Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by donnainzone5 Today at 12:13 pm

» Some of our recipes
by sanderson Today at 12:13 pm

» January: What to plant in Northern California and Central Valley areas
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 12:12 pm

» Crop rotation
by sanderson Today at 12:02 pm

» Creamy Basil Pesto
by sanderson Today at 11:46 am

» How much to plant?
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 11:12 am

» Daikon radishes?
by countrynaturals Today at 11:07 am

» Butterfly Junction
by countrynaturals Today at 11:02 am

» Zera (TM) Food Recycler - kitchen composting
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 10:40 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by BeetlesPerSqFt Today at 9:50 am

» CHALLENGE - Smallest possible footprint
by sfg4uKim Today at 8:48 am

» 2017 SFG Adventures in Hampstead, NC
by AtlantaMarie Today at 6:41 am

» Gardening Australia
by IrishDigger Today at 3:07 am

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing January 2017
by Kelejan Today at 12:33 am

» Happy Birthday!!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 11:37 pm

» N & C Midwest: January 2017!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 11:35 pm

» Friday Rookie Topic X: Marigolds
by MeghanSTL Yesterday at 9:12 pm

» Feedback for my 2017 garden plan
by MeghanSTL Yesterday at 7:28 pm

» Winter Rye Grass
by camprn Yesterday at 6:31 pm

» Winter Sowing vs. Winter Growing
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 6:10 pm

» Turan in the Western Mountains
by Turan Yesterday at 4:35 pm

» Crop Rotation Involving Nightshades
by Turan Yesterday at 4:23 pm

» Show us your kitchen compost container
by Zmoore Yesterday at 4:00 pm

» Sad News from Jimmy Cee
by Turan Yesterday at 1:04 pm

» Hola from Southern Ecuador
by Cats Yesterday at 11:51 am

» Cover Crops??
by camprn Yesterday at 11:20 am

» Anyone want walking onions??
by RoOsTeR Yesterday at 7:43 am

» My rapini is scaring me
by Scorpio Rising 1/15/2017, 10:42 pm

» who has chickens
by countrynaturals 1/15/2017, 9:05 pm

» "Virtual" Roadtrip of the Desert and Old West
by countrynaturals 1/15/2017, 11:39 am

Google

Search SFG Forum

Fire Ants in SFG

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Homekeeper on 5/26/2011, 1:26 am

In the 5 years I've lived here in Washington state, I have never seen a fire ant. Well, yesterday they were crawling inside one of our SFG. I don't see a mound but I'm wondering how bad this is for my vegetables, which are growing incredibly well by the way. What do I do for this? This is the first time I've ever dealt with fire ants, thanks!

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/26/2011, 2:51 am

Homekeeper, hopefully one of our friends from the South will respond. I know they battle fire ants.

I did not know we had them up here in the PNW. What a Face

Furbalsmom

Female Posts : 3141
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 69
Location : Coastal Oregon, Zone 9a, Heat Zone 2 :(

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  walshevak on 5/26/2011, 6:26 am

Since they are not normally in your area, I wonder if a queen might have been in a transplant.

I don't know how to deal with inside a garden, but they bite terribly.


Kay

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
Find more about Weather in Elizabeth City, NC
Click for weather forecast

walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4324
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 74
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/26/2011, 8:35 am

I use spinosad granules to get fire ants, it does kill bees so I put it out at night. I have ants in sfg too, but found they were farming aphids (ugh a rama). Take a peek at your leaves and check for the aphids. I despise fire ants as I sit here and itch my bites from last night.

Ha-v-v

Ha-v-v

Female Posts : 1123
Join date : 2010-03-12
Age : 57
Location : Southwest Ms. Zone 8A (I like to think I get a little bit of Zone 9 too )

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  FarmerValerie on 5/26/2011, 10:38 am

KILL THEM-NOW. You can probably pick up some AMDRO from a Big Box Store, that seems to be what works best down here. There are those that aruge they eat ticks, and they do, but the devastation left behind is not worth it. They destroy farm equipment, and kill livestock. My second son is allergic to their bite. If you truly do have fire ants (I don't doubt you) put some stuff out around the bed, & keep your eye out for a mound. They may be coming in from somewhere else, looking for a new home, you do not want to accidentally mow over a mound you did not see, they get mad when they are slung out from under a mower and if you step in the freshly mowed mound, watch out. Down here we take fire ants more seriously than a ferral bee hive.

