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Author Topic: Benefits of fire ants  (Read 2944 times)

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Offline brdmkr

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Benefits of fire ants
« on: August 17, 2007, 08:02:02 pm »
I suppose I dislike gnats more than any other creature on this planet, but fire ants rank a close second.  HOWEVER, I have been noticing something lately that has me wondering if those fire ants may not be helping me out a little.  I am seeing where these guys are apparently hunting for prey in my sticker stacks.  I saw older logs most of the time.  For the most part, I can get some pretty sound lumber out of them, but there may be some worm holes.  It seems these fire ants are going into these worm holes and feasting on the larvae inside.  If I understand ant biology, these ants don't eat wood.  SO, I can only assume that they are eating the grubs.  I have actually seen a few borers that the ants seem to have killed.  Anybody else seen this?

If they do eat wood, I suppose I have yet another reason to dislike them.
Lucas 618  Mahindra 4110, FEL and pallet forks, some cant hooks, and a dose of want-to

Offline Mooseherder

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Re: Benefits of fire ants
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2007, 08:07:09 pm »
That ain't a good enough trade off. :D
Fire Ants got disgusting larvae too. I've declared war on them hundreds of times and I always lose. :D
Lane Circle Mill

Online pineywoods

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Re: Benefits of fire ants
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2007, 10:13:43 pm »
brdmkr   I can add one other small plus.  Fire ants eat termites. Where there's fire ants ther ain't no termites. I ran into the same thing with a big old pine log with the bark still there but loose. Thousands of fire ants under the bark. I thought they were dened under the bark but from what you say, maybe there were just having a feast. Certainly plenty of sawyer grubs under that bark.
I too fight a never ending war with the little beasts, but I win more than I loose. Try this---
powdered laundry bleach (mostly chlorine) mixed with powdered sugar. Stir up the nest to get them excited, then put about half a teaspoon on the nest. Theytake it down in the nest and feed the queen. Most of the commercial baits just ry to poisen the ants--don't work, but get the queen and the colony will die






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Offline brdmkr

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Re: Benefits of fire ants
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2007, 10:20:52 pm »
If you want to get rid of fire ants, about the most effective thing I have heard of is just really hot (near boiling water).  Run a rod down as deep as you can into the mound and then pour on the hot water.  It will pretty much get them all.  You may have to treat twice to take care of the worker ants that were out foraging when you treated the mound.

I'll have to try the chlorine and sugar trick as well.  I have not heard about that one.  Sounds like it would work though.  Thanks for the info.
Lucas 618  Mahindra 4110, FEL and pallet forks, some cant hooks, and a dose of want-to

Offline Mooseherder

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Re: Benefits of fire ants
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2007, 10:25:13 pm »
Thanks for the tips. Will try both. I have plenty of mounds to experiment.
The commercial stuff doesn't work as advertised.
Lane Circle Mill

Offline limbrat

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Re: Benefits of fire ants
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2007, 11:03:40 pm »
Fire ants also have helped to make ticks a rare thing around here. A tick will hang out on a limb tip almost dormant untill some warm bodied critter brushes into them. The ants just pick them off and take them back to the nest.
I have found that a broad cast treatment works best on ant mounds stand over the mound with a hand crank spreader start cranking and spin slowly around. Treat a area about 10' on each side of the mound. let them forage the poison and the colony will die in two weeks. DONT use a pyrethien that just flushes them and spot treatments tend to move them around. Mounds within 10' of each other are usally the same or super colony. Ants from different queens will kill one another on contact unless they belong to the same super colony with several queens.
ben

Offline Mike_Barcaskey

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Re: Benefits of fire ants
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2007, 06:26:22 am »
we got the perfect thing up here to kill them fire ants

it's called winter  8)
It matters not how strait the gate,
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Offline rebocardo

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Re: Benefits of fire ants
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2007, 04:05:49 pm »
I pour alcohol down all openings, stand back and light it. The whoosh robs them of air, gives them a tan, and the whoosh/explosion caves in the tunnels. Works on yellow jackets too. Though I do those at night.


Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Benefits of fire ants
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2007, 05:38:49 pm »
I don't try to get rid of them because of the termite plus, but still I would rather have termites than a decimated quail population. Hunting quail with a pair of good dogs is second only in my book to watching the sun come up from within a duck blind out on the Laguna Madre working a good call and watching the black lab itching to go.

They have wiped out our quail population.
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline brdmkr

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Re: Benefits of fire ants
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2007, 10:34:52 pm »
Kevjay,

You live in the land of the polygyne fire ants.  They have multiple queens/mound and reach densities far higher than what we have here.  You are right about the quail, one of the better studies of fire ant impacts pretty much documented that they were really working on the quail.  I'm glad we don't have the multiple queen colonies here.
Lucas 618  Mahindra 4110, FEL and pallet forks, some cant hooks, and a dose of want-to