We are having a terrible time with fire ants this year. I don't want to use anything harmful to children or pets. Does anyone have any good way to get rid of them?
I have found if I pour uncooked grits on and around the mound. The ants will bring the grits down into their hole to eat and it will cause their stomaches to explode. It takes a couple of days to get the group of ants to eat the grits, but it works. - Chris
Boiling water annoys the heck out of them! I use this method in my backyard as it does kill the grass! but at least I know it's safe for my dog and the birds that I feed - LindaG
I just posted this to the HappyGarden List just last week. I think you will find it to be of use to you. It was printed in Organic Gardening Magazine, so no need to worry about it being safe, it is safe. I recommended it to one of my friends on the list, as I know how bad fireants are in Florida from first-hand experience. Linne did not think that the DE would be washed away, but said she would place a piepan or something like that over it to help keep the DE in place.
Mrs Kathy Cohen
Safe Ant Antidote: Diatomaceous Earth
Last summer we had dozens of ant hills in our gravels driveway, lawn, and gardens. Then I began finding ants in the house! I used diatomaceous earth (DE), which kills by scratching and drying out the insects rather than poisoning them. In a few weeks, almost all of the ants were gone. I had no worries about using the non-toxic DE, which is the fossilized remains of tiny plants called diatoms.
Mrs. Raymond Suchomel
This sounds like an excelent idea. I would think this would be wonderful to control fireants in your neck of the woods, Linne. I know how bad they get down there in Florida. I do think that you may have to reapply after a hard or heavy rain.
You might also try http://www.orangeguard.com -- their product is supposed to be effective against "regular" ants, and is supposedly safe enough for food prep areas! But I don't recall if they mentioned FIRE ants...
I think I read something recently about spreading borax liberally on fire ant hills, but that might not be an option for you due to kids/pets. I think it only takes a couple of days to work though -- could you spread it, then go to Grandma's for a couple of days? Beats having those nasty stings on your feet! - Lisa
Editor's Note: We called the poison control center about Borax. They said it is generally safe to use unless children or pets eat a lot of it.
I use to work at a daycare, and the health inspectors would not allow insecticides because of the children. The administrator was told to use cornmeal, supposedly they ingest it and can't digest it and it kills them safely. I know it works for regular ants, I am sure it would work for fire ants also.
The "easiest" non-toxic remedy is boiling water dumped directly onto the mound. The longest lasting thing is Amdro in conjunction with all of your surrounding neighbors treating as well. If one person does it for a while the ant will move somewhere else nearby and then possibly back once you stop or delay too long in treating. Could be your neighbors are treating and that's why you have more now. We have had large neighborhood "movements" where entire subdivisions come together and agree to treat so the ants will leave (and stay away from) an entire area. Good luck! - KC
Try pouring boiling water over the nest as you have someone stir it up with a stick to get the hot water into the nest. Watch out for the ants. Pouring gasoline over the nest and then covering it up with a can has worked in the past. My husband says to light the gas on fire after a time. (chemicals!) The sure cure (has chemicals!) is a fire ant poison that 'Dollar General' sells. works with in an hour or two. I would think that you could stir up the nest after a day or two. I don't know which is worse fire ants or the chemicals. - Judy
Regarding the fire ants problem, try sprinkling uncooked grits both around and over the mound without disturbing the ants. Don't sprinkle them right after a rain or when the ground is real wet, though. (When the ants eat the grits, it make them explode.) Remember that nothing we have available today is going to get rid of them permanently, however. At least for the time being, those little beasts are here to stay! - Tracy in Watauga, TX
General anti-ant stuff (and great advice!) is available from http://www.bugguys.com - Lisa
To Clarify.I said I would cover the mounds with an old pan or something to keep the diatomaceous earth, grits, oatmeal or whatever from washing
away. I use Hartz 2 in 1carpet powder which does have some poison in it so I keep it covered as I don't want animals walking through it. - Linne
The grits really work! I've used this for years in Alabama. Barb
One way to get rid of fire ants is to give them food they like which is crickets, plants, and seeds. Or the hard way is just to kill them.
Fire ant poison can be neutralized in 5 minutes with GRUBER´S JUNGLE OIL, plug it into google and learn more about it. Also, a spoonful of it in a corner the fire ants will eat it attracted to the soybean oil base and the next day you will find thousands dead. Franklin Gruber at botanicogruber AT hotmail.com
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