FarmerValerie

Female Posts : 1611
Join date : 2011-01-29
Age : 50
Location : NE Texas, 75501, Zone 8a

View user profile http://www.rocksinmygarden.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  ashort on 5/26/2011, 12:26 pm

@FarmerValerie wrote:KILL THEM-NOW. You can probably pick up some AMDRO from a Big Box Store, that seems to be what works best down here. There are those that aruge they eat ticks, and they do, but the devastation left behind is not worth it. They destroy farm equipment, and kill livestock. My second son is allergic to their bite. If you truly do have fire ants (I don't doubt you) put some stuff out around the bed, & keep your eye out for a mound. They may be coming in from somewhere else, looking for a new home, you do not want to accidentally mow over a mound you did not see, they get mad when they are slung out from under a mower and if you step in the freshly mowed mound, watch out. Down here we take fire ants more seriously than a ferral bee hive.

x2 on FarmerValerie's post. I have had good luck with season long preventative treatments. I don't mind using poison on those little evil creatures....

ashort

Male Posts : 520
Join date : 2011-02-17
Age : 48
Location : Frisco, TX zone 8a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Homekeeper on 5/26/2011, 4:47 pm

Thanks for all the replies! They are red ants with dark ends, so when I googled that, I only found fire ants, so I'm assuming they are. I didn't think we had them here in Washington either, so all I can figure is they maybe came in the compost or the broccoli transplants? :?:

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/26/2011, 5:03 pm

Homekeeper, since fire ants are not usually found in this area, is there a way you could get a closeup picture and send it to your local extension service?

They may be able to identify and recommend organic solutions so you don't have to worry about what is going in your garden. If it is fire ants, the extension service would want to know about it. Several pages on this site allow for emails.

WASHINGTON STATE EXTENSION SERVICE

Furbalsmom

Female Posts : 3141
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 69
Location : Coastal Oregon, Zone 9a, Heat Zone 2 :(

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  FarmerValerie on 5/26/2011, 6:13 pm

I would let the county extension office know they are there, that's a good idea FM.

As for organic methods and fire ants, boiling water on the mound is the only way that really works, and you only make them move, rarely do you kill the queen, and the workers just go find another queen if you do. They have inported a fly that kills them, and so far A&M has had good results, and they fire ant is the only thing these flies kill, other than that there just is nothing that kills these things that is organic. Cinnamon will make them move, and it kills the ants it comes in contact with, but again it will not kill the queen. The commercial ant bait is carried to the queen, killing her, and most of the mound. Since she is below the ground and you really do not use much, there is little cause for contamination of the ground. I truly believe in going natural as often as you can, and I won't use sevin dust even as a last resort, but when it comes to fire ants I don't fool around, there have been too many people hospitalized and even died from their bites, not to mention livestock, and they will spread like wildfire.

FarmerValerie

Female Posts : 1611
Join date : 2011-01-29
Age : 50
Location : NE Texas, 75501, Zone 8a

View user profile http://www.rocksinmygarden.blogspot.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/26/2011, 6:24 pm

This is what I use for spinosad, Ferti lome uses it for their fire ant killer "Come and Get it Fire Ant Killer"
http://www.fertilome.com/ProductFiles/10300%20Come%20&%20Get%20It!%20Fire%20Ant%20Killer%20Approved%2010-27-08.pdf

They will carry it to the queen. I have used it for two years now and Im happy with it. I just like to put the granules out at night after the bees go to sleep or return to their hive, I stir up the nest and sprinkle. (long stick to stir up the nest). I used it quite a bit yesterday when I found some under some pots I have ugh.

