amarynth leroux wrote:After plowing through this thread I must say that the red fire-ant is something that should not be allowed to live. It eats more than what it protects and leaves chaos in its wake. I want to kill everyone of those and I'm horribly allergic to their bites. Big red angry burning itchy swelling with a white pustule as big as half my little finger nail. Not a good thing for kids I would imagine. What helps for the bites, is sweet basil .. just scrunch up some leaves in the hand and rub the leaf juices and oils all over the bites as soon as possible after being bitten. Repeat as necessary.
Does anyone know for sure if sugar and borax works to eradicate these? We've opened up a new field (some trees removed but the forest canopy is relatively thick still, the understory chopped and generally prepared for planting) and it is just covered with red fire ants. I'm concerned that they breed as fast as they appear. One day nothing, the next day just masses of them, while the earth was still moist. It is too huge a space to walk along with boiling water and deal with them this way. OK, I know the habitat was disturbed and we have to create another order but these ants are voracious. Do I just ignore these, compost and prepare this field and carry on planting? We're tropical so nothing is ever dry for a very long time. Has anyone found some solutions to this? The locals here in the Yucatan swear by a poison called trompeta, and say nothing else moves the colonies, but I have not read the label to see what it contains. I'm too scared to touch that stuff for fear I'll buy it and use it!
I sprinkled sugar and borax on a bunch of hills last spring and they look pretty dead. It takes an awful lot of borax though. I did just a bit first and it only killed a few.
I have the same opinion of these ants as you do. Quite aggressive I find.
Nicanor Garza wrote:from what I have learned about fire ants is that they need exposed areas with lots of sun heat, if an area has been recently plowed or tilled or trees cut down the ants will move in and make homes there. judging from the sat photo Im not really surprised that you have ants. Its merely habitat opportunities that attract fire ants.
I have never had as many ant as you do but I did have a ant colony move into my garden one time and made it almost impossible to do anything in the garden without getting bit so I started boiling water and pouring into the mound it would kill alot of them and the next day I would find a trail were the survivors started moving the colony and I would do it again it took about three times before they got the hint or I killed enough of them that they couldnt rebuild either way be careful boiling water doesnt feel good when it splashes back on your legs and I was using 2 to 3 gallon of water at a time
When someone throws dirt on you shake it off and take a step forward.
Ants as you already know play an important role in a desert ecosystem, but wreak havoc on homes and their inhabitants. I usually place piles of dried yeast in strategic areas where I don't want them to be. They take the grains and when they ingest them, die. This doesn't kill the entire colony, but will often times get them to move when the queen eats the yeast.
The old timers that I grew up with would roll in a giant red ant pile until they had a dozen or so good bites and not get sick for the rest of the year because of the immune boosting properties of ant bites.
You'll find that when the ants abandon a mound, life will flourish there.
All things have their role to play in the dance of life, our role is to ensure there is balance among them.