Fire Ants No More...
When we sent out this Q&A last month, we were later overwhelmed
with all the responses. Here are some solutions our readers sent
it for getting rid of these pesky pests:
Of course, there are special chemicals that help to get rid of
these friends but if the situation would be dangerous for your bog
environment, you should avoid using them. According to my personal
experience, any kind of ants do not withstand presence of even small
traces of machine oil and avoid it.
I got rid of ants on my fruit trees by placing a string soaked in
oil and wound around a tree trunk. A great caution should be taken to
avoid direct contact of oil with a tree bark as the bark will be
consequently damaged by chemical action of oil. One can use a band of
wide scotch tape under this string to avoid direct contact of a string
with a tree bark.
The same rule should be applied in this particular case - surround
ants nest with a string coated with machine oil or grease and this
will cause havoc.
It is only a suggestion, I never used this in a water garden but I
think this will work.
About the ants try banana pilings. Just cut them up and spread them
around and also lay them on top of the ant holes. It will take awhile
a week or so but they will leave.
I don't know if it will work on fire ants or not but I get rid of
ants the safe way by mixing baking soda and enough powdered sugar to
make it sweet.
Ants can't burp or---- so it kills them..
Answer 1 -- Get an Aardvark!
Answer 2 -- What about Amdro, to attract the ants from the
pond area where they take the food back to the queen and kill the
John D Stephens
Re: fire ant problem... Some time ago when I lived in California, I
was told that the fire department sprinkles powdered boric acid in the
cracks where ants come in. Although probably not fire ants, they ARE
ants in the fire house! I've used vinegar with success on regular
little black ants - sometimes having to apply it 2 or 3 times before
the ants give up. On counters, I would sponge the vinegar on while
wiping up the ants. Then keep doing it until the ants were gone. Don't
know if that would work on fire ants, but one could try. Maybe
spraying it on directly would help.
I live in Southeast Georgia, the fire ant capital of the civilized
I am surrounded by pasture land which is notorious for drawing ants
like a magnet. When we place the cows in the pasture guess where the
ants head. Yep, to my yard. Over the years I have tried anything I
could get my hands on and spent a great deal of money on products that
had no lasting effects. I had no success in impacting or eradicating
the population of ants in my yard until 3 months ago. We are talking
10 to 15 mounds per acre and a trillion ants per mound. When God
created ants and looked at this creation he must have said "I am going
to have to give man a good sense of humor because of this".
I have used an off-the-shelf chemical with great success within
inches of my pond. When it becomes dry these ants like to head for the
coolness of the pond liner, underlayment or rocks. I mix 3 tablespoons
per gallon just because I want the ants to experience the fullness of
my wrath! If you use a spray bottle or a regular garden pressure
sprayer you should adjust your nozzle for a tight coarse spray. This
gives you the ability to be able to have more control over and
overspray. Disturb the ants by some means so that most of them come to
the top of the mound then soak them down. You can come back in an hour
or so and scoop the dead ones up in your hand. That is how fast it
After the initial spraying you may find a new mound days later
relocated 3 or 4 yards from the original mound. Why? Because some of
the ants that are far underground will escape the treatment but will
leave the original mound due to the treatment. You will notice that
the second mound relocated several yards away will have significantly
less of the pests than the original one. Treat any secondary mounds
immediately after you notice them because they are moving their young
from the originally treated mound to the new mound. This will
basically take care of the rest of the current crop of ants but next
seasons as well. I love it when a plan comes together.
I know that I have the meanest ants on the planet so if this
chemical does not work for you then I guess I would have the second
meanest ants on the planet. Now I know everyone wants to know the
magical cure so if you would send in $49.95 to the address above I
will give you the cure. Just kidding!!
Go to your local garden center and ask for a brand by the name of
BAYER. I use this stuff for killing garden pests as well. The 32oz.
plastic bottle is blue and the label specifies "for ants, fleas etc".
only good ant is a dead ant.
Here's a website that has some very useful info on controlling fire
ants, they recommend a product called Maxforce;
As for Ana's recommendation of using cooking oils (grease) you'd
better take a look at the section in this website on fire ants diets,
it seems that these guys like grease and sweet things. Acid, use boric
acid, it will break down the ants skeletal system
Fire ants. Get a 357 semi automatic and enjoy them! You've heard of
turning lemons into lemonade...SERIOUSLY rat poision mixed with
peanut butter rolled into "tiny" balls and placed where animals
can't get at them will will do the trick...however not as much fun
as other suggestions.
Good luck, Jim
And that should take care of 'em...