!

    Up into the early 70s the USDA kept fire ant numbers in check by distributed fire ant bait in the form of ground corn impregnated with fats laced with an insecticide. The animal fats make the bait attractive to fire ants. The oil soaked corn carried the insecticide to the ground without a plumb of spray drifting everywhere and killing bees. The forging worker ants carried the bacon flavored bait to the mound where it was fed to all the ants, including the queen, killing the whole shebang. This worked well. So there is a grain of tr... excuse me, a grit of truth to this urban myth.

    IN the early 70s I went with my father, a WWII B17 crew chief and his first grand child, my first daughter, to see one of pop's old aircraft. At the time the Flying Fort was on the ground being refueled and re-armed with ground corn ant bait to drop on fire ants.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Adams Co., Colorado, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: fire ant control

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapfe View Post
    Come visit me and my fire ants one weekend this summer. Wear only sandals, and shorts, no socks allowed. Unless you have two wooden legs, if you can stand in a fire ant hill of my choosing for 15 minutes quietly and without moving I will buy you a case of beer.
    Ya know, I think I'll pass, as much fun as that sounds! That ranks right up there with the offer to stick my arm in a feed auger.

    I will admit my mistake, thinking about it... I just have your garden variety red ants. They have a mean bite, but they aren't fire ants. Don't think we have too many of those here.

    Just be glad we don't have army ants!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: fire ant control

    LOL Don't blame you. I think I would stick my arm in the feed auger to get some relief from the fire ants.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,398

    Default Re: fire ant control

    I now live in TN but came from SC where fireants have been around for decades with some mounds as high as 2 or 3 feet or as wide as 5 feet. I spent unknow amounts of hours watching these pests.

    I take issue with using grits to kill fireants. Do they like it, yes. Does it work, never did for me.

    Fireants are unlike any ant I have ever been around:

    They are everywhere foraging all of the time and have a great sense of "smell". You cannot leave your birds on the ground during a dove shoot. Within minutes of dropping your first bagged bird it will be covered with fireants.

    I have killed them only to watch them bring out the dead and pile them up in little indentions in the ground near the entrances like massive open graves.

    I have washed them with water trying to drown them out of a flower pot only to see them come up and gather together to float away as a group.

    I have given them grits to only see them bring the grits back out and pile it up outside the entrance rejecting the grits. Now perhaps it killed some of the ants and they realized the cause and removed the grits. Hence, it didn't work.

    I have piled up grits in my yard where I had a lot of mounds. Each mound is a different colony and are not friendly towards each other. Came back a short time later to find fireants from everywhere getting grits. After an hour or so I came back to find ants from each colonly removing the grits from my original dump site to many smaller piles of grits. Each of these piles then had ants that would take the grits back to their home colony, hence no fighting among the colonies for the grits. I wish I had pictures of that. It was uncanny that they could figure out how to get the grits w/o fighting!!!!

    Once a fireant mound is created the ants will return to that same mound even if it is destroyed and chemicals were used. It might be weeks or months later but another colony will return and use what's underground. Kind of like bee swarms. It's not uncommon for other bees swarms to come to the same tree/location as a resting spot. Even a year later.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Beckville Texas,USA
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: fire ant control

    A shovel and 5000 degrees works pretty well. Not much left after that.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: fire ant control

    The imported red fire ant first arrived at the port of Mobile in 1930. In the 1950s I watched as the fire ant followed my family North into the Tennessee Valley. In 1958 the agriculture teacher at my new Tennessee Valley high school one day asked me if I was from South Alabama. I told him, "I am." He took me and the rest of the class 100 yards down the road where someone had reported a strange new ant hill protruding from the top of the road bank. When we arrived, a half dozen or so farmers were already there. Some were rolling homemade smokes, their tobacco sacks dangling from strings clinched tightly between their teeth, others were sadly shaking their heads from side to side. Teacher asked me if I knew what kind of ant hill that was. I answered, "Them there's fire ‘aints’ Teacher!" Teach and the farmers knew they were fire ants, they were just hoping that I could lift the fire ant scourge from their heads like a biblical prophet removes leprosy. The imported red fire ant had arrived in the Tennessee Valley.

    Every time I recollect that day I regret that the movie "Scar Face" had not yet been filmed. It would have been the perfect opportunity for me to use Tony Montana’s famous line "… Say hello to my little friend!" Because whatever else they may be, red fire ants are an assault weapon. Thanks mostly to the efforts of the government, for the next 20 years red fire ants were confined to the lower or deep South. Then during the 1970s the fire ants' allies in Washington, the anti chemical crowd, halted USDA control efforts and by 1990 fire ants were again poised to invade the Tennessee Valley. It so reminds me of the spread of mites or hive beetles that sometimes it makes me want to cry.

    Like USCBeeMan said, the fire ant will re-colonize previous locations. What first attracts a young fire ant queen to a new location however is bare Earth, and there is plenty of bare earth where other fire ant mounds previously were. However, mowing highway right of ways is in my opinion the number one thing that opens up new territory to fire ant colonization. Think about the large batwing mowers scalping the landscape. A single fire ant mound, it's foraging tunnels, and sally ports can easily cover an acre or more. The longest single fire ant tunnel ever measured was almost 140 feet long. You can quickly see why water on the scale of a bucket, a barrel or a garden hose has so little effect. At least one or more of their main tunnels goes down to the permanent water table, making fire ants almost drought as well as flood proof.

    Fire ants don't like people monkeying with their mounds any more than people long enjoy monkeying with fire ant hills. If you disturb it, fire ants may move the mound over night, sometimes a whole 20 feet. This can be a Pyrrhic victory for the homeowner. The ants may relocate the mound to your home’s foundation, door steps, in front of your mail box or to your wife‘s rose garden. At any rate I think any disturbance only energizes the colony and opens up new foraging territory to them. So by knocking down the mound you are only helping one the ant colony overcome another. At any rate a large fire ant mound long in place can stop a two row farm tractor like running it into a fire hydrant.

    Until fire ants get things settled between themselves, there may be 100 or more mounds per acre. Along some road ways 3 or 4 mounds, each 18 inches tall, inside a 1,000 square foot area is common. I like to think of fire ants as the Vikings of the insect world. Not only are fire ants great explorers, and colonizers, but they seem to enjoy raiding and fighting their neighbors too. The end result is that one fire ant colony will eventually seize and hold all the territory that one colony has the manpower and moxy to seize and hold. They sound a little like people don't they?

    The only good thing I can say about fire ants is that they are great destroyers of small hive beetle larva. However, before you start penning, “Ode to the Fire Ant,” remember shb can fly 5 miles one way each and every day. So fire ants likely provide little benefit to any one beekeeper.
    Last edited by Scrapfe; 04-15-2011 at 11:26 PM.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: fire ant control

    Quote Originally Posted by Growing Boy View Post
    A shove... works pretty well...
    Your a better man than I am Growing Boy.
    Last edited by Scrapfe; 04-15-2011 at 11:07 PM.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    487

    Cool Re: fire ant control

    I have groundhogs around, too. I notice the fire ants like to set up shop in the hills the groundhogs work up for them.

    No doubt about it, they are pernicious, evil creatures of dubious parentage.

    Some folks claim that taking a shovel full of dirt and ants from one mound and switching it with a shovel full from another mound will make them destroy the 2 mounds themselves. I don't know, I haven't tried it. But it's an interesting theory.

    Yes, the really are unlike other ants. No, they don't like grits or rice, etc. Bare toes, feet and ankles are good. One other upside to the FA: The chigger population has been drastically reduced, along with copperheads. And yes, they do clean out SHB and WM larvae really well. But it's not enough to redeem them.

    Yankees, I won't claim to know how bad a New England winter is, if you won't claim to know how bad fire ants are.

    Could we send the FA to Iraq, or somewhere, and use them like a weapon of mass destruction? If we'd had the FA when WT Sherman Marched, he wouldn't have bothered with us!

    Summer

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Turnbow Hollow, Tennessee
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: fire ant control

    Not the most eco friendly but soaking the ant mound with Orthene works like a champ. They NEVER come back to the to the mound. Just be very careful spraying it around your bee hives.

    http://www.acehardwaresuperstore.com...ry_id/867.html

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Beckville Texas,USA
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: fire ant control

    It's a constant battle.
    We've found landscape maintenance works wonders.
    When we moved back here my wifes 300 some antique roses had been badly neglected.
    We set upon a 2 year landscape renovation project. Weeding, cutting, burning. Laying landscape fabric, drip irrigation and 5 to 8 inches of cyprus mulch. The ants won't build underneath the mulch but if an open spot shows up they are there in a heart beat. my 4 hives are scattered around the property so the girls flight pattern doesn't interfere with most daily activities or yard chores.
    all except one are in heavily mulched areas and I have no ant problems with them.
    One that I set up in a little paved area between our shop and greenhouse had a little parade going on the other day. I followed it back to the origion and flooded it with a couple of gallons of Talstar.
    We shall see. To us it's just another landscape maintenance chore. Right now I have a dozen fire ant bites on my foot. I was out mowing our road ditch in flip flops and stood in one place just a bit too long. I never learn.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: fire ant control

    Quote Originally Posted by Growing Boy View Post
    It's a constant battle... Right now I have a dozen fire ant bites on my foot...
    Not a lot you can do with an ant that bites, chews, and gnaws on one end and stabs and stings at the other.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Denison, Tx
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: fire ant control

    Quote Originally Posted by summer1052 View Post

    Some folks claim that taking a shovel full of dirt and ants from one mound and switching it with a shovel full from another mound will make them destroy the 2 mounds themselves. I don't know, I haven't tried it. But it's an interesting theory.

    I don't have a shovel with a long enough handle to try that

    Summer

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: fire ant control

    Quote Originally Posted by summer1052 View Post
    I have groundhogs around, too...
    Now I know I'm coming out there. Nothing like a fat Bar-Bee-Qed groundhog (or three) and a tub of ice cold beer on a hot July day. Yumm.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

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