Fire ants invaded my coop!

Georgia460

Chirping
May 16, 2015
36
59
97
Jackson, Georgia
Hi, BYCers!

I have a tractor style chicken coop. On the edge fire ants built a foot by foot nest. I didn´t think much of it until it rained last night. And the fire ants thought my coop would be a delightful place to be dry and warm and move their very, VERY large family. I opened the coop and fire ants spill out all over. I lift the poop board and underneath is so many ants I can´t see the wood. So far I poured 3 gallons hot soapy water on them but that didn´t do anything. This has never happened. They need to not be deterred but killed.
How can I do this BYCers without going to TSC? I have shut all the coop doors and entrances because an EE hen went in and was pecking her feet because the ants were all over them. I have many bantams and the fire ants can kill them.

:he:barnie:rant:hit:confused:
Hi,
I live in Georgia and deal with these horrible pests all the time. My solution has been to use warm water (not hot or boiling) with Dawn dish soap added and also Orange essential oil. (you don't want to use hot/boiling water with essential oils). Ants hate limonene which is what Orange essential oil is mainly comprised of - like 97%. This comes from the pressing of the orange rind but you can't use regular oranges and try to press the rind, it will be a difficult and messy situation. Orange essential oil is relatively cheap, a 5ml bottle for about $7.00, 15ml for about $11.00 (I suggest getting the 15ml, you'll use it).
For a gallon of water I put in a couple squirts of Dawn just as if you were washing dishes with soapy water and then add about 40 drops of the Orange essential oil. Oil and water don't mix so that's why you need the Dawn in the mix.
I use a plastic watering can and just start pouring it over the mound slowly back and forth until it's saturated. Dead ants will start appearing. If you do it in the morning, do it again in the afternoon. Then spread out the mound with a rake the next day and do it again.
You won't kill them all but you will kill alot and they will move their mound. Noone can ever kill them all no matter what they use as their mounds are so deep.
Keep your chickens away till it has dried up. Most chickens hate citrus but they will peck at anything new.
 

Georgia460

Chirping
May 16, 2015
36
59
97
Jackson, Georgia
Just some info. on fire ants in case anybody wanted to know: (copy/paste from fire ant sites).

Ant hills can grow from small shapeless mounds to towering three feet high hills. These piles of dirt typically have a hole in the middle which serves as the entry point into the colony. Underneath, networks of tunnels and chambers can run up to 3 feet deep and 4 feet wide depending on the size of the colony.
Adults emerge in 9 to 15 days. The average colony contains 100,000 to 500,000 workers and up to several hundred winged forms and queens.

Vinegar Solution (I'll have to try this one)
Mix equal parts vinegar, baking soda and water and pour the mixture into the ant colony or spray it in high-ant-traffic areas.

Pouring boiling or soapy water over mounds
Pouring about three gallons of extremely hot water on a single fire ant mound eliminates the mound about 60 percent of the time. Drenching mounds with a similar amount of hot soapy water is about 60 to 70 percent effective.
 

Gudetama

Songster
Oct 26, 2020
528
1,106
143
The South
Hi,
I live in Georgia and deal with these horrible pests all the time. My solution has been to use warm water (not hot or boiling) with Dawn dish soap added and also Orange essential oil. (you don't want to use hot/boiling water with essential oils). Ants hate limonene which is what Orange essential oil is mainly comprised of - like 97%. This comes from the pressing of the orange rind but you can't use regular oranges and try to press the rind, it will be a difficult and messy situation. Orange essential oil is relatively cheap, a 5ml bottle for about $7.00, 15ml for about $11.00 (I suggest getting the 15ml, you'll use it).
For a gallon of water I put in a couple squirts of Dawn just as if you were washing dishes with soapy water and then add about 40 drops of the Orange essential oil. Oil and water don't mix so that's why you need the Dawn in the mix.
I use a plastic watering can and just start pouring it over the mound slowly back and forth until it's saturated. Dead ants will start appearing. If you do it in the morning, do it again in the afternoon. Then spread out the mound with a rake the next day and do it again.
You won't kill them all but you will kill alot and they will move their mound. Noone can ever kill them all no matter what they use as their mounds are so deep.
Keep your chickens away till it has dried up. Most chickens hate citrus but they will peck at anything new.
Thank you for your information fellow Georgian. We have lots of fire ants here don´t we? I will move my chickens and try that. Would grapefruit or lemon essential oil work?
 

Gudetama

Songster
Oct 26, 2020
528
1,106
143
The South
Just some info. on fire ants in case anybody wanted to know: (copy/paste from fire ant sites).

Ant hills can grow from small shapeless mounds to towering three feet high hills. These piles of dirt typically have a hole in the middle which serves as the entry point into the colony. Underneath, networks of tunnels and chambers can run up to 3 feet deep and 4 feet wide depending on the size of the colony.
Adults emerge in 9 to 15 days. The average colony contains 100,000 to 500,000 workers and up to several hundred winged forms and queens.

Vinegar Solution (I'll have to try this one)
Mix equal parts vinegar, baking soda and water and pour the mixture into the ant colony or spray it in high-ant-traffic areas.

Pouring boiling or soapy water over mounds
Pouring about three gallons of extremely hot water on a single fire ant mound eliminates the mound about 60 percent of the time. Drenching mounds with a similar amount of hot soapy water is about 60 to 70 percent effective.
Thank you! It is very helpful to know about the ants I am dealing with. I did not know most of this. :)
 

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