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Old 01-09-2010, 10:45 AM
 
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Didn't know where to exactly put this, but since these are pests, I'll just ask the folks in the Garden forum.

Do you think the cold snap will kill off or if not, diminish the number of fire ants that have gradually made there way north? We use to not ever see them in North Carolina, but now they are sprouting up all over the place. I'll be outside in the yard and will sometimes step on one and those things come out biting like crazy. The temperatures here have been in teens for about a week or so. It's been pretty cold compared to other winters, which have been more mild.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:49 AM
 
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I despise fire ants. I've read that they just go deeper underground when it's cold, but I suppose there is a limit to how far underground they can go. I sure hope this kills some of them, but they'll just go on the march again as soon as it warms up. Hate 'em. Of course, I'm stuck with them, because I live way far south of you.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:42 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
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I am too hoping you are right and this kills some, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I got an e-mail the other day that I and really wanting to test out. I can't do it though until they build their hills again. It said to pour about two cups of club soda down through the middle of the hill. It is supposed to take all the oxygen out of the mound and kill the queen. E-mail said they would be gone in two days. I so hope this works, but if you do this be very careful. I got about 25 bites once while spreading poison. I was busy doing the job and did not realize they were all over my shoes and legs. They are mean little creatures. I think it would be good to ride the lawnmower where you could get to the mound and not step foot in the area.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Albemarle, NC
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Nope. At 18" deep in our zone, the ground is warm enough for them. They can dig as deep as 4' in most soils, as long as it's not hard compacted clay. Even earthworms can travel that deep. The cold won't really hurt them. The cold won't even phase mosquitoes whose larvae can withstand freezing temperatures for a long time. We're just sort of stuck with the ants and other creatures.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,448,914 times
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yes the cold kills them
no it won't get them all
yes they'll be back
sadly we probably won't notice the population reduction

(I posted similar in another forum a while back, and someone said cold won't kill them back, so read for yourself and decide. )

Will a hard winter kill imported fire ants? - eXtension
Insecta Inspecta World - Red Fire Ants (http://www.insecta-inspecta.com/ants/redfire/index.html - broken link)
An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie This was an abstract of a science paper, looks like it was put behind a paywall.
Amdro: Ant Control, Ant Bait & Ant Killer (http://www.amdro.com/Amdro/Facts/weather.html - broken link)
Invaders by Sea: Imported Fire Ants - eXtension
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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The club soda idea won't work. The premise is more of a joke than anything. Fire ants will move their mound if it is disturbed. That doesn't mean you killed them, just that you made them move a little. In row crop fields, you may see a few in the field, but most will be along the fencerows.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Went around the corner & now I'm lost!!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
The club soda idea won't work. The premise is more of a joke than anything. Fire ants will move their mound if it is disturbed. That doesn't mean you killed them, just that you made them move a little. In row crop fields, you may see a few in the field, but most will be along the fencerows.
Buy nematodes to kill them. They are micrscopc worms that invade the body any critter living in or on the soil including grub,fleas but not sure about the ticks. You will have to go to a feed store or organic produce store to find them and they must be kept refrigerated until your are ready to use them: READ THE INSTRUCTION!!! It takes about two to three treatments but it will last a couple of years...it better than using chemicals.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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eyewrist, never heard of that use. In Florida, nematodes were VERY common and something to get rid of, because they were damaging to garden crops. They didn't seem to put a dent in the ant population there.
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Went around the corner & now I'm lost!!!!
1,550 posts, read 3,137,443 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
eyewrist, never heard of that use. In Florida, nematodes were VERY common and something to get rid of, because they were damaging to garden crops. They didn't seem to put a dent in the ant population there.
Try doing a search on them. There are different species. The ones I am talking about are beneficial nematodes; there are those that are detrmental also.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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Thanks for the response everyone. So it looks like the pest are here to stay, huh, lol? Just curious how much cold can they withstand. Would they be able to thrive in the northeast or midwest like they have thrived in the southeast now or will the cold keep them from going too far north?
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