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Seriously had enough...

Posted by shear_stupidity 9B (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 15, 13 at 7:57

I had some people come over yesterday for the first time and they wanted the "tour" of my yard. We all returned to our starting point with about 20 ant bites each. They're absolutely EVERYWHERE. They're tunneling up through the bricks on the patio, they're all OVER the pool deck, there's not one place in the back yard that's safe to stand except IN the pool.

Nothing I've tried has worked. Have any of you used anything that got rid of them? Knocked their population back? At least kept them at bay? HELP!!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Seriously had enough...

  • Posted by karalynn z9 FL, Inverness, Ci (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 15, 13 at 8:25

Go to a You Kill Em store if you have one in your area. Tell them what type of ant you have and they should be able to provide you with the right type of poison for them. I had to do this for parts of my yard where I've been having a bad problem with carpenter and bull ants. It might be a bit more expensive but it should work.

Hopefully you'll be able to get the ants under control quickly.


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Amdro works for me. You need to put it out in the morning, because the rain will make it less effective. It doesn't hurt any other insects, or any plants. If you have a lot of ants it will be a bit expensive at first, but once the numbers are diminished it isn't so bad.

Follow the directions.

If you have a hose-end sprayer you can also use soap (such as Palmolive) and spray pretty much everything. It will kill most insects, but it won't get the queen in the ant colonies.

Insecticides put into sprayers work on contact, but again they won't get to the queens like the Amdro will.


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I'm sick of them too! They love to swarm potted plants. When I find a cache of ants, I spray them with windex (but not the plants.) I know this isn't dealing with them at the source, but killing a few million at a time this way is very satisfying. With all of this rain, the ants have been freaking out trying to find higher ground, which is usually somewhere around the house/porch, sometimes in my car.


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Amdro works for me too. It's much better than Ortho. I'm usually willing to let ants be if they are willing to let me be. I have a few different species in my yard and most will just wander around in the garden and grass and not bother me. But those blasted Argentine Ants seem to go out of their way to hunt down my ankles and bite them, even if I'm sitting in my slingback with my feet up on stool. So when they get too annoying, I hit them with the Amdro.

An interesting observation though: When I use the Amdro to reduce the population of Argentine Ants, the Sugar Ant population grows noticeably. Then after a few weeks the Argentine's start coming back and the Sugar Ants go on the decline. So apparently the Argentine Ants keep the Sugar Ants in check somewhat. Now if only there was something (other than Amdro) that will control the Argentines!


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Ant in the past were easy to deal with. Not anymore. The domestics are still easy. They eat in a way that poisons the queen, case closed. But the invasive types eat differently. Like white footed asian ants. There are several types of invasives. You don't kill the queen. Since then I've used a service. Now the best I can hope for is to control them. Can't get rid of them. Controlling ants is important for me. I have a lot of orchids. Ants like to farm scale, mealy bugs and aphids. Good luck


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As I understand it, the problem with Argentine ants is that each hill has it's own queen and all the hills are communal. So one hill won't go to war with another hill and take it out. All the Argetine's are 'genetically identical' which means an Argentine ant hill in Alabama would readily accept ants from a hill in Florida. This makes them a huge force to be reckoned with and few native predators to take them out.


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Yes, they say ants don't kill plants, but they definitely put aphids and scale on them, so inadvertently/indirectly I'd say they do. If they find some mealies, I'm sure they'll bring those too.


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Asian white footed ants ate the roots completely from a yellow shrimp plant. They did kill it.


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I guarantee, I've got every type of any you could possibly have in this area. I've got the bull ants, carpenter ants, sugar ants, Argentines, and tons of fire ants. I've tried pest control services (such as Terminix and Tru Green, etc) and they've never successfully gotten rid of the ants... inside OR outside of my house. I've had them return and re-treat repeatedly, and they've sent managers and trainers alike... they all scratch their head in wonder as to why they're still here. I don't get it.

So I'm really not expecting to eliminate them, just beat them back a bit... or keep them out of CERTAIN areas. Know what I mean?

