Author Topic: How to get fire ants out of raised bed  (Read 21707 times)

Offline SusanG

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2014, 11:27:08 AM »

Offline gopack84

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2014, 01:39:56 PM »
We had fire ants inside the house once. Upstairs in a 2 story. A careful walk around the perimeter revealed a colony built up against a south facing wall in an ornamental bed. I had missed it because the boxwood in that bed I let get a little big and it hid the mound from me. So the little bastards had built the mound up into the wall and were crawling up the wall studs and spreading out about the house looking for food. But they still lived in the ground. They only foraged in the house. So killing the mound (this one with Amdro) took care of it. I'd search the outside perimeter of your house very carefully.

Usually fire ants like a hot place. It's unlikely, but not impossible, they'll build in a shady, damp crawlspace. They'll usually build up against the foundation, especially if your house is on a slab like a lot of them here in GA are, on the southern or western side of the house assuming you get full sun.

I use concrete cinder blocks for the boundaries of my raised beds and the fire ant hills are almost always on the southern side of the bed, right up against the cinder block. I'll use Amdro to spot treat mounds near the house but I don't use it where my food is being grown just because boiling water will usually take care of them.

Offline wyomiles

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2014, 01:52:08 PM »
I have been looking into the work of Paul Stamets. He has shown how some "mushrooms" will attack ants and leave behind a "pesticide".Here is his ted talk where he mentions it.
http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=slv8-hptb5&p=paul%20stamets&type=

Might be able to get more info on the specific fungi at his website?

http://www.fungi.com/blog-archive/tag/Mycotechnology.html

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2014, 02:36:34 PM »
Mix a little genuine maple syrup with some powdered boric acid to make a nice slurry. About a tsp of each--proportions aren't critical, and it doesn't take much.

Spread it out thin on a scrap of cardboard or wood and place it by the nest. They'll go nuts for it. They really like maple syrup.

Then stay away from the nest for the next 24 hrs, because the entire nest will get VERY aggressive as it starts to die.

I guess boric acid is like super-habeneros for ants...

Works anywhere.

Offline chuck_3

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2014, 08:11:40 AM »
We had fire ants inside the house once. Upstairs in a 2 story. A careful walk around the perimeter revealed a colony built up against a south facing wall in an ornamental bed. I had missed it because the boxwood in that bed I let get a little big and it hid the mound from me. So the little bastards had built the mound up into the wall and were crawling up the wall studs and spreading out about the house looking for food. But they still lived in the ground. They only foraged in the house. So killing the mound (this one with Amdro) took care of it. I'd search the outside perimeter of your house very carefully.

Usually fire ants like a hot place. It's unlikely, but not impossible, they'll build in a shady, damp crawlspace. They'll usually build up against the foundation, especially if your house is on a slab like a lot of them here in GA are, on the southern or western side of the house assuming you get full sun.

I use concrete cinder blocks for the boundaries of my raised beds and the fire ant hills are almost always on the southern side of the bed, right up against the cinder block. I'll use Amdro to spot treat mounds near the house but I don't use it where my food is being grown just because boiling water will usually take care of them.

I had checked the perimeter - and found nothing.  I think that they might have made it under the house.  The house has a mortared rock foundation around most of it, but there is one portion where an addition was put on before I bought it, and a porch was a part of it.  I can't get to much of that because the porch was set so low, but used the fumigators under the house when I left for a few days as well. 

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2014, 08:49:49 AM »
Chuck,

In cold weather, fire ants go deeper, and can get under a slab just like they get under rocks and logs for nest protection.  But they will need to come and go somewhere, at least when it warms back up.

~TG

Offline chuck_3

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #36 on: January 30, 2014, 10:43:02 AM »
Chuck,

In cold weather, fire ants go deeper, and can get under a slab just like they get under rocks and logs for nest protection.  But they will need to come and go somewhere, at least when it warms back up.

~TG

Thanks, TG.

And, logs and rocks are exactly where I have been finding them outside.  I am going to treat with fumigator again the next time I am up - the house is pier and beam with a tiny crawl space, but fire ants can reproduce with amazing speed.  I am not up to testing the ones in the house anymore - it hurts too much.  When I can find the beds, I stir them up since they swarm like no other type of ant.  I am not in favor of just killing all ants, but fire ants are different. 

Finding them in the hugel beds was a real downer, though.  Right up there with when the (former) friend who didn't want to take some cactus out of the first hugel bed we built, but close.  Cactus was gone in a hurry though, and fire ants are not. 

 

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2014, 12:42:07 PM »
We had a problem with ants, but the good news is fire ants eat termites like popcorn.  So guess what happened after the ants were gone....

A pest control professional suggested using sevin dust under the house.  He said he takes an old rechargeable fire extinguisher to blow the powder where it's needed under a house.  Be sure to wear protective gear if you try that.

~TG

Offline Sweethearts Mom

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2014, 05:19:02 PM »
on the termite thing....lots of popcorn here and no fireants are eating them  :(

However I got a new toy that I belive will do the trick this year

Harbor Freight...29.99...I bought a weed torch. It is heck on weeds....hopefully even bermuda grass....and i plan on stirring up the fire ants as they invade and torching all who come to the surface enough times that they will leave the area.

Offline Deping

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2014, 07:37:17 AM »
I suggest contacting your local County Cooperative Extension Service Agriculture Agent. They may have some good ideas and information about managing your ant infestation.

Offline Sweethearts Mom

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2014, 07:02:33 PM »
I don't know if you TX people have noticed but the fire ants are piling their burrows high in the last couple of days. I am interested in seeing if that means an explosion of numbers or a lot of rain....I bet it is the first one.

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2014, 10:02:23 PM »
I don't know if you TX people have noticed but the fire ants are piling their burrows high in the last couple of days. I am interested in seeing if that means an explosion of numbers or a lot of rain....I bet it is the first one.

Fire ants are odd, as they pile the eggs and lava at the top of the mound.  It takes about a month for them to grow to maturity, so in certain parts of Texas they may be preparing, or at least did so in the warmer weather a week ago. They will also rehab the mound after internal water damage, was this after the rainy week?

http://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/cimg362.html




~TG

Offline chuck_3

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #42 on: February 19, 2014, 12:10:30 PM »
Fire ants are odd, as they pile the eggs and lava at the top of the mound.  It takes about a month for them to grow to maturity, so in certain parts of Texas they may be preparing, or at least did so in the warmer weather a week ago. They will also rehab the mound after internal water damage, was this after the rainy week?

http://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/cimg362.html


~TG

Good info, TG.  In SE OK, no fire ant resurgence (yet ?).  No more house fire ants either.  But, they were building huge beds around partially buried large rocks (2 - 3 feet across).  I am sure that I haven't gotten rid of the exterior beds. 

The large number of beds are in cleared areas, and I haven't seen any in areas where there has been no clearing.  In one area, the previous owner had kept all of the pines out, leaving the other trees.  I have gotten rid of most of the cedars as well since I want to get some apples going as well as cedars being water hogs.  I don't know it the pines being gone or the clearing having been done might have made the soil better for their beds.  I would guess that not having the pine needle cover might make it less desirable for them. 

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: How to get fire ants out of raised bed
« Reply #43 on: February 19, 2014, 01:04:58 PM »
Good info, TG.  In SE OK, no fire ant resurgence (yet ?).  No more house fire ants either.  But, they were building huge beds around partially buried large rocks (2 - 3 feet across).  I am sure that I haven't gotten rid of the exterior beds. 

Hmm.... maybe they are organizing, scheming and plotting the next round of house sorties and occupation maneuvers?

Good luck!

~TG