Mega ant colony

acer(6b western NC)May 14, 2014

We live in the mountains of western North Carolina, zone 6B. A few years ago we had a dump truck load of mulch unloaded on our property. It was from a tree company that had been clearing power line rights-of-way. We soon noticed a large colony of red and black ants in it. We treated it with some stuff from the big-box store, but it didn't get them all, and now they've spread like crazy, covering a big portion of an acre lot. They're not fire ants, thank goodness, but they're agressive and they pinch. You can't even walk around down there. Any suggestions?

This post was edited by acer on Wed, May 14, 14 at 11:38

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I think that you should capture some ants (clean, clear, open mouth jar like a mason jar) and take them to your local Extension office for proper ID. If there's no one on staff who can identify them, then ask that they send them off to someone who can.

Different species respond to differing methods of control.

Ants are a normal and beneficial member of a healthy ecosystem, but if the population is very much out of balance, it's not good for anyone....including the ants.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 6:09PM
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adidas(6/7)

Hello.

I have friends who live in Henderson County and they have had HORRIBLE problems w/a species called Allegheny mound ants (Formica exsectoides). They had to have parts of their wooded property treated as these ants were killing trees and all other insects they came in contact with! I agree you should contact your local extension office and ask if they have any ideas for you! Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Allegheny mound ants

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:12PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Adidas, that is extremely useful information for Acer. If there's a trend, the Extension people should be able to help.

Acer, sometimes the phones of the county offices will be answered by someone who really can't help. Try to speak with an actual agent.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:04PM
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calliope(6)

I had a colony of allegheny mound ants on my property............just happened to have a master gardener group over for part of their training and they got to see what they looked like. The ants were a newbie in this area at the time. They will indeed inject formic acid into their surroundings to kill off vegetation. Like said.........have them identified.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 9:18PM
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