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Re: Fire ants

"We have aquired fire ants in the last 2 years and their huge mounds are everywhere."

Things learned after living with fire ants for 15 years:

1)  You cannot get rid of them, but you can control their populations.  Use whatever poison fits your budget and keep the mounds small.  However, the ants are so smart, they will just create a new queen and keep on going.  The Eveready Bunny has nothing on these creatures when it comes to breeding.
2)  They are carnivorous.  That means when food supply is low, they will march themselves into your feed bins, dog food, cat food, your house, your cupboards, your dirty laundry or anything that smells like food.  I keep poison sprinkled around the entire perimeter of the house, at least once a month in spring and summer. One advantage I have found is that they will also march through the manure piles and eat fly larvae and other parasitic creatures.  TheyI have also decimated the horrible tick population I used to have.
3)  Sprinkling poison in the pastures where your horses are grazing is not a good idea, but in any case, read the directions carefully before going after the mounds.  They are so prevalent in Texas that ranchers demanded something they could use in their pastures.
4)  All methods of "moving the ants" rarely work.  They just burrow further below the surface and return when the coast is clear.
5)  Fire ants can and will swarm a foal or calf and can cause death.   I speak from experience here.
6)  The ants here have learned to be communal.  Dumping one mound on another no longer causes ant wars.....they simply sort themselves out and go on with their food gathering.

~Sighs~.....They are a pain!

Gretchen Patterson, ESMT
Marshall, TX

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