Fire Ants. *grrr!*

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by AmyLM, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. AmyLM

    AmyLM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well... we KNEW it would happen. Our entire yard is infested with the darn things. We have been treating our whole 2 acres for more than a month... and the bugger beasts just keep coming. And this morning... little tiny ant mounds ALL OVER the chicken run. Well the chickens went out and immediately devoured every ant in sight. That being said, as soon as I saw the ants being eaten I panicked: WILL THE ANTS MAKE THEM SICK? Can they be hurt by the ants?? Should I try to get rid of the little buggers or what?
     
  2. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    It's fine for the chickens to eat the ants. The problem is if the ants start crawling on the chickens, getting into the coop, bedding etc.

    We have the same problem with ants - they are just everywhere. I am looking into trying diatomaceous earth when I have to move the chicken tractors to someplace close by an ant hill if I can't get rid of the ants with all the ant bait I put out. And I don't want to put ant bait out where the chickens run...I've also been known to pour a bunch of cheap vinegar on ant hills to help kill them.
     
  3. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i haven't had any fire ants in my run yet, but i know it's a matter of time. this is my first time to not be able to use amdro or some such. not sure what approach i'm going to use.
     
  4. Cervantes

    Cervantes New Egg

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    Try the Texas two step. http://www.randylemmon.com/insectsdiseases/gardenline-fireants.html

    It would involve treating the mounds w/ a liquid poison(Liquid Permethrin or some such) then a broadcast bait. The liquid kills those in the mound and the survivors will migrate. While in migration, an army marches on its stomach..so they pick up the bait. I would wait about a month after treating before setting chickens loose in the area.

    It is imperative to decimate Solenopsis invicta if you plan on having chickens or anything else that will be in a confined area alive for more than a week. Fire ants have destroyed my rabbit population in the past. New bunnies would be born one day, by that night they were covered in ants, dead.
    Chickens fair no better when they are confined to a roost, and even if they perch up high in a tree as mine did when I was younger, the ants will still find them.
     
  5. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    Permethrin is great as an insecticide. Unfortunately it can be harmful to animals. I have to be very careful using any insecticides like this because our animals are "lovey-dovey" - they touch each other, making the transfer of permethrin a possibility. Permethrin is found in some flea killers/collars/topicals - cats especially are sensitive to permethrins and even a small amount can kill them. Dogs can also become neurotoxic when exposed to permethrin depending on how much. My husband has witnessed some horrible seizures and deaths from animals that were poisoned by permethrin exposure.
     
  6. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    that seems to leave some organic methods that have a so-so success...1. broadcast dried molasses (it's supposed to feed beneficials that prey on fire ants & supposedly fire ants don't like it). i don't know if chickens eat that or not & if chickens would have a problem w/ molasses 2. buy beneficial nematodes (virtually microscopic) that feed on fire ants.) buy from a reputable source. since you can't see them, you don't know if you're buying live or dead. some places have a little microscope at hand for you to confirm live. 3. if the area is small enough make it inhospitable for fire ants w/ vinegar drenches. that's pretty much what i'm thinking at this point.
     
  7. AmyLM

    AmyLM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well I guess my chickens like eating fire ants. As soon as I open the door in the morning they all come flying out and make a bee line for the ants and start tapping their feet on the little mounds to bring out the ants... then peck every one that comes out.

    That being said... our whole 2 acres is like a fire ant factory. We need to get rid of them FAST. They are EVERYWHERE. We have a company that will be coming out to spray and bait the whole property... but... I don't want that stuff anywhere near my birds or my dog AND in my raised garden beds with vegetables?


    So what CAN I use around them?? I'm so learly of pesticides.
     
  8. jdeoliveira74

    jdeoliveira74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i was told grits will help with fire ants!
     
  9. AmyLM

    AmyLM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    GRITS? ummm... please clarify.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. jdeoliveira74

    jdeoliveira74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it kills them when they eat it cause it expands but i am not sure. I was told by someone else they say it works.. cant hurt to try
     

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