OT: fire ant control

zzackey(8b GA)March 20, 2012

The darn fire ants are coming up all over my yard! I heard that you can sprinkle grits around their mounds and they will eat them and explode. Is there any other home remedy you can recommend? I don't use chemicals if I can help it.

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I read that grits don't work. :o( I don't know of anything that does except chemicals.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 6:31PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

That's weird. I just talked to someone that uses them all the time and says they work. I've heard it both ways.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 7:00PM
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We just use the chemicals as well. Nasty little suckers.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 7:21PM
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judyk_2008(9 DeLeon Sprs)

Grits didn't work for me and the boric acid sugar traps didn't work because the racoons or possums kept stealing them. I use Safer brand diatomatious earth(it has a bait in it)on my veggie garden and Ortho in the yard where our chickens can't go.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

This site claims grits do not work.

I don't like to use pesticides either but since moving to Florida I have made an exception. I've been using Amdro Fire Ant Bait.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 1:23AM
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rednofl(9b Goldenrod Fl hz 10)

I use Orange oil when they get into my garden it is especially effective when they take over a pot. Out into the yard I use amdro.
Orange Oil Recipe for Fire Ants
6 oz. orange oil
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
a squeeze of liquid dish soap
Add to a gallon jug and fill with water.
Drench the mounds when the ants are not out foraging. Fire ants prefer mild temperatures, so in the summers they may be out early in the morning and hiding in their mounds by mid-day, and vice-versa for cold days. A gallon will thoroughly soak one mound.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 6:19AM
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brute(Florida 9B)

The most effective product I have found is "Over and Out" sold at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.
The amazing thing about this stuff is that once the fire ants are gone, THEY DON'T COME BACK!
How this is even possible, I don't know. But works, somehow.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 7:28PM
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When using anything on the mound, don't forget to spread some in a circle 3 or 4 feet from the mound too. They have 'back doors' and can easily just move the mound if you don't get them all.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 3:41PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I don't know much about ants at all. But I always thought it was not important to get them all. I thought the key was to get the queen. As long as one worker/slave/spouse brought the poison to the queen, I thought somehow the mound was destroyed. Not so, I'm guessing?

Carol in Jax

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 3:48PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I think if you get the queen it will mess up the others. Not sure. Maybe they can hatch another queen's egg? I will try the Over and Out product. I read that it can't be used in the garden. Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 4:19PM
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Amdro - used according to directions - is the most effective fire ant killer I've ever used. The mound is usually dead within 24 hours.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 10:15PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

I need something that won't kill my chickens. They will eat anything. I found out we have some Over and Out in the garage. I just need that special someone to put it down in the rest of the yard.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 6:08PM
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I moved here 3 years ago, and was determined to be organic. I didn't want my dogs running through chemicals. That didn't last long, none of the organic pesticides worked, forget about grits or coffee grounds. You'll never boil enough water to get deep enough to get them. Many nest have a number of queens, if you disturb them, they usually just move a few feet over. I've declared war, and now use both Amdro and Seven on the hills, at the same time, figuring one might hopefully work. I think my dogs are thanking me, cause they were always stepping on the mounds and I'd be picking ants out from between their toes.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 6:51PM
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Instead of guessing, why not go to the experts? Just check the University of Florida site for tons of research on fire ants. They recommend several organic answers. Read this link and many more on the UF site for answers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sustainable Fire Ant Management

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 8:01AM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Thanks gatormomx2. That's a great link. I found the orange oil mix with a much smaller amount than someone previously mentioned they used for their ant problem. I will have to talk to the ag agent whether or not it will hurt the chickens before I use it. It said that grits won't work because ants only eat liquids.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 2:55PM
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