The Once & Done stuff doesn't work. Ortho didn't work. Yard Maxx didn't work. Not sure if I've tried Amdro or not, but willing to try.

Thanks for the advice, guys!

And yes, Purple... the potted plants are colonies all of their own... and once they move into a pot, the plants begin to fail. Grrrr!!!!


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What worked for getting ants, sugar ants, out of my house was spraying all the edges of my floor (where the floor meets the wall) and window sills with... believe it or not... EcoSmart ant killer and leaving it for a week or so before wiping up the residue. The stuff, while potent smelling for the first 30 minutes, kills the ants on contact and they don't seem to want to cross over the oily surface where the residue is. After a week, they stopped trying to come in and I sprayed the outside edges of the house with Ortho Home Defense. I reapply the Home Defense every three months or so and I have not had another ant in my house since. German cockroaches on the other hand... bane of my existence.


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Yep, I use Amdro, too. Usually the next day after sprinkling, the hill is dead. Occasionally it moves a few feet, so I just hit it again. I'm talking about fire ants. If it doesn't bite me, I don't bother with it, too many other things to deal with.


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I have a bunch of different ants too, and really, they seem to be in cahoots. They use the same highways, going the same places, come out of the same disturbed places.

Fire ants don't always make a hill. I'm moving all rocks much farther away from the house because so many times I find them in swarms under the rocks.

Moving a few feet away doesn't sound like it's working. That's all that's ever happened when I've sprinkled anything supposed to be sprinkled for ants. Chasing them out of our yard this way seems futile (what if they move closer?) and expensive. By the time you notice where the hill has moved, it's a ton of them again.

Out in the yard, boiling water is really satisfying if you don't mind a dead spot in the yard until the grass creeps over it again. If it's amidst weeds, bonus! A lobster pot of boiling water will kill a lot of ants, but just as many will still be alive, lookin for a new home, or maybe just waiting for the old one to cool off, so I get enough going to do it several times, a few minutes apart.

Killing as many as I can see with window cleaner really makes a difference. When I find them in a pot, I put it away from the house/porch until I can 'catch' it while they're gone. They go in/out of places. Still trying to determine the difference between one pot that has a million and twelve, and the pot next to it that has none. Happens all the time. Same plants, same 'dirt,' same water, exposure, argh!

Besides abusing window cleaner as 'bug spray,' I've not had any results from any store-bought stuff that matches the price of the stuff. AFAICT, I'm getting way more bang for my buck that way, and kill every one I aim it, all along their route as far as I can track it. The warning label on window cleaner is a lot less scary, IMHO.

I'm starting to think ants eat the roots of potted plants, and/or the OM in there to make room for their inane nests. Possibly that they damage the roots so they will die, so can be eaten, so can make a path through/chamber in the pot. They seem just as happy in a pot without a plant, so if they are trying to evict the plants via death, I believe it.

No reason not to battle them as many ways as one can. I've used all of these methods just this summer for different spots/situations, fighting them whenever I can, however I can. Oh, and parking my car where I knew a lake (a few inches) would form just before a rain last time they were in the car. They left, no dry connection to the ground is what I think.


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I moved to Sarasota a year ago and have ants which are in all my plants. A neighbor calls them 'crazy ants'. I have no idea what they are except crazy ants. They will run up your arms, legs all over you when you move a plant. I got so horrified when I realized they were running all over me, I tossed a plant into a rain bucket. Thought they'd drown. Instead, they clumped together and eventually climbed out of the bucket.

What the heck! Never saw ants like these. At least they don't seem to bite, but I can't go near my plants.

Jane


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Echo, I agree... if it doesn't bite me, then I leave it. (Except Lubbers and other destructors)

Purple, if you only saw the sheer magnitude of fire ants I have! I'm fairly certain that part of the problem is that my house is rather "uphill" in my yard, and near a canal, so again "uphill." I've had great luck throwing those little "Black Flag" or whatever brand black ant disks under the seats in our cars and ever since we started doing that (replace yearly) we've never seen another ant in the car.

