I hate the ARgentine Ant -- Help.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Columbus, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default I hate the ARgentine Ant -- Help.

    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 Instead they've been replaced by the Argentine ant, which is a problem for my hives.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.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    York County, VA, USA
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: I hate the ARgentine Ant -- Help.

    Lots of folks like borax-loaded sugar syrup in containers designed so the bees don't get into it. Check out the threads on ant blocks using either high temp axle grease in inverted cups on stand legs, or never-wet on inverted pie plates. Perhaps these will be useful for you. I have nuisance ants, not really much in the way of obnoxious and deadly to bees ants.

    Michael

    Charlieb in S.F. CA started one long thread a few years ago on ant-proof stands. Others exist.
    "I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong." (heard often from the late David Sebree) Still making them, myself

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,856

    Default Re: I hate the ARgentine Ant -- Help.

    A variety of ant solution threads here:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...lems-Solutions

    Charlie B's thread is the 4th thread down at that link.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #4

    Default Re: I hate the ARgentine Ant -- Help.

    Nice I started to have headack with brown sugar ants at my bottletank. I planed on putting four smoked oyster tins with oil in them. Now I am sec thinking it with grease. Now I just need to finish eating three more tins of smoke oysters. 😀

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Columbus, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: I hate the ARgentine Ant -- Help.

    (To wrap this up for future seekers)

    What I tried, and what seems to have worked.

    In the yard I use basic cinder blocks, and 4x4's to serve as hive stands. The first thing I tried was high temp grease smeared around the cinder block. This made a bloody mess, ...and didn't work. After a week the ants were moving right over the grease in long trails. It might have been the grease I used, but it didn't work. At first I thought it was because enough ants had died doing the trek, in areas there were dead ant bridges through the grease. Then I noticed that the ants did even need the dead ant bridges through the grease. They were walking right over it. So it seems to have worked initially, but as the grease aged (?) the ants could walk over it.

    I contemplated building ant proof hive stands, the kind where beeks use inverted pipe caps and pack it with grease, but this would have required a great deal of work, and expense, and after seeing the ants make a bridge of dead ants over my grease, I wasn't confident that little cups of grease acting as an ant barrier would do any better. So...

    <What worked for me>

    I went with a chemical attack. I used 20 mule borax, mixed with sugar and syrup (3:1 borax), and placed it in small pint plastic containers I bought from Amazon, the kind restaurants use (cheap and surprisingly good). I drilled small holes near the top of the container, big enough for ants to get in and out, but too small for bees to get curious. I placed these traps in the hollows of cinder blocks. The first day the ants really went after it. I read that it would take awhile for this kind of trap to work, but after just 3 days, I have no ant army columns marching in the apiary. Victory!

    Quite honestly, I didn't want to kill the ants, I just wanted them to leave my nucs alone.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    UAE
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: I hate the ARgentine Ant -- Help.

    Try to look for a slow-acting bait so that those ants will have enough time to spread the chemical in their colony. Less work, less problem.

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