Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 73

Thread: Fireants!!!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    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
    Location
    Frisco City, AL, USA
    Posts
    99

    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    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!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    I use Amdro and it works well here. I have between 5 and 10 hills a year I have to deal with. The fire ants and I have decided that this will be an ongoing war until I die (they'll eventually win, but I won't go down without a fight!).

    This may seem way out in left field, but if they're that bad, perhaps you could consider putting your hives in kiddie pools and putting several inches of water in the pool. Have the hives up on a couple of blocks where the moisture wouldn't bother them too much. It would be like a moat. The dollar stores have the kiddie pools for around $5. I know it sounds strange, but it just might work.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    This is simple, inexpensive and works quite well.....I have bees on pallets and the little stinging red ant devils build their mounds sometimes between the colonies or up the sides of them. So I have a garden sprayer mixed with DAWN dish detergent. I spray between the boxes. I stick the nozzle down into the mound and foam them. The soap kills the ants on contact and keeps killing. The soap will move down into the soil with a rain. It is safe for your bees as long as you do not spray them by accident. After soaping the ants and killing them I work my bees without fear of being eaten alive by the ants. Give Dawn a try. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Modem View Post
    I have between 5 and 10 hills a year I have to deal with.
    I WISH I only had 5-10/year to deal with; lol I just killed about 20 the other day with Diesel fuel. Now I have 20 nice, dead spots; no ants, no grass, nothing living at all there (one ant hill has since moved in close enough to a dead patch that the mound has crossed into the "dead zone" though)...so I guess I could just pour about 150gal of diesel over the whole property for around $500 and change...would prob. get rid of all the ants w/o killing anything that can walk/crawl/fly away before application, but I don't think the EPA would appreciate it much!

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Modem View Post
    This may seem way out in left field, but if they're that bad, perhaps you could consider putting your hives in kiddie pools and putting several inches of water in ... It would be like a moat.
    Now THAT does bring up some interesting ideas to ponder.....
    Well, first obstacle would be durability. Those things only last about 1-2months watertight around here, but that doesn't rule out the idea, just the equipment.....
    Could use feed troughs; more expensive, but last for years & years...and I don't think my sheep would like me hijacking their troughs..lol
    ...would be better if I could still bury the legs of my hive stands though, as I use top-bar &/or horizontal style hives to allow me to place them higher off the ground while still being able to work them (and they're MUCH cheaper to build/maintain)
    *pondering*

    Ok, time for a vote I think:
    Which do you guys think sounds more feasible+effective+environmentally friendly:
    A) Pour a concrete moat about 20"-24" wide (shaped like a 6" tall animal food/water dish) around the bottom of each Hive Stand leg;
    B) Pour a 7'x3' rectangular concrete pond around the bottom of BOTH legs for each hive stand (i.e. concrete slab around legs w/1' min. distance from center of leg to rim of pond)
    C) Pour a 75'x7' concrete LAKE over the whole area I plan to keep most of my hives in, with anchor bolts poured into this concrete so I can bolt down my hive stands where/when I need them (prob. will be a bit pricey though; would have to use stainless anchor bolts & it'd take a couple cubic yards of concrete)

    This is what my hives+stands look like. Each hive is 4' long, hanging on 2 5' long 2x4s; with 2 hives able to hang from one pair of stand "trees" buried in the ground. If necessary, I could prob. redesign the stands to hold 3 hives per pair, to raise the efficiency of options A and B

    My thoughts here:
    Option A seems like the water might stagnate a bit too much, so the ants might get across, but it'd have the lowest impact for turning "plant space" into "dead space"
    Option B gives the water a bit more space to move around in lighter breezes, still has a lower "plant space" impact, but still leaves hives vulnerable to ants if I don't keep all weeds from growing up 'till they touch the bottoms of the boxes
    Option C seems like the surest way to keep the ants off, and could allow a little more flexibility in the hive placement (bolted down as opposed to having concrete poured around the "trees"); but it has a pretty steep cost factor, and would wipe out a lot of "plant space"

    Any thoughts?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    I have a garden sprayer mixed with DAWN dish detergent... The soap kills the ants on contact and keeps killing. ... After soaping the ants and killing them I work my bees without fear of being eaten alive by the ants. Give Dawn a try. TED
    I was wondering if the same "dish soap method" I've been using to control "stragglers" after removing hives from residences would work on other insects too. I actually keep a 1.5gal sprayer of dish soap+water ready with my "removal kit" anywise....will DEFINITELY have to give it a try on the fire ants! Thanks for the tip.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,994

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    Here's something you might consider. Mr. O.J. is a nice guy down in south Alabama close to the Florida line. Check it out about 3:30 into the video....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    Hmmm...not sure about painting the area with baby oil+vaseline, but I like his 5/32" mesh idea...seems like that might be a good way to keep the mites down a bit (though I'll prob. use my own Beeswax+Olive Oil 100% natural & biodegradable goup in place of his petroleum goup in the catch tray). My hives are shaped a good bit differently than his, but I should be able to pretty easily modify to use his method on that one...once I get some new bees in my recently RIFA devastated hives.

    Thanks for the good ideas guys; I'm going out to my property in the morning to start applying a few of them, we'll see where that get me... In the meantime, keep the good ones coming :-)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    If you know where the colony is there are several things that can work. Boiling water is pretty effective. Borax, jelly and water in 1:1:1 works well as poison. A hose and a shovel don't work bad if you drown it well, dig and stir until you aren't hitting ants anymore...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,994

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    Michael, I've done the boiling water thing, even mixing in habanero peppers with it. I'm not sure if ya'll have the same variety of fire ants as we have down here, but the few times I tried it I was *AMAZED* at hearing the water gurgling down a full minute *after* I had finished pouring it into the mound! There nests go about as deep as kudzu roots go...DEEP! The boiling water didn't really work well, though.