Jane, I've seen "crazy ants" around here, too. Ants do cling together to form rafts and bridges in water. I've seen it. So weird.

So, to recap: Windex and Amdro.


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Get a dust to kill them It will kill any type ant. The baits are made for specific types based on what they eat. Sprinkle a small amount of dust on the mound or the trails they use. They get it on their bodies and carry it into the mound and pass it around. It is a quick and inexpensive way to kill them


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What dust do you mean?


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Well I had a problem with ants and black termite/ants in my Pine Bark containers last year.....I asked at a couple online PestControl forums and found out about Termidor SC (and purchased online.)

A liquid concentrate....mixed at the lowest concentration (It is NOT a contact killer) .....I use a (dedicated) pump sprayer minus the spray tip to stream the mix under my pots......or directly on a sandy nest .....anywhere you see ants.

When ants come in contact with the mix they carry it back home to the nest and spread the "goodness" thru their grooming ....and soon they die


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Jane from NY, near the house I grew up in in SC there was a low cow pasture that would get flooded every spring. You could walk down to the pasture and see a couple dozens of 'fire ant rafts' floating around. And there, in the middle of each raft was a queen. If I knew then what I know now, I would have created an oil slick in that pasture and lit those things up!


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I don't think my 'crazy ants' are fire ants. So far they haven't bitten me but run all over the place like lunatics! They seem to be all over our property, everywhere. Can't even sit on a chair outside without them running up your legs. I have a large rubbermaid bin I keep some gardening supplies in and it was crawling with them. I put Borax around inside the bin and it seemed to help, but they are still there. I also get lots of Cuban Tree Frogs living inside this bin.

I pick up a pot or a bag of fertilizer and a frog jumps out, ants run up my arms, I am not feeling the love here in Florida.

New York is looking better and better. At least the cold and snow killed off the critters during winter.

Jane


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I'm lucky to have a good pest service. They know what they are doing and resolve the problems. A small local company that is diligent. Not only do I not want them in my house, but out of the yard. I had a problem with the white footed asian ants in my orchids. Very tenacious. They came back every days until they were gone. They followed down every ant trail find the nest and eradicate.

They have the right attitude. They treat each customer as if they had an insurance policy on bugs with them. Even though the month they had to spend 4 or 5 days at my house was a losing month for them. They take in stride and know that if they are effective there will be many months that just routine monthly work will be profitable to make up on the odd months they have more work.

Point is I've been through the jerks from Terminex to finally find Choice pest control in my area. Don't give up on professional help. Just give up and terminate the bad bug services. Find the good pest services. Set your demands at the first encounter.


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  • Posted by katkin 9b/10a PSL,Fl (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 16, 13 at 6:40

For my yard I use Lesco's bug killer, the granular one. I put it down with a spreader. Not only does it kill ants, but kills fleas and ticks. The granular type is heavy so it falls to the ground and doesn't seem to effect my butterflies or bees. I also sprinkle a pile all around the walls of the house outside.
In the house I use Ortho Pest Defense spray. Spray all the outside walls where it meets the floor in side and out. Spray in the soffits outside as well. Shoot the spray behind the dishwasher and all plumping pipes coming out of the walls. Hubby also bought a Ortho dust and puffed that in every electrical outlet. That he uses on the fire ant mounts that show up here and there. It's a lot of work at first, but once you get them under control it's not bad. About every two months we put the granular down.


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Does anyone have any tips for what might ~repel~ ants from a certain area? I'm hoping to take some of these tips and get the ant population under control, but in the meantime, how do I keep those fire ants and bull ants off the pool deck? They just swarm it, so you can't even hold onto the side of the pool, or lean on it, without getting bit!


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  • Posted by katkin 9b/10a PSL,Fl (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 16, 13 at 9:56

Spray the pool deck with the Pest Defense and spray all around the edge so they can't come on. It dries in a few hours and lasts through several rain falls.


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Amdro used to work for me, but I think my fire ants have developed a resistence to it. I switched to the stinky Ortho crap that you sprinkle on the mound and that just makes them move a few feet away. Next was the Spectricide that you put in your fertilizer spreader, hoping that I could poison several square yards so they can't move. Didn't work. They just move farther than I spread, or the rain washes the stuff away. Anyhoo, I have too much land to spread poison over everything, so now I'm searching for something else.

Perhaps a tactical nuclear weapon might work?


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LOL, Tradition! I've considered nukes myself!

Katkin, thanks for the tip. I"m gonna try it!


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Tactical nuclear strikes don't work. Not only do the ants survive, but you will get 'Thank you for the suntan!' notes from the cockroaches.


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I appreciate all of the tips here, anxious to expand my approaches and tactics!

Almost desperate enough to use landscape fabric over the drain holes in pots since that's the only place I see them coming/going, unless/until I water the pot, in which case they boil out of the top like an ant volcano. I hate to think of how that would ruin the drainage I'm working so hard to have though. Has anyone tried this? Do they just go up the side then anyway? Maybe covering the holes from the outside, securing with a rubber band might help, IDK.

I've tried watering more, watering less... I don't know about the yard, but for pots it seems like something simple should work to keep them from being interested.

Sometimes they get in hanging pots and I stopped that by putting duct tape on the hanging arms, with the sticky side out, but that looks like ___ (insert at will) and gets un-sticky soon from dust, so temporary enough to seem futile. I've got this ready to go when frost threatens and I'm going to bring some in soon though.

After touting window cleaner (ammonia-based) I was wondering why I haven't seen any drift patterns of damage of leaves I know have gotten misted near where I was killing ants. Do your own research, but using this around (not on) plants where there may be accidental drift may happen to make a little sense, and hasn't hurt anything yet, the past few summers. Do your own research if it sounds interesting, I don't feel qualified to translate... just a backyard science observer.


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The ants tunnel over, under, around, and through landscape fabric, so let me just save you that cash right now. I've had them chew holes in the plastic stuff even.

In other news, I'm considering a pet anteater. Thoughts?


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Crud, thanks, I kind of thought that or it would be touted for the miracle solution that would be. DH found a roll of it in a repo'ed storage building. If an anteater would be happy in FL, I say go for it! Can I borrow it?

Are there any other critters that eat tons of ants? Sure about anything will eat ONE, but what critters eat a whole colony? IDK.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maybe they will get this going


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Supposedly armadillos will dig up and eat certain types of ant hills. Whether they would go after fire ants I can not say. Plus you would have to find one that wasn't doing an impression of a area rug on the road.


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We actually already have an armadillo living in the berm in the back yard. He's very fat, so he's not starving... but he doesn't seem to want to eat the fire ants. At least not enough of them to make any difference.


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"doing an impression of a area rug on the road" IKR! Hit a piece of shell in the yard with the mower once before realizing what it was. No way I want to hit one of these with the car! Saw one running across the front yard early one morning last summer. That sucker was cruisin' pretty fast! Don't know what our dog would think of it, but it's welcome to eat any ants here it wants.

The one burning question I haven't been able to answer after observing for a few years, about the 'marching in a row' ones - where in the heck are they all going in that row? I always lose it somewhere...


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Nowhere. They just tend to follow the butt in front of them. LOL!


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Speaking of observations...

I have noticed after several visits to the Discovery Gardens in Tavares that the fire ants seem to prefer sunny locations for their mounds. In the Shade Garden area as well as the Tropical Garden which has even more shade than the Shade Garden, there are little to no signs of fire ants. There are quite a lot of sugar ants in the Shade Garden area, but I have found myself in the middle of one of their 'highways' a few times and while they run all over my feet and give me the willies, they have never bitten me. So maybe the solution is to blanket the entire state in shade.


