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Thread: Fireants!!!!!

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  1. #1
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    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Fireants!!!!!

    (quote from my post that led another thread off-topic, copied here to be "on-topic" and de-clutter the other thread)


    .....Anyone know any good GENOCIDAL tricks for committing great atrocities & war-crimes against Red Imported Fire Ants? At first I thought it was stresses I placed on the first hive during removal that caused it to collapse in my hive box, but today, when I went to check on my wonderfully gently new hive, I found the dastardly culprits red handed! There were streams of THOUSANDS of the little demons running up and down THREE LEGS of my stand for the new hive, carrying death into my hive box, and little pieces of my bees' precious brood back out and into the pits of hell (their mounds) with them.
    Upon opening the hive, I found that the ants had already killed or chased off about 99.5% of my living bees; had removed ALL of the uncapped brood (both eggs and larvae); had killed most of the remaining bees except for one little group of about 50 bees who were all back-to-back in a defensive circle, still battling hopelessly against the invaders; and they had even begun de-capping the capped brood, and killing them before they could emerge!
    In the past I've combatted the fire ants on my property with: Permethrin (I used almost 40gal of mixed-down permethrin treating for them last year); Amdro (3-4 2.5lb boxes, each labeled to treat 2.5acres, still didn't work for my 1.5ac lot); Seven 5% dust; and about 15-20gal of Diesel Fuel and Gasoline dumped on their mounds when I didn't have any other killing agents handy. Does ANYONE have a PROVEN EFFECTIVE method for exterminating these little boogers, and keeping them gone for a while???

    I'm at an impasse here; if I can't get these ants under control, my career as an apiarist might have already reached a premature end.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    (copied from other thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    Amdro granules, not broadcasted, but poured directly into a few holes in the nest that you make with a stick... after you have treated each nest, get some grasses growing... the added moisture in the soil caused by the shading of grasses will make them seek a more suitable home...

    For your stands, place each leg in a pail of water... keep an eye on the water level to keep it from evaporating...

    We don't really have a problem with ants, even though there are plenty around and some even build nests under hives and even between hives that are on pallets... a good healthy hive will teach the ants that its easier to find a safe meal elsewhere...


    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    (copied from other thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    Amdro granules, not broadcasted, but poured directly into a few holes in the nest that you make with a stick.
    (envisions poking & pouring on about 700+ ant mounds) Well, guess I'll start with the ones closest to the hives & start working my way out SLOWLY and METHODICALLY!

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    get some grasses growing... the added moisture...
    I have 15lbs of Buckwheat seed that I'm planning to plant as a "cover crop" in the 3/4 acre section (hay field) where I'm locating my hive boxes; that should work pretty well, shouldn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    a good healthy hive will teach the ants that its easier to find a safe meal elsewhere...
    ...Well, that's kinda what I was HOPING would happen, but I guess I have WAY too many ants for that (or not enough bees yet; or maybe both) :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    Hope this helps.
    So do I, BELIEVE me so do I...will update once I've made enough progress to attempt re-stocking one of the hives.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    (copied from other thread)
    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    Lol. For the grass, you may want to try mixing a pound of ball clover per acre into some rye seed or that buckwheat seed... its pretty drought tolerant, but adding some form of irrigation will help all around... Texas is home to Fairly Seed Co. who grows Ball Clover and has great success with it there... clover is a nitrogen fixing plant that I have been doing a good bit of research on and have used a LOT throughout my life... it starts well in poor quality soil so long as it has water and it corrects a lot of problems and only releases the N when the plant dies... it reseeds itself heavily and provides an excellent protein forage for cattle and other livestock as well as wildstock like deer and turkeys... if you use a rotation program, it can give you forage for livestock year round... and forage for bees year round as long as the droughts don't get the blooms...

    We did a study in pecan orchards where constant herbicides had been used beneath the trees for over a decade and the soil had become a total wasteland... ball and crimson clover were used in separate rows and both made a moderate stand the first year and a full stand the second... for pecans, clover is an excellent cover because it harbors the predators of pecan pests, controls the amount of N released into the soil and helps hold in cool moisture so the soil doesn't bake in the summer... pecan crops nearly doubled by the second year and the amount of pesticides needed were less than a quarter of what was needed before...

