Was it ... 2007 ?? when I first heard paul stamets speak? It was at bastyr. An amazing experience. And although I walked away certain that paul stamets was saving the world in four different ways, something that I thought was the most important was the thing about the ants.
It goes like this: suppose your house, being made of wood, is being consumed by carpenter ants. My feeble knowledge in the space says: if you see one, there are a hundred you don't see. So it would seem that diatomaceous earth (DE) isn't gonna work. For DE to work, there has to be a lot of it and the ants have to get a lot of it on them. But if they are comfy in the wood, then you aren't gonna do much.
So, up until 2007, I could only think of IPM: come up with stuff that brings the smallest possible toxicity to the situation. I am really uncomfortable with IPM. It is a gross violation of my standards. There is a lost of non-toxic things you can do (DE on the floors, DE in the walls, DE everywhere, move the wood piles away from your home, try to learn where, exactly, the ants are .... etc. etc. etc ...) but in the end I suspect that there will still be some homes that I cannot come up with a way to save in a non-toxic way.
You are right paul stamets mixture works a little differently because he did a little work on the whole business. The thing is that if the ant comes home stinking of the spores of this fungus, they don't let him into the ants nest, so infection of ants by spores floating down in air currents do not get rid of all your carpenter ants in a colony. the video in youtube shows how the mushroom infects ants with spores and how it works on the infected ants if i remember right. Paul Stamets thought about this and said to himself, "if the ants know how the fungus works the fungus knows they know, so the fungus has another strategy that catches out the ants. So Paul Stamets worked on different strategies. He developed this possible alternative fungi infecting ants strategy and it worked. He grew mycelium in the laboratory to a stage when there was plenty of mycelium but no smelly spores, i hope i have got it right and tried this spawn on the ants and they loved it and took it back and fed his preparation to the queen and even bedded her on it and so the fungi got past all the ant protective strategies and could infest all the ants in the colony. agri rose macaskie.
My impression is that paul stamets had heard that sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. He did some tinkering and figured out how to get it to work all the time.
I suspect that the gub'mint is making FP jump through a skillion hoops to bring this stuff to market - and just behind the gub'mint is chemical companies whispering in the ear of the gub'mint saying "stop him!"
Using cordyceps as pest control? That's brilliance, there. Unfortunately ever since I saw that video of how it takes over ants' nervous systems and makes them zombies before bursting out of their eyes like a really inspired horror film, the thought of going near it gives me the screaming heebie jeebies. I can't imagine taking that stuff as a supplement... eugh. Not sure I'd want it in my walls, either. I think I'd rather have the ants qua ants rather than lie awake at night imagining my walls infested with zombie ants with cordyceps sprouting out of their heads.
Good base for a horror film, a fungi that takes over our mind control makes us climbe to the top of trees so it can sporulate from on high. i like pauls wheatons i thought it was pretty ant specific. If it gives anyone the horrors them maybe it is time to tell horror stories about what other pesticides do, i suppose what they do is not always pretty. rose
i have to talk of the possible downside to theis product of Paul Stamets. I heard that in hot places ants where the ones that pulled organic matter into the ground, in cooler ones its worms and Bill Mollison has a bit of video on how good termites are at stopping desertification because they pull so much grass into their nests to feed fungi, not mortal fungi, whose hypha they eat and that where their nests are there are trees. The whole desert is spotted with spots covered in trees, the termites nests, islaqnds of green in the desert.
That fits in with my, "the chinese are crazy to kill their jerbils that pull stores of vegetation into underground chambers as a supply for bad times". They must help the desert burying vegetable matter not cause desertification- they want to kill them according to a video of National Geographic about giant chinese gerbals or is it jerbals. they compete with the nomads camels for food.
Bill mollisons video with the importance of termites nests is. Bill Mollisons, "dryland strategies Pt 2" video and its on the second half of this video, maybe not, maybe its at the begining of part two. on youtube. agri rose macaskie.
Glad to give you a giggle these forums make me smile but usually because i enjoy intercomunication and because people say, "silly on purpose" things, i really thought you meant herbal teas i was not sure about the ant mound tea being seriouse. We don't get delicacies like green ant nest based fish soup here, it certainly sounds intriguing enough to make one want to try it. rose