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ants carrying bait

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by betsylou, May 17, 2011.

  1. betsylou

    betsylou New Egg

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    May 17, 2011
    we've recently discovered both termites and carpenter ants on our property (boo!). the pest control guy was here today explaining our options and we made a point to make sure everything would be safe regarding the our chickens (who are arriving next week!). we discussed using bait for the ants and that we could fence off the areas around the bait to keep the chickens away from the bait itself, but he said the only problem might be if the chickens were to eat the ants that were carrying the bait across the yard back to the colony. does this seem likely to anyone? is it something we should be concerned about? we're not sure what to do....we've already had one tree fall due to carpenter ants so it's a real problem. but we are also quite concerned about the chickens, who we intended to allow run of the whole back of our property, maybe 3/4 of an acre. HELP! we don't know what to do!
     
  2. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    Are the chickens going to be chicks still or full-grown? In either case, they're going to be confined for a while (you'd want to confine adults long enough to teach them where "home" is anyhow).

    I think the possibility of chickens getting bait being carried by ants is small. If bait is carted off, it will be carried into the nest itself, which the chickens are unlikely to be able to get to. Do you know how long the bait remains potent? It might break down in a week or two anyhow.

    Do you know the type of poison that will be used?
     
  3. betsylou

    betsylou New Egg

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    May 17, 2011
    it would be part of a service to control the ants where the bait would be refilled every three months, so i guess it would be pretty much constant. we are getting chicks, so yes, they will be confined for a good while before they'll be roaming the yard. we considered doing the bait just once before the chickens are out in the yard and hoping that takes care of the problem, but the concern is that they'll just come back in a few months.
     
  4. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    You might just be able to fence off the area where the bait will be located to keep chickens away--I wouldn't be too worried about the chickens going after individual ants--mine have never shown much interest in ants.

    I started reading up a bit on carpenter ant control--found a decent article and U of Minnesota extension service. http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/housingandclothing/dk1015.html

    It
    suggests locating and destroying nests, with an alternative of baiting *if* the nest cannot be located.

    In either case, I don't think there is much risk to your chickens. Plus, if the ants have a nest up the tree, and the bait is near the tree, even my chickens don't climb trees!

    The dose that can kill an ant will probably not be noticed by something as large as a chicken--just make sure that the chickens can't get to the bait.
     
  5. betsylou

    betsylou New Egg

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    May 17, 2011
    thanks, that was an informative article. we've attempted to destroy nests before and they seem to just move somewhere else in the yard. that's when we thought they were just ants...now that we know they are carpenter ants we are going to let the pros handle them. i just hate the idea of using pesticides at all, and now even more since our chickens will be out there. pest control was actually one of our great hopes when getting our chickens, but this problem is beyond the ability of our small flock, unfortunately!
     

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