What to do about ants in the tractor??

Jackschicks

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 21, 2015
72
23
84
Pearland, Tx
I am raising my first batch of Cornish Cross in a tractor and having a major problem with ants. Fire ants(and other ants) are terrible here in Texas. I have been putting Diatomaceous Earth on the mounds that pop up in the tractor but all that seems to do is slow them down for a few hours. I have always had ants in the coop and run with the laying hens as well but it doesn't seem to bother them since they are more active - moving, scratching, preening, dust bathing, etc. Since my 2 week old meat chicks are not as active or as heavily feathered I can see the ants actually crawling on them. Can't use any of the standard ant poisons because they will eat it.

Anyone else have this problem? What was your solution?

Thanks!!
 

Jackschicks

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 21, 2015
72
23
84
Pearland, Tx
Can you move the tractor off the ants?
Yes. but the ants just pop up again. Nothing really kills fire ants, they just move to another spot. Yesterday before moving the coop I sifted Diatomaceous Earth over the ground I was moving the tractor to - this morning the ants are back. I guess what I am trying to determine is if the ants can hurt my chicks. I hate to think of them laying there getting bitten over and over. Texas fire ants are pretty vindictive. They actually both bite and sting which is why it raises a whelp and makes a pustule.
 

Compost King

Free Ranging
Apr 19, 2018
3,304
11,493
707
Salisbury, North Carolina
Corn meal kills ants the trouble is getting them to eat it. Next time I am an ant issue I plan to soak the Corn meal in sugar water then putting the sugary corn meal mush near the ants. I don't know if that works but if Ants eat cornmeal it clogs their digestive system and they die.

(I did a search on the use of Cornmeal to kill ants and I read conflicting opinions on it. If you have cornmeal already and willing to part with it then give it a shot, I have never had Ants eat cornmeal thats why I suggested soaking it in sugar water first.)
 
Last edited:

Torinik

Chirping
Mar 5, 2020
34
65
80
Is torching them without burning anything down a possibility? So torch and dig until most of the eggs are destroyed. I use a small butane torch for most things, but if you have large mounds and they're aggressive you might want to use one of the bigger ones to create a bit of distance between you and them.
 

Jackschicks

Chirping
5 Years
Jan 21, 2015
72
23
84
Pearland, Tx
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I will put your ideas to work and see what is most efficient. Funny, I had heard grits clogged up their digestive system and tried that before without much of a result. Grits are cornmeal, just in a different form. Maybe mixing it with sugar water will do the trick.

I raise new layers almost every year but this is the first time I have ever tried to raise meat birds. Although they are huge and getting bigger everyday they seem so much less robust than the layers, I guess it is the activity level. I will admit that my timing sucks on this, If I do this again it will definately be a winter project due to the flies and the heat. This forum has been great for answering most of my questions and keeping me on track. Thanks!!
 

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