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I was in one of the big box stores last week to pick up Amdro for the first time. I had read good things about it on this forum. The company rep happened to be there. He pointed out 3 different products in the one store each with a different chemical make-up and use. The one I purchased is called "Ant Block" and kills 14 different kinds of ants. I have been spot treating with it and have been very happy with how little seems to be needed to kill a mound.
Don


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  • Posted by karalynn z9 FL, Inverness, Ci (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 13:49

I posted this on facebook last night and thought you all might find it amusing.

So I was walking along the back driveway where Dad dumps all the leaves that they clean out of there flowers beds when I spotted several clumps of peacock ginger growing wild amongst the weeds. I stopped and dug my hands into the leaves and easily pulled up the first clump. Setting that one aside I moved onto the second clump, once more digging both hands down into the leaves around the plants. Only this time instead of lifting out a nice clump of gingers I get attacked by carpenter ants! Why do I keep finding these things by getting bitten by them?! Needless to say the rest of those gingers are still growing where I found them.

I went back this morning with my digging pitch and flipped the entire patch of gingers out of the ant nest and shock them by their leaves to get any ants off them. The plants are now planted in the back flower bed.


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I, too have noticed that the fire ants choose hot, dry, sunny high ground for their nests. The bull ants and carpenters prefer the shade. Under my empty upturned terra cotta pots to be precise. Every time I need a pot, I have to knock it over and walk away for a half hour while the ants scurry all over the place and abandon the lone pot I've selected. Kinda ridiculous.
*Adds Ant Block to list*


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  • Posted by katkin 9b/10a PSL,Fl (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 14:48

Shear, spray them with the Ortho Pest Defense, it kills them instantly.

Kara I was never a hat and gloves kind of gal, but I learned here in FL that gloves while gardening is a must. Or I am covered with bites.

Area rug on the road,--- very funny!!!


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  • Posted by karalynn z9 FL, Inverness, Ci (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 19:13

I have several pairs of gloves laying somewhere around the house but I never think to use them until after something has bitten me!


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Hmmm - I could see some enterprising fellow (like Lou, perhaps ;o) ) with a dozen healthy ant eaters which he would rent out on a daily basis, to people who are over run with ants. Are ant eaters, picky??


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If you get the South American ant-eaters, they will eat fire ants. And apparently, yes, the 'long-nose' armadillo will indeed eat fire ants as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: List of Fire Ant Predators


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  • Posted by katkin 9b/10a PSL,Fl (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 7:08

I put a mailbox in my garden near the door and keep gloves, hand shovel, clippers and other small supplies handy. As soon as I walk out it's there with the gloves handy.


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  • Posted by katkin 9b/10a PSL,Fl (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 7:09

I put a mailbox in my garden near the door and keep gloves, hand shovel, clippers and other small supplies handy. As soon as I walk out it's there with the gloves handy.


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Funny you mention the mailbox, Katkin. I have a mailbox in my back yard for the same purpose...
A few weeks ago, I opened it and found a nest of Argentines in it.
I wish I was kidding.
Ridiculous, right? I seriously HAVE had enough...


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  • Posted by katkin 9b/10a PSL,Fl (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 13:02

At the risk of sounding like I am repeating myself, take everything out of the mailbox and spray the inside and out with Pest Defense, let dry, then put the stuff back inside. :o)
You must be at war!!!


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I did pretty much just that. I took everything out, put in some powder stuff we had lying around (DH did it, so I have no idea what it is). Took only a few hours for them to clear out... but they are crawling all over the house and driveway now. Sighhhhh...

I'm liking the sound of that nuke more and more!


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  • Posted by katkin 9b/10a PSL,Fl (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 18, 13 at 13:13

Most dusts don't kill them on the spot, it is a like a poison that they take to the queen. The spray is an instant kill and will continue to kill any that come in contact with it.


