anyone have fire ants?

lovethepeep

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 3, 2008
67
0
39
We are about to move our girls to their permanent dwelling, but I am nervous about fireants. They are a big problem in our yard, and will find food in a matter of seconds, and then there are hundreds. I am wondering if DE will help control the ant population, and if I should go ahead and sprinkle that all over the place... anyone else have any ant issues? any advice for me before the girls, and they're food make the switcheroo??

TIA!
 

Sunny Side Up

Count your many blessings...
11 Years
Mar 12, 2008
4,730
200
294
Loxahatchee, Florida
I am ready to get myself a big South American Anteater, or an aardvark, to keep in the yard to eat up our fire ants.


I have offered each type of bird in my yard, the chickens, guineas, & ducks, a handsome cash incentive and central A/C installed in their coop IF they would begin to eat up our fire ants. So far, sadly, there have been no takers.

I know some folks swear by the success of the DE, but I've been too cheap to toss that expensive stuff around in the quantities needed to rid the yard of fire ants. Instead, I sprinkle 5% Sevin Dust on & around the mounds I find. It kills the ants and I don't think it's too bad for the birds, you use that same stuff to dust them for mites.

Since I've declared War On Ants, I also spray some more aggressive mounds with bug spray. I use a concentrate I can dilute in a spray bottle, and blast in & around the mounds. I've seen my birds pecking up the larvae right after I've sprayed with no ill effect, but don't take my word for it.

Try to do something to the mounds when they're small & new. Good luck in your war effort!
 

KellyHM

Crowing
11 Years
Sep 10, 2008
7,097
33
289
Lakeland, FL
I HATE fire ants...and I have enough bites on my feet to prove they hate me too! And I'm afraid to put fire ant killer down in case the chickens pick it up while grazing!
 

Jarhead

Songster
11 Years
Aug 12, 2008
626
7
141
Arkansas
I would not worry too much. I was as worried as you were when we put our 6 week olds out in the coop. They were our first chickens, so all our experiences were new. In the temporary run I put up a fire ant mound popped up. I noticed it the day before we were putting them out. I did not want to put out anything for fear of poisoning the babies. No DE can be found here, so I was a bit worried. 1 chick found that there was a fancy mound of dirt that had tasty things come out of it. Next thing you know all 10 are in a circle pecking away. Every once in a while one would shake it's foot to throw off an ant. Took them about 20 minutes to totally defeat the mound. The ants have not resurfaced. NO chick was harmed during the feasting. So like I said I would not hesitate to do it again. Hope that helps ease your worries.
 

mrs.67

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 30, 2008
78
1
29
I am glad to hear that the fire ants didn't swarm all over them. Its a huge worry to me. I live in in the Houston area and after Ike I was worried about that. Mounds are popping up everywhere. Does Sevins Dust really work? I have also heard pouring hot boiling water over the ants will kill them but thats just guaranteed to spill all over my feet.
 

gumpsgirl

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 25, 2008
14,106
41
311
Virginia
We haven't had any problems with the fire ants, but I do have issues with the large picnic ants and the sugar ants. I just sprinkle DE on the trails (mostly inside) and I don't see them anymore. I would think if you scooped a big shovel of dirt off the top of their mound and dumped a half to a whole cup of DE on it, it would fix them! Just dig and dump quickly!
 

bills

Songster
12 Years
Jan 4, 2008
475
6
141
vancouver island
I too, used only about a cup of DE for an ant nest problem, and was very happy with the results. No more ants!
Now they weren't fire ants mind you, but DE works good for any ants.

I once had an ant nest in a bag of garden Sea Soil compost. I didn't want to use it in the garden with them in it, so I opened it in the run and let the chickens at it. They relished the chance to gobble them down.
 

Jarhead

Songster
11 Years
Aug 12, 2008
626
7
141
Arkansas
In the past we tried sevin dust, putting lots on the mound. The ants would just move the mound about 2 or 3 feet over in a few days. Only products that really work to destroy the mound have been the type that the ants take and feed to the queen and babys. I just don't like using poison period, let alone with the potential for one of my animals to get into it, so I pretty much won't do it anymore. I know what works best though, the chickens. Like I said they will destroy a colony in a few minutes. I would not let a lone chicken or a pair do it, since they might be overwhelmed, but with several of them they don't seem to have that problem. Never had DE since we can't get it locally. Although this week I did break down and order a bag and paid $30 shipping! Anyway it's 50 lbs and should last a long time.
 

Cuban Longtails

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Sep 20, 2007
6,026
32
263
Northeast Texas
The chickens will make them move eventually. They'll eat them, they'll dust bathe in their mounds, and none the worse for it. What you do need to watch is if you have a broody hatching eggs. Babies are vulnerable at the moment of hatch and the ants will swarm them.


DE helps, so does Boric Acid.

I have an uneasy truce with my ants. They can have all the chicken poop they want if they'll stay out in the yard and not in my house.
 

jnjross

Songster
12 Years
Apr 3, 2008
1,112
5
184
edwards, ms
ants i got ants i employed them as a anti-theft device in the car they get free room and board. the de has worked for the ants in the coop the chickies ripped open the bag and are spreading it themselves
 

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