Fire Ants and Okra : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I live in Texas, near the Gulf Coast. Fire ants are our bane. This year I have a new reason to hate them, they are infesting my okra. They go after the pods and the flowers. I am reasonably sure it is the moisture they are after.

The usual ant killers are very specific about not being used on vegetables except once at planting, so I can't use them. The little darlings are also feasting on my corn.




-- Will Huett (, July 07, 1999


Find the hill and take care of them, not on the veggies. I use pure bleach. Scrape the top of the mound off and pore it on. What it doesn't kill will move about 25 feet and start again. Hit them again. Out in the fields we pour diesel on the hill and then light it. Do it in the morning when they have brought the eggs up close to the surface for warmth. There are all kinds of granules on the market for killing them, but my chickens run free and I am very careful what I use around the place for that reason.

Taz...who hunts fire ants even out of season!

-- Taz (Tassie, July 07, 1999.

One of the old forum regulas, sorry can't remember who, said you take a shovel of ants from one nest and put them in another and thee kill each other. Fire ants have recently arrived in central NC. . . None here yet.

-- Old Git (, July 07, 1999.

I've heard pouring boiling water on their hills kills them. Some ag college found the most effective way was to inject steam down the nest but I don't know of cost effective way to do this. I also read urine kills them. I don't notice as many anthills in the cow pasture!

-- texan (, July 07, 1999.


-- thebestyet. (, July 07, 1999.

When in Louisiana, I did the shovel-swap trick and it worked great. The other is to stob down into the middle of the nest and smush the queen. Gotta work quick, but if you get her it really takes the vinegar out of the nest.

I always wanted to get one of those things they use on sharks, with a 12 ga shell in it, and thump the nest with that. My wife kinda rolled her eyes, and so I didn't pursue it.

BW in Cajun is BRdB. Ask Sky Marshall, he'll tell you.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), July 07, 1999.

One of our other posters has recently claimed that DE kills the little buggers. Haven't checked this out my self but the local guru in North Texas (Howard Garret, the dirt doctor) says this is the way to go.

Experimenting soon. Will report.

I HATE the devilish things.


-- Greybear (, July 07, 1999.

I live in Georgia and down here we pour grits on the mound! not kidding pour 1 to 2 packs of instant grits on the mound. they eat the grits and it swells up and they explode! Old GI but new to computer.Have read lots of helpful info. don`t know if its going to be a bump or the end of the real world but will be prepard anyway.since its July has anybody changed their veiws on Y2K?

-- KELLEY (, July 07, 1999.

Will , have you tried using a worm shocker??? It's a CB antenna with a brass brazing rod in it. use a 6 pair telephone wire and attch it to the CB antenna spring with and electrial connector. Tape the spring with alot of electrical tape ( to prevent shock ). Attach the other end of the 6 pair wire and connect to an plug with only 1 end on the plug..... PLEASE BE CAREFUL !!! BY USING ONLY ONE PLUG PRONGE YOU WILL ELECTRUCUTE THE ANTS !!!! if you know some one who has built one have them do it for you, OH, you'll need some water to pour on the mound. Water and 1/2 electricity produces shock and death to ants. besides it's good for getting up worms too,for fishing... Use Fire Ant bait NOT on the mound, around it, remember it's a bait,not food item for them.. they will find it and take down to the Queen.

-- Furie (, July 07, 1999.

Thanks folks!

I especially like electrocuting them and the grits. ;)

Like the Orthene commercial says I like to 'Kick FireAnt Butt'.

Kelley, vacillating opinions are a luxury at this point. We all have them, but they are best ignored. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Hope for whatever gets you through the night, but don't let a pendulum swing to the polly side slow the amount of money and effort you spend on getting ready!



-- Will Huett (, July 08, 1999.

Tide or any other high-phosphate detergent will do the job over a few day's period. But you do have to keep after them every day. Start by laying a circle of detergent powder around the ants' mound. The next morning you'll find a new next mound a few feet away, circle it with detergent. The following day, the nest will have a new mound a few more feet away. Repeat with the detergent around every new mound that pops up, and go back and re-treat the old mounds every so often, too.

On about the fourth day you'll notice the mounds being much smaller and a lot fewer ants are present. Keep after the ants until you have several days with no new mounds. What you are doing is starving the ants.

They cannot cross the ring of detergent, because phosphate "burns" them as they try to walk across it. Hence, they can't forage for food. All the ants' efforts and stored food will be used-up as they try to escape the detergent by building new nest exit points. Even the efforts to raise new hatchlings is reduced in order to create a new opening, so that food and water can be found.

At some point, depending on how large the original colony was, they begin to die without adequate numbers of replacements being born and no food or water for the existing workers and queen. At this point the finally queen dies, and with her the nest.

This method may be similar in practice to the Diatomacious Earth that was was referred to earlier in this thread. I'vwe never used DE on fire ants. but the Tide method worked for me for several years.


-- Wildweasel (, July 10, 1999.

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