Ha-v-v

Ha-v-v

Female Posts : 1123
Join date : 2010-03-12
Age : 57
Location : Southwest Ms. Zone 8A (I like to think I get a little bit of Zone 9 too )

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 5/26/2011, 6:28 pm

I don't think we have fire ant issues where I live but I found this link on usda:
http://www.ars.usda.gov/pandp/docs.htm?docid=9165
Sounds like they "could" be an issue in the PNW??? Shocked

UnderTheBlackWalnut

Female Posts : 559
Join date : 2011-04-18
Age : 50
Location : Springfield (central), IL, on the line between 5b and 6a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/26/2011, 6:48 pm

Akkkkkkkk What a Face

My county on the Oregon Coast has sites that are determined to be "Possible" and "Undetermined", but the county south of me is has a "Certain" area. The county East of me also has some "Certain" areas. That is pretty scary.

I realize this is just rating the possibility that fire ants could survive and reproduce here if imported, but.........

I guess I will discuss it with my local Master Gardener on Saturday at the community garden.

Furbalsmom

Female Posts : 3141
Join date : 2010-06-10
Age : 69
Location : Coastal Oregon, Zone 9a, Heat Zone 2 :(

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Fire Ants are dangerous

Post  littlejo on 5/26/2011, 10:38 pm

Hi there,

I'm not a fire ant expert, but I had them in my SFG this yr.
Get a fire ant killing med for the yard, to kill mounds and to just sprinkle around yard.
I'd sprinkle some in the isles between your SFG beds, not on the beds. Then, water the ants in your garden, they will move to a drier area, out of your beds. You may have to do this everyday til they move.
I live with the ants and have yet to find an insectiside that really works, the ants just move to a new area.
Benedryl works for the itching, but, if you are allergic to the bites, it won't keep you out of the hospital.

Can you even purchase fire ant meds? Maybe the county extension folks will send someone to kill them for you!


We have those armadillos within a mile of my house. I don't think they cause too many problems tho.

Good luck!!
Jo

littlejo

Female Posts : 1530
Join date : 2011-05-04
Age : 63
Location : Cottageville SC 8b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  shannon1 on 5/27/2011, 1:14 am

People here have posted an organic control for fire ants is orange oil. I have not used it but I did use the tip of sprinkleing cinnamon over the top of the MM and it worked for me.

shannon1

Posts : 1697
Join date : 2011-04-01
Location : zone 9a St.Johns county FL

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Vader on 5/27/2011, 9:13 am

@walshevak wrote:..they bite terribly.

Obviously, not a pest to mess around with due to safety. Just be careful, but update everyone on your progress, too.

Vader

Posts : 11
Join date : 2011-05-15
Age : 50
Location : The Dark Side

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Homekeeper on 5/27/2011, 11:25 pm

Wow, thanks for all the replies! I went out today looking for them and couldn't see any, although we did get several heavy downpours of rain today, so not sure if they are just under the soil or where. I will probably check again on Sunday when its supposed to not rain.

I talked with a friend that has lived in this area for years and she told me she has seen them in a field near where they lived years ago but hasn't seen any since then. So I guess they can be in this area but its the first time I've ever seen them.

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Homekeeper on 6/4/2011, 8:05 pm

Oh dear.....so we finally got sun and heat and I had to water my garden today. I had not seen any fire ants through the heavy rain we had the past week but I have seen black ants. However, today has me scared to death! I started watering one edge of my garden and all of the sudden - small, medium and large fire ants are everywhere! They are in both garden beds - they are so fast, I couldn't even catch one to squash it and barely could get one to stay still long enough to get a picture, so here is all I could get:





They are literally crawling everywhere - in the beds, outside the beds, the grass around the beds! I came in and locked the door LOL!!! Razz So afraid they were going to bite me after what I've heard on here. I noticed there are baby ants INSIDE the strawberry blooms too - is that normal? Are they eating my strawberries or what?

I read something about DE - should I use this? We are only growing a garden because we spend so much on organic produce, so we want to keep our garden organic, due to health issues.

I'm going to let the extension office know as someone recommended, that we do have fire ants in Washington EEK! affraid

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  westx on 6/4/2011, 8:20 pm

See if you can find Garden-ville Anti Fuego soil conditioner. It will kill the fire ants as long as you get it on them. I have been using it for over 6 years and it works great as long as you get enough in the mound. I like to stir the mound up and let them come out then drench the heck out of the mound getting as much into the middle as I can so it gets down to the queen.

westx

Male Posts : 52
Join date : 2011-05-27
Location : Ellis County, Texas

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Homekeeper on 6/4/2011, 8:27 pm

@westx wrote:See if you can find Garden-ville Anti Fuego soil conditioner. It will kill the fire ants as long as you get it on them. I have been using it for over 6 years and it works great as long as you get enough in the mound. I like to stir the mound up and let them come out then drench the heck out of the mound getting as much into the middle as I can so it gets down to the queen.

