I have hear this tale but dont know if it is true. Anyone have any real life success with this?
Love that folklore. Makes gardening interesting.
I heard it and tried it ... the ants made a tiny little ring of white grits around the entrance to their hole with them, like a barricade.
So they will landscape with them, but it didn't kill them.
Instant grits do not blow up ants. (And raw rice does not blow up birds.) However, if ants are eating your plants -- and ant damage to young okra leaves is the only example of this I have ever encountered -- you can sprinkle grits around your plants to distract the ants. Apparently ants prefer grits to okra leaves.
Few ants actually damage plants, and none from S. CA.
The majority of ants are on plants to harvest the honeydew from such insects as aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies and soft scale. Aphids are number one on this list.
I hesitate to tell this tale it today's world of lawyers and fire danger, but....
A "friend" tells me of mixing cornmeal and gun cotton (might have been black powder?) then leaving the mix near an ant hole. A day or so later, the mix having vanished, a trail of guncotton was made to the ant hole. The distant end was ignited and the ants "done blowed up".
It's probably a good thing I didn't hear of this until I had passed out of my teens.
ants can not digest solids, this does not work.
It only works on Northern ants, Southern ants have adapted to grits ;o) vgkg
Grits don't seem to work for fire ants, but they do work for the little ants I call "high speed" ants. They are a tiny light red ant that busily race along any structure in the garden and I had terrible problems with them in the corn and okra. I found a couple of their nests and sprinkled grits around them and over them- ants gone within 24 hours, and it did not appear that they just moved to another apartment. Dunno for sure, but it seems to help control their numbers.
My husband swears the grits really do kill ants. I had some in my kitchen, so he sprinkled instant grits on the counter where I saw the ants. As far as I know, he didn't do anything else to deter the ants, other than cleaning which is a normal part of my routine (thank you very much!). Anyhow, the ants did disappear in a day or two, so who knows?!?
He's tried the "grits trick" outside several times, and is convinced it did the job. And believe it or not, these are SOUTHERN ANTS!
Oh Aegis! That's so great! Boooooom! I have a wonderful mental picture of little puffs of soil blowing up all around my garden when I light the trail. Ok I have *fantasies* about little puffs of soil blowing up...the darn critters are back after a month's leave of absence - I think the un-British 37C we had in the UK a few weeks ago was not to their liking, but alas it didn't kill them :(
I'm going to try the sugar, molasses and yeast mixture that other people have reported sucess with. I don't care if they don't actually go boom, so long as they *go*!
I live in the desert.......the ants love the heat, we have many varieties living here. But perhaps your ants were cold type. LOL Good Luck
Pepper Le Pew
I have used borax and sugar successfully. Mix the borax with sugar and the ants will take it home. My understanding is that borax is lethal to them. The one caviate is that the borax is not liked by most vegetation either so try to localize where you place the mix to the areas the ants have already destroyed.
NOT A SUGGESTION, Merely thinking out loud.
Would not a gallon of kerosene carefully dumped into the hill then ignited remove the problem? It might make them work for the name "Fire Ants".
I have posted some replies on the Borax discussion board regarding borates and ant control. http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/ipm/msg0622204413443.html
Grits do not make ants explode. Adult ants can not consume solids, unless the solids are microscopic in size. Adults feed solids to their larvae which ingest the solds. Then the adults feed of liquid secretions from the larvae.
Regarding kerosene, don't do that.