Baking Soda and Cornstarch

joanie_pomseed(8)June 20, 2010

My mother once dumped baking soda on a fireant mound. The workers went nuts and the winged ants flew the nest. I've thought about trying it, but I'm afraid it would make my soil too alkaline and full of sodium...or that ant predators would be averse to it or get sick from it.

If the ants left for the reason I think they did (the powder was too fine for them to pick up or tunnel through like soil), I should be able to get the same effect with a different powdery substance. What about cornstarch? Would that ruin the soil? Would any animals be harmed by it?

(And yes, I know making the ants relocate doesn't eradicate them, but researchers say disrupting their workings helps give predators and native ants the advantage.)

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I don't think that using something to make the reproductives leave the nest to start new ones is the way to go, personally.

Anyway, you were correct in your assumption that baking soda does not belong in the soil. I don't believe that corn starch would 'harm' the soil, but I wouldn't use a lot of it in one spot. Why not use what so many people do to make them (the ants) pack their bags and move away....corn meal?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 1:54PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Baking Soda, Sodium Bicarbonate, is an alkaline substance and could affect your soils pH if enough is added to the soil, however, I'd think you would need pounds (maybe tons) to significantly alter your soils pH. I have seen nothing to indicate that Baking Soda, Cornstarch, Corn meal, Club Soda, or rice are effective against Fire Ants.
The link attached takes you to a resource quoted by many other web sites and appears to be the most knowledgeable.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Fire Ants

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 7:02AM
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