I had a hard time finding a mound - what I have found is many hills, I wonder if they built a tunnel through my garden bed? Either that or the heavy rain moved some soil around.

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  walshevak on 6/4/2011, 9:01 pm

I found this link
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Organic-Fire-Ant-Control_vq123.htm
which includes this statement

Fire Ant Remedy - sprinkle a packet of aspartame (Equal or Nutra Sweet) on the mound. Ants will be gone the next day. Anyone eating or drinking anything containing this stuff is nuts!

Kay

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
Find more about Weather in Elizabeth City, NC
Click for weather forecast

walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4324
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 74
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Aspartame.

Post  littlejo on 6/4/2011, 11:54 pm

@walshevak wrote:I found this link
http://www.dirtdoctor.com/Organic-Fire-Ant-Control_vq123.htm
which includes this statement

Fire Ant Remedy - sprinkle a packet of aspartame (Equal or Nutra Sweet) on the mound. Ants will be gone the next day. Anyone eating or drinking anything containing this stuff is nuts!

Kay
I had heard of this, but haven't gone out to buy some yet.

If anyone tries this and it works, please let us know.'

Homekeeper, don't let the ants scare you. Sounds to me like they are still trying to find a good spot to build a mound after moving into your yard. (It's probably too wet) Just keep the garden area well watered, or maybe get an organic ant medicine to treat them with.
Jo

littlejo

Female Posts : 1530
Join date : 2011-05-04
Age : 63
Location : Cottageville SC 8b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  walshevak on 6/5/2011, 12:01 am

Am I right in thinking that the tried and true ant killer of borax and sugar will not control fire ants?

Kay

____________________________

A WEED IS A FLOWER GROWING IN THE WRONG PLACE
Elizabeth City, NC
Find more about Weather in Elizabeth City, NC
Click for weather forecast

walshevak

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4324
Join date : 2010-10-17
Age : 74
Location : wilmington, nc zone 8

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  littlejo on 6/5/2011, 12:39 am

Borax kills cockroaches but, fire ants are different. They are intelligent and they are hard to kill. Your best bet is just get them to move. The nest for the fire ants in South Carolina can be 6 or more feet deep in the ground.
During a flood where houses are under water, the fire ants will all join together in mounds of ants and float on the water til they can find dry ground.(I have a pic of this somewhere)
The known med that we used to kill them with also caused cancer, so it was taken off the market.
We try any and all preparations to get rid of them, I'll try the asparatime too.
Jo

littlejo

Female Posts : 1530
Join date : 2011-05-04
Age : 63
Location : Cottageville SC 8b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Homekeeper on 6/5/2011, 3:47 pm

I went out today and my, oh my! They are everywhere in large numbers - on the wood, in the bed, in the grass too. We are going to get several things today to try - I have a question though, if for some reason these happen to not be red ants (some are brown with only a red middle).....will what we are using to kill fire ants, work for normal ants as well?

Here is what we are going to try:

Diatomaceous Earth (all over the beds)
Orange Oil or Anti Fuego (which is orange oil, molasses, etc.)
Fire Ant Control with Conserve
Spinosad? (not sure about this one yet)

If we ever find the mound, I may do the boiling water idea, but hopefully the above methods will wipe these guys out before they make more babies! affraid

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Homekeeper on 6/5/2011, 6:36 pm

We went to Fred Meyer, Lowes and Wal-mart and the garden center employees had no idea anything I was asking about - they don't carry any of the stuff above (DE, orange oil, Anti Fuego, etc). So we took one man's advice from Walmart and got Terro - going to sprinkle it around the outside of the garden. However, if the ants carry this back into the garden, will that be safe for our vegetables and for us eating them??

Homekeeper

Female Posts : 70
Join date : 2011-04-20
Location : Washington

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fire Ants in SFG

Post  Sponsored content Today at 12:14 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 2 1, 2  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum