Finish Off Fire Ants! - Part 1

| 5/10/2013 4:04:00 PM

I can deal with a lot of things- floods, frosts, Japanese beetles, but one thing I can't stand is fire ants. Living in the north for a good portion of my life, I was close to unaware of their existence until I moved to the south. Then, everywhere I looked in my yard I saw the same thing; enormous mounds of orange clay filled with irritating stinging ants.

Really, if they didn't bite they would be the least of my problems. But working on anything outside proved impossible without fire ants biting my feet and crawling up my legs.

Finish off fire ants once and for all

I began researching how to get rid of them, but most of the information I learned was disheartening. Everywhere I looked, people were suffering with same problem and no one had found an effective solution. Of course, I read about multiple natural ways people had tried to get rid of fire ants including molasses, orange oil, grits, boiling water and vinegar.   Multiple commercial fire ant killers are out there as well.  Unfortunately the reviews on any of these solutions, natural or conventional, were never consistent.

Because of inconsistent reviews, I decided to do some experimenting myself.  I needed to find out what really worked.  Being an organic farmer, using conventional pesticides was simply not an option. Growing food organically is very important to me and I'm not willing to give that up for a fire ant killer that might not even work, so I crossed these methods off my list of things to try.

The first natural fire ant solution I tried was vinegar. I drenched a few nests with straight vinegar. At first, it seemed relatively effective, killing loads of the ants, turning the current mound dormant. Unfortunately, I came back a couple days later to find a larger nest forming just a few feet away. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. I had hoped the ants would magically disappear over night. Instead, they were a nightmare that continued to plague me.

5/23/2013 4:00:57 PM

Since moving to Kansas from upstate New York, I haven't had the experience with fire ants you write about.  But this is certainly an extremely well-written, informative article on how to rid ourselves of them, should we encounter any.  It is always good to be prepared for any situation.  I look forward to reading your next instalment on this topic.

5/12/2013 10:14:34 PM

OH MY...I could have written this myself!!!  Although, I didn't have as many "hills" to tackle!!!  Can't wait to hear what finally worked for you!  I have settled on a combination of things...looking forward to see if you've succeeded!   

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