HELP I have a serious Red Fire Ant Problem

jaylilsmom

Chirping
Apr 20, 2015
19
7
59
Hello everyone! I am coming to you all from the ( currently hotter than the pits of hades) Nw corner of Ga. I currently have a handful of chicks, ducklings, and more recently keets who are brooding in a modified chainlink dog run. Every thing has been going very smoothly with this set up so far. I introduced the tree or so week old keets to the group on Monday. Everything seemed to be going great until I noticed that my guinea keets started dropping. And not just dying but dying and all but the wings head and legs disappearing ( all the bits that were left behind remained inside the enclosure). At first I blamed the chicks who resided with the keets, but watching them throughout the day there is honestly no sign of aggression towards the keets at all. Rather they seem indifferent to them. So anyway I am getting off track here. I went out to make sure that everything was going ok with them after dark tonight and to count the guineas. ( Mind you my remaining keets were eating and drinking and just doing their normal guinea thing all day long today!) and low and behold I find one missing so I start looking around the enclosure and find the missing keet being completely devoured by RED FIRE ANTS!!! I look around my feet and notice there are a good amount of ants everywhere. These ants don't seem to be a problem during the day as much as they are at night when the air is cooler ( we have been having 100 degree days for several days now)! Now here is my question for you all! HOW ON EARTH DO I SAFELY REMOVE THE ANTS FROM MY COOP AND KEEP THEM GONE!? I can't keep having them eating my babies! That is a horrible way to go and I refuse to let it happen again to any of my birds if I can help it. I have been scouring the internet for ant baits that are safe for use around poultry but have not turned up with much! How do you all solve this problem and have you ever lost chicks or keets to these little demons? Please help!
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,393
602
Idaho
That is terrible and they are harder than heck to kill off safely around your birds. I would move the coop though as it's obviously on top of their underground hiding spot. Then maybe someone will tell you a good way to kill them, most the times for Ants I dump gasoline down into their underground sanctuary, but that may not be safe as they could have a massive underground lair that goes everywhere if there is enough to kill your keets
@R2elk any Ideas
 
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jaylilsmom

Chirping
Apr 20, 2015
19
7
59
I cross-posted this to the emergency thread and someone suggested a poultry safe permethrin spray... I hate to use chemicals around them but at this point, I am afraid I don't have many options. It was absolutely terrible seeing that baby being devoured. I immediately removed my remaining keets. I will be looking at a safe solution for all of my birds when the sun is up tomorrow. I may end up having to move the run. I hope that I don't have to resort to that though. I have been working on making these birds, my compost crew... I hate to have to start over but will definitely do so to keep them safe from these little demons.
 

marcglider

In the Brooder
Jul 26, 2019
24
33
41
Central Florida
Permethrin definitely works, I had an ant problem, not severe, sprayed the run about a week ago and haven't seen any ants in the run (I use coarse sand)... I am chasing and spraying new piles of fresh dirt they throw up on the lawn daily as they keep moving around, but nothing in the run again so far...
 

jaylilsmom

Chirping
Apr 20, 2015
19
7
59
well, for now, I have cleaned all of the bedding out of their shelter to remove as many ants as I could, and have treated the ground with DE I know that won't help with the colony but it will at least help with what is in the area they live in. I may also sprinkle some DE around the perimeter of their run to help anything that comes across the fence. which is where they were coming from last night. They are not the only animal that is having a tough time with them. the dog was getting eaten up with them yesterday morning because they had gotten in his food dish that stays outside.
 

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