Ants...Help!!

mommaof5kiddosMay 29, 2014

I need to see if I can get some input. We live in a very rural area and have a sizable yard. Last year we noticed that the grass was drying out and dying despite frequent watering. We discovered that it was due to massive amounts of ants ALL over our lawn. We had an exterminator come and that helped but didn't completely rid us of the problem. We have discovered this year again, massive amounts of ants everywhere on the lawn. Wanting to know if you all have any ideas to rid us of them. We have small children and several pets so we are wanting something safe and environmentally friendly. Any input would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance!

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Sapphyre

I used to live in Florida and we had a really bad problem with fire ants. One of my friends told me to sprinkle down Instant Grits. The ants eat them, then drink water, the grits expand inside the ant and kills it. Much safer then putting down toxins.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 6:56PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Along with many other such stories the above grits thing is a myth.
Understand you will never get rid of ants. They have been around since before we were and will be after we are gone. When I have had a problem similar to what you have
I found that flooding the area with water would encourage them to move on. That can take a while.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 7:31AM
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Capt08(6)

Try adding unsulfured molasses and a manure to your lawn. Here's the link on this forum explaining how it gets rid of fire ants. Lou_midlothian_tx is the one commenting on the mixture. It's worth a shot. Good luck!

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lawns/msg0200433019612.html

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 1:17PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The original poster lives in Idaho and Fire Ants have not, yet, gotten that far north.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 7:45AM
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Capt08(6)

Lol. I'm not an ant specalist. Just trying to give this person some help. It's worth a shot. Worst case scenario is the grass turning greener.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 8:10AM
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yardtractor1

I don't think there is any permanent cure, at least I've never found one. The most effective thing I have found and it works very well, is Terro bait traps containing borax as the AI. I use one of those small plant fences to discourage animals from getting to the bait traps.
They are species specific, so ID the ant before purchasing.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2014 at 1:17PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The active ingredient in most all commercial ant baits, poisons, is Boric Acid. A sweetener is added to the mix to attract ants which then take that back to the nest. If that bait is successful in eliminating that nest then another colony of ants will soon move in to replace those wiped out.
I have never seen anything to indicate that the commercial ant baits containing Boric Acid is species specific, although there are ant baits that are that do not contain Boric Acid.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 7:08AM
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yardtractor1

The advisory was in reference to medium and trap design: supposedly some ant species are attracted to sweet/sugar medium, other ant species are supposedly more attracted to protein/grease medium or so say the "experts" and manufacturers--I'm neither, but I know the small black ants in my yard don't touch the grease based traps.
I was suggesting a viable alternative to a completely inane prior suggestion of flooding a "sizable" lawn.

I'm concluding that you DO post for the singular purpose of being contrary. If you aren't a troll, you are certainly troll-like.

This post was edited by yardtractor1 on Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 19:25

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 2:41PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

According to those that live in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
I am a troll because I live under the bridge.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 7:27AM
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lascatx

I'm down in Texas where we do have fire ants and apparently just about every other kind of ants or soon will have them. I use the Terro baits if I get sugar ants in the house. I sprinkled boric acid into the wall openings when we had our kitchen torn up for a reno but that apparently wore out after a couple/few years (good while it lasted though). You can also use them outdoors and I have placed them near my patio door when I've seen a line of ants there. They have been very effective.

In the yard, we have used Over and Out for several years. One application lasts a full year and it seemed to control fire ants, other ants and we didn't have the flea problems a lot of other folks did. Last year, we had more mounds pop up during the summer, and I'm not sure if we had rain too soon after applying or something that cut down the effectiveness or if our ants are building a resistance. I hope it was the former or we will have to find something else.

I'm sure it is not a "green" solution, but I don't know of anything that is and will control the fire ants. We tried vinegar one year -- it seemed to control just the mound and it killed the grass around it. The effect for both was short. We have family allergies (my aunt almost died) so we have to control them in areas where they will be a problem. We try to go pretty natural and organic with that one exception and we try not to overdo that. We have dogs and follow the directions for application and haven't had any problems with them, kids or critters in general. In fact, we had healthy insect populations when collecting for our son's biology projects three years apart - and after a hiatus last year, we saw a lot of bees this spring!

No, you can't eradicate every ant and keep them away -- not without creating a toxic pit, and you probably wouldn't want to. Every insect has a purpose, but we have to be able to co-exist. It's more about management than elimination.

This post was edited by lascatx on Mon, Jun 2, 14 at 7:49

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 7:45AM
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