    The hose and water deal is fun...but it never did much to the fire ants, either. Not really connected with this, but made me remember... There are a lot of watershed farm ponds in the area and during times of drought the shoreline recedes and the fire ants *love* to build beds on that moist ground. Once the rains come and the water rises the fire ants are flooded out. They will "cluster" on the surface of the water...a mound of fires ants without the dirt just floating along on the water....until they bump into something, like a boat!!!! Then it's the boarding party of 100,000 Black Beards!!!!! If you're not on the lookout for them they can *really* cause you some problems on the boat (most of the time just john boats on these ponds). I've seen mounds of ants floating along that were over a foot high and close to a couple of feet in diameter!!!! That really give you the creeps!!!

    The only thing I can think of that I believe may work in an organic way is orange oil. I've never used it, but may just try some this year...melting the exoskeletons sounds like a fitting end to them. The problem down this way is the sheer numbers of colonies that will colonize an area. I rode down Hwy#20 that goes east/west from basically Fort Walton Beach, FL to Tallahassee a while back. The number of ant beds on the right of way was staggering...especially knowing there were *many* more that I didn't see. I know folks don't like poisons, but places that have a serious infestation of fire ants need something done. We're not talking about the guy that's got three or four beds on his property, but rather the property that has 20-30, maybe even a hundred or more on it...economically they can bring land values down and environmentally they can devastate small animal life, not to mention a danger to humans, especially the young and old.

    Poisoning, though, is only a temporary solution...it will clear an area, but they will build right up to the edge of the treated area and once the poison breaks down they move back in...they are relentless.

    Ed

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    We're not talking about the guy that's got three or four beds on his property, but rather the property that has 20-30, maybe even a hundred or more on it...
    Or, in my case, several hundred mounds. I know of 5-10 in my pond/duck fence; 20+ in my dog runs; at least 30-45 in the sheep area; 2-3 have moved into the old mobile home (despite constant applications of permethrin to the support blocks); 6-8 that I've already been "fired up" by while working in my gardens; a dozen in between the pier footers for the new house; one that keeps hiding under the cement holding up my mailbox whenever I try to kill 'em; and I couldn't begin to even put a number on the rest of the property...too many to bother counting. There are actually sooo many RIFA ants on my property that they've kept out last year's & this year's mole boom that's invaded a lot of area nearby; not a single mole/mole hill on my property; I'm guessing the ants killed them all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    I'm not sure if ya'll have the same variety of fire ants as we have down here...
    Good call, as I know for sure they haven't moved that far north yet... So, for those of you (most of the world's population) who don't live within about 100-150mi of the avg. southern border of the US (or in similarly infested areas in China, Japan, Australia, or S America), here's a Wikipedia article on these little demons. Hopefully it'll help explain why all of us have gone so crazy hateful over these "little" insect that have abdominal hymenoptera stingers like bees, attack en masse in groups of many thousands, and cause an estimated $4,000,000,000.00 in damages every year in the US alone.
    Wikipedia: Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA)


    P.S. Don't forget, we're talking about ants that ONE MOUND of 'em just wiped out 2 fairly healthy beehives that were suspended a few feet off the ground! Avg. length of ant "trails" that I spotted attacking the hives >=6 feet!

    ...heading over to attack the devils with some dish-soap water in a sprayer. I'll use the soap that's made with a bit of grapefruit oil in it, see if maybe that'll make it more effective at "melting the exoskeletons." Will update everyone on how well that works by this evening, and again in a couple days once I see if it really wiped 'em out, or just killed a few thousand of 'em.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,764

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    If you get enough rainfall to keep beneficial nematodes alive in your soil, and if you don't use a lot of chemicals that will kill the nematodes, they find fireants very tasty, do not harm bees or earthworms, eat flea larva when they run out of ants. I've been using them since the 90's. They only eat insects in their under the ground stage.

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    ok, so if my nematodes have been wiped out, how do I get some to "re-stock" with?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,764

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    And compost tea - maybe with a bit of extra sugars from molasses to 7-up or other soda pop. The older organic solutions are a LOT more work than the bottle of orange oil, but fire ants have been in my part of Texas since the mid 1980's, and my property gets reinfested by the rivers that flow down the street during flooding rains. The fire ants haven't owned the place since I went to nematodes - but that did mean going organic for most everything else.

    Most feed stores carry beneficial nematodes in the spring. Russell Feed does anyway.

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Fireants!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsi View Post
    The fire ants haven't owned the place since I went to nematodes - but that did mean going organic for most everything else.
    Well, first off; not I, but the fire ants have owned my place since WAY before I bought it, I'm afraid. Otherwise, though, I've already been working hard to go organic for everything except fire ant control. I fogged Malathion a few times when the coastal flooding got mosquito levels totally beyond reconing (and the county does that frequently too), but other than that I've tried to use fish, ducks, and dragonflies for 99% of my current mosquito control plan, with good success too. All fertilizer used is either grown (buckwheat & clover/legume crops for phosphate and nitrogen enrichment), or collected from my animals; essential oils in place of DEET or Permethrin for protection of persons/animals from biting insects, and I'm working out a red onion peel + tobacco juice formula for contact agricultural insecticide use. You think any of that would re-wipe out my nematodes after I get some re-added to the soil, or should I be safe? (my first suspect would maybe be the nicotine in the tobacco juice harming them...or killing my bees if I'm not careful with it)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads