Texas Gardening forum→Fire ants

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Name: Linda Williams
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Enjoys or suffers hot summers Organic Gardener Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets
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LindaTX8
Sep 6, 2021 11:58 AM CST
I've been having a lot of trouble with fire ants the last month or so. Now, normally I didn't have any noticeable fire ant problems...not for a long time, anyway. Maybe it has been the unusual rainfall for a couple of months and that just got them going again. I'm trying to avoid walking one side of my property much, because it's hard to see them with all the plant growth there. But today I got bitten in my new flowerbed and I believe it was fire ants. Lordy, I hope it wasn't.
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
Name: Peggy
Temple, TX (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Deer Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bluebonnets Irises Lilies
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Peggy8b
Sep 6, 2021 1:44 PM CST
This is the first year in 6 at this house in Temple we HAVE NOT been troubled with fire ants in both our front and side yards. I was just commenting to my husband on that fact a couple days ago and wondered if the horrific freeze didn't kill them off. I react soooooooo badly to all insect stings, too, I'm very aware of their presence or lack therof.

There are so many ant hills and fire ants down at our 42 acre cabin rural property in Gause (near Bryan/CS) we don't bother to treat anything there but the largest of ant mounds. I was hoping any moles liked ants, but apparently not. Smiling

I spread diatomaceous earth heavily in the fenced yard area around the cabin our first year to own the place and onto the biggest of the mounds we could find, but it didn't make a dent in them. Sticker burs are almost as bad there. Now, I just make sure I wear my rubber boots at all times in that yard to fend off both problems.
My low-carb recipe website: www.buttoni.wordpress.com
[Last edited by Peggy8b - Sep 7, 2021 1:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Linda Williams
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Enjoys or suffers hot summers Organic Gardener Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets
Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover
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LindaTX8
Sep 7, 2021 3:36 AM CST
I don't know what made it get this bad here, because we got pretty darn cold in that deep freeze last winter also. The unusual rain earlier in the year is all I can think of to explain it. We are usually a bit on the dry side...and with very little topsoil in our hilly caliche and limestone soil, it's not ideal for some insects like that. Wow, rubber boots...maybe I'll get some! If we have another single digit winter storm with a grid failure again, might need those anyway! I try to remove any sticker plants that show up, but we don't have many.
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
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Container Gardener Herbs Moon Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Heirlooms
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kittriana
Sep 10, 2021 3:10 PM CST
Fire ants go deep as 80 ft underground. If they are boiling up now, they are coming after water. Hard cold doesn't kill any but the surface ants, but they can tell it is coming and head deeper into the earth.
Are you watering those flowerbeds? Thats why they are there. Rubber boots might delay them biting you until they find their way into the boot. I hear Lake Livingston is so low on all water they shut the gates and aren't letting any water out. Calif is desperately low on water also, sigh.
So many roads to take, choices to make, and laughs to share!
Name: Linda Williams
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Enjoys or suffers hot summers Organic Gardener Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets
Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover
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LindaTX8
Oct 7, 2021 5:35 AM CST
Almost all of the fire ants are in the unwatered parts of the property. But if I don't do something, they might be everywhere soon.
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
Name: Peggy
Temple, TX (Zone 8b)
Region: Texas Birds Hummingbirder Butterflies Deer Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bluebonnets Irises Lilies
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Peggy8b
Oct 7, 2021 12:17 PM CST
Our property is too large for any scale of watering. I water by hose the trees and shrubs I myself have planted when we go down every couple of weeks and that's it. Mother Nature has to do the rest or it dies. Our soil is pure sand IMHO, and dry as a chip most of the year. Ant hills almost ever 12" on our place, with 5-6 large fire ant mounds on average inside the cabin 1/2 acre inner-fenced yard. We treat those with Amdro or similar paroducts. No way to treat all ant hills there as we have them on such a massive scale. In a nutshell, it's a place on which you don't want to spend much time walking without rubber or snake boots to slow them down a bit. I keep mine at the cabin font door and don't go out without them on anymore. We plan to discuss the problem with the county agent to see if he offers any suggestions, but never catch him IN the office when we stop by on the way to the property. May try the 'appointment' route.
My low-carb recipe website: www.buttoni.wordpress.com

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