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BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum
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Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Plants > Farm/ Garden/Flowers/ Shrubs/ Trees

Farm/ Garden/Flowers/ Shrubs/ Trees If it grows in the soil, this is the forum.

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  #1  
Old 04-26-2012, 07:38 PM
morninglory Female morninglory is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Texas
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Default Fruit trees

We put out fruit trees and now fire ants appear to be after them. Saw no signs of the devils in the pasture we have begun an orchard in. Is there some special trick to being able to grow our own fruit with all these bugs to deal with. I have put out amdro. but who knows if that will be the right thing to do.Does everyone else fight fire ants. They eat everything.
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2012, 01:11 AM
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SlobberToofTigger Male SlobberToofTigger is offline
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I have no issues with fire ants but that is because my fruit trees are in MO. But with that said I do have a lot of experience with fire ants elsewhere in the US. Quick question. Are the ants attacking your trees or attacking another bug or fungus on the trees? In some cases fire ants can be helpful by cleaning the tree of insects that are attacking the tree.
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Old 04-28-2012, 03:26 PM
grumble Male grumble is offline
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Location: W NM, a rifle shot from the Great Divide
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Fire ants are hard to get rid of. I mean, really-really hard. A really bad drought helps, like we had here last year, but the survivors will be starting over again this summer.

Amdro seems to work sometimes, but it depends on their stage of progress in repopulating the nest. If the queens are actively laying eggs, it works. If they've laid the eggs and the drones are taking care of them, it doesn't work as well.

As the weather warms up, they bring the eggs closer to the surface to warm up. Take a shovel to a nest and dig down to about ground level or a couple inches deeper. If you see a lot of eggs, too late for Amdro.

The one thing I've had good luck with is flooding the nests. Takes a lot of water over a period of several days, but it works. Too much water and too labor intensive to do a large area, but it works to clear an area around the house. Another thing that works is to drive over a nest repeatedly over a period of a week or two. Again, this won't clear a large area, but you can get rid of the nests that are most in your way.

Fire ants are a major problem here. In satellite photos, you can actually see the 8' - 10' bare circles that look like chicken pox in pasture land. Hundreds of wasted square feet of pasture per acre. They don't call them "invasive species" for nothing.
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Old 04-28-2012, 05:59 PM
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AzLoneRider Male AzLoneRider is offline
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We have leaf cutter ants here, these ants strip trees of all their leaves. What we have done in years past is go to the nursery and buy a long lasting adhesive. We tape plastic around the tree and apply the adhesive to that. We are also going to try circling each tree with large amounts of diotomaceous (sp?) earth as well. If that is effective we will use that in the future.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:48 PM
MooseToo MooseToo is offline
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i heard a fire ant hint but never tried it - but, it's easy and free so maybe worth a try -

supposedly the fire ant is a very, very territorial critter - an ant getting into the wrong nest is quickly snuffed - the hint is to stir up two adjacent nests, get the ants agitated and then take a shovel full of dirt and ants from one nest and put it on the other and reverse the process - the object is to start antland WW3 -
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:56 AM
gobug gobug is offline
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Ants own the earth. We just fool ourselves with paper and lawyers. They are everywhere.

If you find a good way to kill some, you merely create a space for new ants. They move in quickly.

If you only kill the workers, the queen increases her output. The workers you see are the elder ants. The young have indoor jobs.

So DE or other contact pesticides eliminate some of the oldest ants in the colony. The elders are sacrificed to make a pathway to their food supplies.

Repellants, like pyrethroids, do help limit how many ants you encounter.

I prefer baits, like Amdro, because the foragers carry it home and feed it to the colony. The whole colony perishes. Sometimes you have to find their path home to efficiently and safely use the bait.

I hope none of you encounters and must deal with Rasberry ants. They are far worse than fire ants and are invading the southern US. Fortunately for me, neither make it to CO.

good luck
Gary
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