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The problem with killing off an entire colony is that it often requires more than simply killing the queen. I'm not real sure on the incubation time, but if the queen dies, any workers tending the nursery can change the diet of one of the pupae and start grooming a new queen to take her place. So the challenge becomes killing off not just the queen, but to keep killing off queens faster than they can provide replacements. And here lies our problem. We can weaken a hive to the point where we think we've won, because there is little or even no activity, but a week later a new queen working with a skeleton crew and stored food in the hive has managed to repopulate the mound. So basically you would need to broadcast bait the entire yard every week and pray it doesn't rain and wash it all away. But during the summer, the time when these ants are most active and noticeable, that's not likely to happen.


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Yeah, I figured I'd never get rid of them completely... I just really, REALLY want a "safe zone." I thought that perhaps if I created the least desirable conditions for them where I want and need to be able to stand, walk, and work then they'd just move back a few yards or something.

I'm pretty sure that the Loquats, Oranges, Grapefruit, Lemons, and Limes that keep falling on the ground and rotting aren't helping. The ants LOVE that rotten fruit! And there is NO way I can pick it all and dispose of it. I've volunteered to have my trees gleaned by local churches to give to those in need, but they just pick what they can reach from standing on the ground, leaving me nothing to reach myself without getting a ladder out. Even then, the trees are too tall to reach it all.

If I could afford it, I'd remove all the bearing trees and replace with... well, any number of other choices.


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I wouldn't want to use toxic chemicals around fruit trees. Wouldn't it be in the fruit? Maybe all the rotting fruit is attracting the ants.

I think (and I am a newbie to Florida), that there should be some sort of balance. If you try to kill one insect you are killing many others. Things get out of balance. I would think lizards, snakes and birds would keep the ant population from exploding. Maybe I'm wrong, after all, I have all the crazy ants!

There must be environmental conditions which they don't like. Maybe more shade, more leaf littler, more organics. I'm trying to stay away from the chemicals if possible.

We have so many frogs. They are constantly scaring me. Today I went to move a hanging plant in a tree and one jumped in my face. Almost had a heart attack! I don't know if they eat ants, but I'm guessing they might. I find them living in my storage bin where I had a major problem with those crazy ants. They are still there but not like they were 6 months ago. But frogs are in the bin and seem to like to live there during the day.

Just a thought. Maybe a water garden...?

Jane


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That's what I was saying, Jane. The fruit is attracting/feeding the ants.
My lizards will eat the larger ants, but no so much the fire ants. I've been in my pool and watched the lizards dart on and off the pool deck to grab bugs... but NEVER do they bother for a fire ant.
I'm also over-run with frogs. I pretty much have everything. LOL!


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You are right Jane, there 'should' be a balance. Unfortunately, the South has long been plagued with Fire Ants which are not native to this country (something I learned to enjoy about my short time in northern Michigan was the complete lack of Fire Ants). As such, they create a massive imbalance on their own and they're next to impossible to get rid of completely, we can merely control them. They've been trying everything they can think of to eradicate them, but nothing really works for very long. Fire Ants can actually learn to avoid certain baits, so what might work one summer might not work the next and you have to find a new bait to get them.

Lately, thanks to Monsanto and GMO supporters, everyone is looking for 'organic' solutions for everything, including ant problems, but from what I've read, researchers are finding that 'organic' solutions for ant control are 1) quite ineffective and 2) can actually be worse for your yard/soil/plants than the chemical baits. While I'm no expert, far from it, I think that as long as the bait and the ant mounds are outside the drip-line of the citrus trees, things should be fairly safe.

There is a biological answer to fire ants, but scientists and biologists are having a hard time to get things figured out how to make it work in the US. There is a parasitic fly, Phoridae, in South America that is the Fire Ant's natural predator in that region and a group of them can quickly decimate ant hills. Last I had read, they had tried using the flies in Texas, but the flies, used to the tropical humid climate of their home, quickly died in Texas's dry heat. But the scientists found that all the fire ant mounds up against the test house, where humidity was a little higher, and been thoroughly neutralized. It seems to me that Florida's high humidity would be prime for testing the flies on our ants, but I haven't read of any such tests in Florida as of yet. Not that I've been looking either.

