Getting Over Garden Fire Ant With the Benefits of Non Chemical Ant Control
With fire ant mounds popping up in yards, playgrounds and ball fields across the state, it may seem like we're all doomed to suffer their bites, but fear not! Try to manage fire ants without resorting to toxic chemicals, so you can enjoy a long hot summer without the sting of fire ant bites…or toxic pesticides!
Getting rid of every last fire ant is not really possible, so keep things in perspective. With a little common sense and precaution, you can prevent fire ant bites, and discourage them from making a home in high-traffic areas..
As a group, the ants are found in almost every habitat. If resources in a habitat become available, one or more ant species soon will exploit them and will colonize the habitat. Imported fire ants are very efficient colonizers of disturbed or open habitats within their introduce range. Imported fire ants defend themselves when threatened by other ant species by raising their abdomens high in the air, extending their stingers and waving it, or "gaster flagging", and then spraying venom.
Fire ants cause a whole host of problems for native insect and plant communities. They also have deleterious effects on agriculture and even have the potential to seriously affect human health.
Gardeners who have tried to eliminate fire ant colonies know there is no shortage of advice on how to get to rid of the mounds, but few truly effective methods. But does that mean you need to turn to a toxic solution?
Here is Dr. Porter's assessment of the many nontoxic methods gardeners' try to get rid of fire ants.
Bucketing fire ant colonies
Dig up the soil at a time of day when most of the colony is in the mound. In the spring, the best time is usually mid- to late morning. In the summer, it might be early morning.
Once the ants are in the bucket, you can choose to drown the ants or simply to carry them to some place where they are not a problem. If you choose to drown the ants, add a generous squirt of dish soap, water from a hose, and stir to mix the soap throughout the mud in the bucket. The soap breaks the surface tension and drowns the ants much more quickly. It usually takes overnight to kill the ants. In the heat of the summer, they will probably drown faster, but on cool days in the spring, it may take longer. It is best not to fill the buckets more than three-quarters full of ants and dirt so there is room to add the water.
Mixing different colonies together
Household cleaning products
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Published by Graeme Stephens owner of Pest Control Auckland and has proudly been providing the following professional services since 1987: pest control, fly control, flea control, insect, cockroach, wasp, bee, flies, fleas, bed bug control, ant control