fire ants in the bee yard

Fort Worth, TX


Due the the drought and my work schedule I did not get my beneficial nematodes down early enough and
properly. I did manage to use one jar but I think it was mid june when it finally had rained enough to soften
the ground.

I have dumped boiling water on the fire ant mound in my apiary twice, it has now split into 2 smaller mounds.
My normal fire ant cures that are organic are not working,
I used my expired nematodes that I didn't get to put out due to the drought after the boiling water failed.

It is raining again. never got my compost tea mixed. Looks like I need to mix it with orange oil and
molasses to make it work.

Because I run chickens in the apiary, putting an ant bait out is quite tricky. Amdro Ant Block is a good one, but if my hens eat it I'm in trouble. If I don't find another solution soon I will be using it under heavy pond liner to keep the hens out of it. But I don't want it in my organic garden and I have ants there too. I think it is too late in the year even for fresh nematodes, if I could find some. But I could be wrong. Ideas?

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Hobart, IN

I've heard Howard Garrett (the Dirt Doctor) speak of solutions for fire ants but I didn't pay much attention to the specifics. He's on the radio (and does podcasts) in the Dallas area. He is mainly organic so you might want to check him out.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I know this a wrong sounding answer , like I am being snide or making humor .
But , depending on your circumstances . (as everything does )
You might consider a half dozen Anole .
I use watch the alligator type small Anole lizards eating fire ants in the Arizona Desert .
Like things are it won't eradicate them , but it will slow the ants down some ,

Might ask a naturalist (with ideas) to help you establish a natural lizard colony , You have some there ..

Seems they might establish under the apiary containers similar to the ants ? You might lose a bee or two ,only compared to the 100's of ants the Anole Gecko can eat it might be worth trying.
In Arizona it was tried a few times after a individual was eaten or killed by the huge number an ant colony can sometimes produce .

This message was edited Oct 18, 2013 5:03 PM

Fort Worth, TX

I already encourage the lizards, not sure how many varieties I have, but I have some I hadn't seen in DFW before that are pretty "thorny", and started with 1 10 years ago but I think he found a girlfriend

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

I think the chickens would be hard on small lizards.
I used to use boiling water on shallow hills in sandy soil with good results. But it didn't work on deeper hills in clay soil. I discovered that you can drown them in clay soil. If you have clay soil, Turn the hill into a basin and fill it up with a hose every day you see ants - this is slow, it takes 2-3weeks.
It is possible that you did get rid of the original hill. The small one could be from new queens.

Fort Worth, TX

You are right, chickens eat lizards, not that I seem to have less, but where the ants are, there is no cover for the lizards. The rest of the yard, the lizards OWN

Livingston, TX

I know ants don't like mint, you might try planting it around the pen. I do know that fire ants love to eat the chiggers. I don't let my husband kill off all the fire ants because of that. And while all around me have had problems with chiggers, we have not. I guess it is a catch 22 situation. Qbe

Fort Worth, TX

well boiling water and some super sticky stuff on the bee stand have beat it back. Especially since I now have crazy ants aka apricot crazy ants too. Still running down the anthills and dumping 16 quarts of boiling water down each of them

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