I hate the Argentine Ant.
I never thought I'd say this, but I miss the fire ants. I have yards which always had fire ant mounds. They never seemed to harass the bees. In fact, in the yards that I had healthy colonies of fire ants, it seemed like I never had a hive beetle problem.
A few years ago, I noticed that I wasn't seeing as many fire ant mounds. Now, in a couple of yards there are no fire ants. I rarely see their mounds in my area. Instead they've been replaced by the Argentine ant, which is a problem for my hives. Even strong hives can't seem to defend against a swarm of them, and I believe they've caused an usually high level of absconding. They just stress the hive until they move on.
I tried diatomaceous earth (brought in a ton of it) which seems to have little to no effect even when dry, and once it gets wet once the ants move right over it. In my area we get rain too often for this to be practical. I've tried essential oils, with no luck. So the organic route is absolutely useless.
I haven't tried cinnamon, but if like diatomaceous earth it's only good until it rains, that's an option I can't afford the money, time, or labor, to keep that up.
For years I've used cement blocks and 4x4's for my hive stands. Simple and cheap. But now I'm forced to think about some mechanical barrier for these F#%$xxg invaders. My first attempt was to smear petroleum grease over the lowest cement block, to try to make barrier. But that didn't work.
I'm pulling my hair out on this one. I'm tempted to do what I've never done, and use some sort of slow acting pesticide trap for the ants. Something that won't repel them, but instead cause them to take it back to their hives. I'm reluctant to do it, but I have to do something.
I'm open WIDE OPEN to ideas.