    The point is that cover can resolve some of the "hard soil" issues that fire ants seem to thrive in, and it sure is a lot safer than importing phorid flies. ;-)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    Sounds ok, but I'm not sure how much it'll affect my land. When I purchased the land a couple (or maybe 3-3.5) years ago it was overrun with natural, THICK vegetation growing to ~4ft high. While clearing that DENSE vegetation I ran into COUNTLESS fire ant (RIFA) mounds, some upwards of 1ft high & 3ft diameter. After clearing the land (i.e. mowing down to manageable pasture height & removing most of the mesquite shrubbery...OUCH!) I overseeded the back 99'x300' section (my hives are at the back of this section) with a pasture mix of bermuda grass + ryegrass + alfalfa + forget what else. Now that area is FULL of clover & wildflowers, with grass poking up wherever the clover & alfalfa haven't smothered it out (currently an avg. of about 6" tall throughout). Even so, and even after last year's all-time-record-destroying drought (I think we still need over 1' of rain to "end the drought" ...and it's been raining PLENTIFULLY so far this year), the fire ants are as bad as ever, maybe even worse! :-(
    I'm not discounting anyone's input, least of all someone with experience to absolutely shame my own, but in light of that, do you still think planting grass/buckwheat/ball clover/crimson clover (btw, I also have an enough crimson clover & foxtail millet seed to blanket that whole area with either/both of those) will really do much at all to help with my ant problem?
    (also, do you/anyone else here know anything about the purported negative effect on reproduction rates caused by feeding legumes to sheep? I'm not sure of the validity, but it concerns me some as the pasture area with my hives in it is the hay field I harvest as winter silage for my sheep)

    Back to how to kill the ants: So far, I'm thinking that I'll try:
    a)Your "poke and pour" Amdro method &/or the "3-4oz orange oil+1gal water poured on the mound" method on the first 50-100 mounds I see (I'll prob. experiment with both; see which works best)
    b)Plant the buckwheat & crimson clover seed that I already purchased to plant as bee forage back there anywise
    c)Place "inverted pie-pan" style "termite shields" on the legs of all of my hives from now on (maybe adding smaller dishes of water/oil sheltered under them if necessary)
    and
    d)Keep watching/reading to see what other ideas people here can come up with that strike me as having similar, or better, odds of efficacy.


    Any thoughts from anyone there? Good plan? Bad plan? Horrible plan? ...just don't bother telling me I'm overdoing it, 'cuz this is, after all, a GENOCIDAL WAR now...LOL (not to mention how mad I already was at the fire ants for destruction of crops, destruction of fences, killing my cat, attacking me+my wife+our 2.5yr old son.....etc, etc, etc... for the past 3 yrs!)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Frisco City, AL, USA
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    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    We use Orthene here, and it works very well. Mind you, it's terribly expensive and you have to liberally apply it to the mound (I poke several holes in the paper container cover and sprinkle it like a salt shaker all over the mound, until it is white). I've tried every broadcast poison out there, and none of them will eliminate the ants, the per-mound treatment is much more effective. We've got 20 acres here, and treat all of it (the wooded areas aren't so bad, but the 12 acres of open ground require constant attention). I use gas near my hives so the bees won't get into the Orthene, since it will kill them too and it highly transportable (it's the consistency of flour). Planting vegetation will not make the ants go away; if you don't mind mowing try keeping it cut (I mow my fields 6" high & it helps a lot). There is not an easy fix for the ants; treating mounds is part of my weekly routine (sad but true).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    hmm... sounds kinda tempting (though quite expensive)... but I just looked up a tech. paper on acephate (active ingredient in orthere); NASTY stuff! Kills bugs; then kills anything & everything that eats the bugs! So; after deliberation, I don't think it's going to be an option for me as I'm getting into beekeeping to help sustain biodiversity, and I value my worms, lizards, dragonflies, birds & ducks (the ducks are livestock) a bit too much to endanger them that much..
    ...guess I'll keep looking.

    SIDE NOTE: Doesn't look like I'll be trying the "3-4oz of orange oil in a gallon of water" method much either; would cost approx. $300 in orange oil to treat my land that way!

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