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Old 08-19-2009, 11:35 AM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,543 posts, read 55,469,830 times
Reputation: 32286


A lot of the issue with ants is that they colonize with multiple colonies over a large area (think acres and acres). When doing a spot eradication, another colony just seizes the opportunity and re-colonizes. There was some work done on the problem (in Louisiana, IIRC) where the extension service found it cheaper and more effective for landowners to get together and do a large area control program. It ended up using a lot less chemicals.

Now. - Corn meal. Ants DO go after corn meal. Look at the ingredients of Amdro and you will find it to be ... wait for it ... 99% corn meal as an attractant. Secondly, through my own personal experience I've found that corn meal and ants don't mix well. I suspect that it is the corn gluten that can't be properly digested by the ants (not swelling and bursting, just somewhat toxic to them). (Amdro uses a large granule - I think smaller granules are more likely to be picked up, but whatever.) When I suggested a number of remedies to Forest Breath for her ants in the house problem in an old farmhouse, she stopped at spreading corn grits around outside because it was so effective.

Even more effective against ants is a mixture. We just nailed a colony of black ants that was invading our kitchen. The primary agent was boric acid. The best attractant turned out to be a mixture of turkey fat and blood. We saturated some with boric acid and surrounded it with a moat of boric acid. The next morning the entire silver dollar sized pile of bait was completely gone. We repeated for a few days to get the ants that were hatching out. Later, outside, I found a tiny ant of a different species carrying off a larger dead ant. Hopefully, it'll make a meal of that poisoned ant. I don't have any illusions that I won't need to continue to fight newly hatched ants. An ant problem can continue for a long time.

Part of our problem is that I hadn't realized just how many colonies were in close proximity to the house. The rain and rapid plant growth this year seems to have made a bumper crop of ants. When I get a dry day or two, I'll mix up a can of grits, a bit of boric acid, and some other attractants, shake it all together and spread out a picnic for 30' around the house in all directions. It'll need to be repeated, but it should cut down a lot of the colonization. If that doesn't work, I'll add some Bengal powder to the mix. Kill 'em outside before they get inside.
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:59 PM
Location: On a Farm & by the sea
1,101 posts, read 2,534,064 times
Reputation: 953
Wow, Harry Chickpea... that is fascinating information. I knew I would get to the right folks on this forum. You are right...all of the rain this year really seemed to make the ant popuation explode. I'll keep you guys posted on the things that work best on the farm. I really appreciate the support on this forum. I've been a bit overwhelmed by the move to the farm. It's comforting to know that I have a resource when I need some advice. Rep to you HC.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:23 PM
Location: Ruidoso, NM
1,643 posts, read 4,358,335 times
Reputation: 615
Fire Ants: I lived in Austin, TX for 12 years and couldn't mow my lawn without being attacked by the devil's advocates. And I tried every treatment ever heard of to get rid of them. One "hill" would die out and ten more would pop up to take that one's place!

Then one day I began noticing gecko lizards - in my garage - and occasionally in the house itself. As the lizards seemed to "come from nowhere" and suddenly, it didn't occur to me until sometime later that I'd not been bothered by fire ants for some time - coinciding with the population boom in lizards! They were like little angels from heaven in spite of their propensity for leaving trails of lizard doo-doo on my walls at times.

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Old 08-27-2009, 06:25 PM
Location: southern california
56,598 posts, read 75,691,467 times
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man's best friend, lizard.
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:45 PM
Location: On a Farm & by the sea
1,101 posts, read 2,534,064 times
Reputation: 953
EEEKKKK!!! I'm in insect HELL!!!! I was stung by about 10 fireants earlier in the week (accidently stepped into a mound I didn't see) and found another black widow spider in my flowers by my front door. I killed the spider but I'm so freaked out I can't even go to bed...it is nearly midnight now.
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