Texas Gardening forum: Another reason to hate fireants

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Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
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canadanna
Aug 4, 2012 5:26 PM CST
Yesterday, my husband was out letting the dogs run at the neighborhood school.. He noticed our little Gidget rolling in the grass and realized she had fire ants on her. He wiped them off and by the time he drove home she was comatose. He pounded on her chest and she came back to life. She has over 20 bites that are starting to blister. I am using betadine and hydrocortisone. She is not her usual top dog self but getting better.
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Aug 4, 2012 6:12 PM CST
Poor little girl! I'm glad she's recovering.
Porkpal
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Aug 4, 2012 6:23 PM CST

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And there's no way to explain to your pup why she's in misery. Such a shame. Good that you know how to treat her.

We have been overrun by the Argentine ants. They're in my pots, climbing up the house, just everywhere. The only good thing about them is they've driven the fire ants out of the neighborhood. I keep checking the ACs because they get into the wires and short them out.
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Aug 4, 2012 6:30 PM CST
Are those the crazy ants?
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Aug 4, 2012 6:51 PM CST

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I think so, but they're also possibly called Raspberry ants after the exterminator guy who "discovered" them. What ever they are, they just showed up this spring. DH sits on the bench out front and sprinkles Boric acid powder on their trails. Doesn't do much. I mixed up some jam and boric acid and dabbed it on the deck posts. We watched them carry it up to the roof. We don't have them upstairs on the roof anymore - that we know of!
Name: Marylyn
Houston, TX (Zone 9a)
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Marylyn
Aug 4, 2012 7:37 PM CST
Poor Gidget!!! I'm so glad she is feeling better. Those Argentine ants are freaky, Bubbles... I didn't think we had any here until we were at a crosswalk just half a block from our house, and pushed the walk button - and thousands of ants poured out! Eeeek! We called 311, who showed up pretty quick. We should probably start checking our AC, too. Good tip! We still have fire ants, though, so maybe we don't have very many of the Argentine ones in the neighborhood... yet.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Aug 4, 2012 7:59 PM CST

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Marilyn, that's scary about the walk button! They must be everywhere. We read that they will get into the AC unit and when they "fry," they release pheromones to alert the other ants to come help. Big mess! At least they don't sting, that I'm aware of.

Our neighbors down the street had grass delivered a few months ago. I wonder if they came in the grass or the new landscaping? Anyway, the ants marched up the hill and we all have 'em now!
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
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canadanna
Aug 5, 2012 6:45 AM CST
Ants coming out of a crosswalk button....Has there been a horror movie with ants?
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Aug 5, 2012 9:11 AM CST
canadanna said:Ants coming out of a crosswalk button....Has there been a horror movie with ants?


There have been several. "Them!" is a 1954 sci fi classic. The 50's were the age of mutated giants caused by exposure of to radioactivity or toxic chemicals.
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Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Aug 5, 2012 9:31 AM CST
You can also give dogs benadryl...BUT check with your vet for the dose. I've had to use it a couple of times in the past.
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Name: Sandy
Mont Belvieu, TX 77580 (Zone 9b)
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ilovejesus99
Aug 5, 2012 9:36 AM CST
Oh my goodness we din't need another invasive Grumbling
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Aug 7, 2012 6:50 PM CST
These are fire ants favorite food. I rescued this baby last March. They can't pull their head in or roll themselves back over for 2-3 years for protection which is why they are great targets for fire ants. Sheldon is safe from fire ants in our home and garden for the rest of her life.

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Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Aug 10, 2012 6:32 AM CST
AWWW! Is it a tortoise?
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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careyana
Aug 11, 2012 2:18 PM CST
Sandi, I got in touch with our extension office about the raspberry ants this spring as well. They got into my veggie bed and *were* all over the side of the house, but the spectracide outdoor spray gets rid of them pretty quickly.

I know it's a downer, but I sure as heck hope we get a good cold winter this year. I can't tolerate another spring like this past one. Grumbling
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Aug 11, 2012 2:39 PM CST
canadanna said:AWWW! Is it a tortoise?


Sheldon is a Three Toed Box Turtle who will grow to about 6". She is a Terrapin- between a water turtle and a land tortoise- who likes some water and some protein and a whole lot of veggies. She was paraplegic when I found her, probably sore and achy from her unsuccessful days of struggle to turn upright. She was dying but now healthy. AND She is now using her left front foot! Hopefully she will use her right one soon and be a fully mobile turtle.

Now I always look for baby turtles in my yard. Their rate of survivability as a baby is low. They are not endangered but protected in the State of Texas.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Aug 11, 2012 2:41 PM CST
careyana said:Sandi, I got in touch with our extension office about the raspberry ants this spring as well. They got into my veggie bed and *were* all over the side of the house, but the spectracide outdoor spray gets rid of them pretty quickly.

I know it's a downer, but I sure as heck hope we get a good cold winter this year. I can't tolerate another spring like this past one. Grumbling


Are Raspberry Ants the same as Crazy Ants? I have trouble with those every once in awhile when there is lack of rain. I use (I now CHEMICALS!) Terro Ant Baits (Lowe's/Home Depot) both in and outside and it takes care of them. If you mix Boric Acid and Honey it would do the same trick. The baite are just cleaner as they are contained.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Aug 11, 2012 5:53 PM CST
Sheldon is very cute. Lucky she is recovering with your care.
We have a monster movie full of turtles in the neighborhood pond. I have even heard of them eating up a the baby ducks
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 11, 2012 6:15 PM CST
Yep, especially snapping turtles.
Porkpal
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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careyana
Aug 11, 2012 6:23 PM CST
Cheryl, the Raspberry ants may or may not be the same as the Argentine ants. There is a variety of ants called "Crazy" ants that are similar in appearance and do some of the same activities but are NOT the same ants. Raspberry ants don't really hold their thoraxes aloft like crazy ants when disturbed - they usually act more like fire ants in that they will swarm an area.

I'm only using chemicals to keep them away. I've actually rejoiced in finding fire ants in my yard vs. the raspberry ants.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Aug 18, 2012 9:50 PM CST
Okay, I was confused myself, so I looked those two kinds of ants up. The Raspberry Crazy Ant is the one that was introduced about 2002 in Houston area. And it's the ant that for whatever reason is especially attracted to electrical equipment, resulting in a lot of expensive damage to various things, including, I guess, A/C. They only use the same insecticide that's used on termites for this one. Now that is definitely NOT good news!
The Argentine Ant is another accidentally imported ant. It does displace other ants, it said. It's a danger to native plants and species like lizards, is an agricultural pest and can invades buildings and homes. Do not spray with insecticide (which can make them worse), but you can use poison baits. Oh lord! Another bad news is that apparently, people have to figure out which species of ant they have. The ants that seems to be increasing on my place now reminds me of sugar ants...tiny dark ones. I'm hoping they ARE sugar ants, but with my luck they aren't! Darn invasive species!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad

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