Nontoxic Fire Ant Control : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Many of us who live in rural areas of the South are plagued by fire ants. I don't remember where or from whom I first learned this, but the following method of fire ant control really works. Best of all, it's a completely natural solution.

Simply take a shovelful of material from one fire ant mound, and dump it onto a second mound. Then take a shovelful from the SECOND mound and dump that back on the first. You can do this for as many mounds as you have, just make sure that each mound gets a "dose" from a different mound. The only caveat is to make sure each mound you're dealing with is an active mound. You'll know if it's active....

My theory is that since each fire ant mound is a separate, unique colony, invaders threaten the colony and an ant war (to the death) ensues. It usually takes a day to kill a fire ant mound this way. Occasionally, a second treatment is needed if there is any activity left after the first day. BTW, fire ants are least active during the winter months, so this is the best time to start your ant wars. As the weather warms into spring, ant colonys multiply. I've seen it happen where a mound will simply be abandoned and a new one will spring up just a few feet away. To prevent this, get'em while the weather's cold.

A word or two of caution: bang your shovel on the ground after you dump the contents to knock off any "sticky" ants; you don't want them climbing up the handle onto you. And be careful not to step on a disturbed mound. Believe me, you DON"T want the pain of multiple fire ant bites.

-- Craig (, February 19, 2000


Craig -- brilliant idea! We'll try that.

-- helen (, February 19, 2000.


How does one know that each mound has a different colony? I ask only because my backyard [not all THAT big] has LITTLE mounds all over. Are they ALL different colonies, or is it one colony that doesn't have the strength to make ONE big mound?

Good advise about not stepping on a disturbed mound. Last year I didn't even NOTICE some of the mounds until I stepped on them. They found that VERY disturbing and let me know REAL fast.

-- Anita (notgiving@anymore.thingee), February 20, 2000.

Anita, I'd guess each little mound is its own colony. If you've got THAT many, get after'em quick. Your yard's infested. May have been caused by just the right conditions to hatch a large number of queens, each of which will then form their own colonys. Good luck.

-- Craig (, February 20, 2000.

Don't forget the old sugar/borax and grits trick. Not sure how it works on fireants tho. I was foreman on a horseranch in Texas back in the mid and late 80's. The ants were so bad that we couldn't stall the horses in the warm weather because the ants would attack them. I had the posts of my bed set in coffee cans of transmission fluid so the ants wouldn't swarm my bed. If my sheet or covers hung down onto the floor or rested against a wall I would wake up getting eaten alive by the buggers!

We used a dru chemical called Malathion and that helped but never totally solved the situation.

Care all, Sat.

-- Satanta (, February 20, 2000.

Believe it or not, I read in the Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago that someone had discovered that fire ants HATE human urine! Apparently some poor soul had tried everything imaginable, with little success, and in final desperation he...... Well, you know the rest. Last I heard he had added some oil or creosote or something else horrible to the mixture and was trying to perfect it for commercial sale. I know it sounds crazy, but might be worth a try.

I just moved to northern Arizona and see several big ant hills around the property. Luckily they probably aren't fire ants. They seem totally dormant now. When they become active, I'll try the "organic approach" and see how well it works!

Good Luck... Eric

-- Eric (, February 21, 2000.

I might as well put me 2cent in.I live in north Florida. And have war'ed with fire ants a long time.Your ants move from mound to mound. They will move start a mound then split off and start anther mound then that mound will split and so on.[Like bee's do].mixing mounds will not work.There are 2 ways to kill a mound. 1.wall mart sell's a fire ant killer. You just put a 1/2 hand full on a mound.The workers will feed this to the qunne and young.This will kill this mound by the neex day. The thing is this will not stop the ants from comeing on your land tomarow,and the neex day and the neex day. 2.I called a lawn man to see what he could do. You can NOT stop fire ants from comeing .Each day new mounds will move in.The only thing you can do. Is get a pest control to spray the yard each month.This will not kill the ants ,but the spray has got something the fire ants dont like so they will not come onto your land. P.s [warning]If you try peeing on fire ants make sure you dont stand there more 30sec. Or you'll have ants in your pants.

-- home dad (, February 23, 2000.

1) The grits don't work.

2) A buddy of mine saw two mounds, one on each side of the driveway. He doused each mound with gasoline. He set fire to one mound. It wasn't long before the other was aflame as well.

-- GA Russell (, February 25, 2000.

Grits didn't work for me, but the musical mounds worked nicely in a small pasture with about 20 LARGE mounds that damaged my small truck when I tried to squish one for fun. Moved them with a tractor and box blade. Only 2-3 mounds after 3 years. I think it screws up their pheromones. The "control" pasture still has Manhattan mounds.

-- Wm McBride (, February 26, 2000.

This is disheartening. I just learned about the grits thing last nite in FRLian chat and purchased a box of instant grits this morning. Did you try it when the ground was EXTREMELY dry? It's my understanding that the grits must be dry when the ants eat them so that the water of THEIR body causes the grits to swell. Of course I bought the grits after a hard rain, but come summer, the droughts will set in again and I'll try it then.

-- Anita (, February 26, 2000.

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