Edit: And the really frustrating part... even if you manage to put a huge dent in the fire ant population in your yard, even if you manage to almost completely remove them, if all your neighbors around you, even the ones across the street, don't do the same, it is only matter of time, a short amount of time, before they come back.

This post was edited by Leekle2ManE on Mon, Aug 19, 13 at 16:34


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Yeah, that's sorta the problem. The lady next door is older (you may remember that I've swiped an Amaryllis or two), and she's not paying for lawn or pest control any more. I've inherited so many things from under and over the fence!


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I love organic gardening, and whenever possible, do so. However, no luck with fire ants and organics.
I have found a chemical used by many professional companies that is called Talstar. Used at the rate of 1 tbsp. per gallon, as a soil drench, this stuff is fantastic! I ordered a 3/4 gallon bottle of it, and used about 20 gallons worth on 2 huge fire ant hills. Gone, and I mean instantly. You could see them right after the treatment just wandering around, bumping into each other, with no mind as to what they were doing. You could walk bear foot between them within seconds of applying it, and they would not attack. Within 45 minutes all completely dead.
Done as directed, you completely drench the hill the night before. This allows the ground to receive the chemical better in the morning, thus reaching all tunnels and the queen. Good for a lot of other underground 6 legged critters too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Talstar on Amazon


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Yep, Amdro. My yard is full of them. I just bought a property an hour north in Venice. The termite inspector noticed the yard and garage were full of "carribean crazy ants". He said they're a nuisance, swarm, there's nothing you can do about them, but they drive away all the fire ants. I'll send you some if you want :)


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RE: Seriously had enough...

I found out that our guineas just love eating ants and decimating ant hills. I used to let them into the garden and they would pick the bugs off the plants and leave the plants alone and then I started letting them out to free range the rest of the property when nothing else was working on the fireants. We also have some really large ants that are black and red and have a nasty sting.

I was having a lot of trouble with fire ants getting into my pots and eating banana corms and also eating the ends of my dragonfruit cactus. The practically killed one of the dragonfruit plants and it was a large plant. We had 4 acres of stupid ants lol. I tried spraying NEEM and even some more poisonous stuff which I never normally use in effort to safe my dragon fruit. Finally I just let the 4 guineas out on the loose even though I was kinda afraid they might leave the yard. They ate up every ant they could find. I still see a few here and there but NOTHING like we had before and I can walk around without getting bit.
We have chickens, turkeys and ducks out free ranging but they don't seem to care for the ants.


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RE: Seriously had enough...

Guineas? What is that? Hens? Pigs? LOL! What is that?


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RE: Seriously had enough...

Guinea Foul is a bird I once had a couple years back that was scouring my orchard for beetles, locusts, spiders, ticks, snakes and the garden for ants, cockroaches, flies, wasps, termites, cutworms, grubs, slugs and snails. The guinea fowl are relentless in their pursuit of bugs to eat and do little harm to the plants. This is not a picture of the bird I once had, I swiped this picture off the web.

Lou


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RE: Seriously had enough...

Guineas are the weirdos of the poultry world lol. They are great watchdogs and will alert to any strange animal or person entering your property. Ours know the difference between our cats and the neighbor's and any stray cats that don't belong and will put up a fuss that sounds like a bunch of locusts on steroids lol. They normally make a sound that sounds like a two syllable word "buckwheat" or "comeback" depending who you ask . The females are noisier than the males. They come in a variety of colors now days.

They do love ticks and fleas as well. People use them in other countries for specifically tick control.
We used to have tons of ticks in the wooded areas around the property..no more though. Lots of deer back there.

Guineas in general are never as friendly as chickens but I have raised mine with chickens since they were babies so they think they are chickens and go into a coop to roost instead of up in the oaks where the owls would pick them off.

Here is a link that might be useful: guineas


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RE: Seriously had enough...

Leekle2ManE, I throw out all cardboard boxes and paper bags to try and keep German cockroaches out of my house. We had a minor infestation a few months ago. I blame Walmart. From what I have heard the distribution center here is really infested. A friend told me they came to her house in a bag of potatoes.


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