haname
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What Have You Tried that WORKS on Ants?

I have an ant nest in my back yard and need to get rid of it. There are a lot of supposed organic 'remedies' but what have you tried that actually works?
---<--@ Haname :)

Charlie MV
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Nothing works. Napalm might if you have enough.

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Kisal
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I used to try to eradicate outdoor ants, but now, I leave them alone. Only the ones who try to move in with me get special attention. :twisted:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

cynthia_h
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If you know where the nest is, boiling water applied liberally to the nest and the immediately surrounding area will severely discourage them.

Check again the next couple of days for re-establishment of the nest nearby. Re-apply boiling water as needed.

I know this is terrible for earthworms and other forms of sub-surface life, but sometimes the ants just *have* to go. :(

If there are only a few ants and not a nest, many of our members have found that liberal amounts of cinnamon (like from the large containers at Costco or purchased in quantity from Indian/Asian markets at good prices) will also make ants change their path.

Cynthia H.
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stella1751
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Baking powder has worked well for me.
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haname
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Stella how do you apply the baking powder? Do you just sprinkle it around the nest and does it kill them or does it make them move away?
---<--@ Haname :)

Odd Duck
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It's relatively easy to make most North American native ants leave - cinnamon has worked well for me. But, if you're talking about the invasive fire ants, I haven't found anything organic that works for anything other than to push them away from an area short term. Like Arnold, they'll be back.

I know that many will frown on non-organic, but I've had the best luck fighting fire ants with a product called Over and Out. It is an insect growth regulator mixed in a bait that is supposed to be particularly attractive to the fire ants. I don't broadcast it like the package recommends, I only target the fire ant mounds, trying to make sure to also hit the subsidiary mounds they produce. I know it risks the native ants as well, but I'm pretty sure my native ants aren't anywhere near when the fire ants have taken over, anyway. Anybody's that's been around fire ants knows how easy it is to tell them from the native ants.

If someone can tell me an organic method to clear the fire ants out of my garden, I'd be happy to try it, but I haven't seen one yet that works. You just can't pour boiling water down 8 mounds at once and you'll probably still not get the fire ant queen that way. I'd be happy to take suggestions for alternatives.
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cynthia_h
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Praise to all deities, the fire ants have not made it to northern California. Yet. They were stowaways a year or so ago to the Port of Long Beach, so now southern California gardeners and homeowners will eventually know the horrors of these creatures from He**.

I can speak with authority: My family of origin was assigned to Lackland AFB (San Antonio, TX) and MacDill (Tampa, FL) and my father retired from the USAF in Tampa. So...from the summer before 5th grade through the summer after high school graduation, we were in Florida, Panama, Texas, or Florida again. Oh, yeah; fire ants. I am terribly allergic: if one of them bites a toe, my LEG swells up. :shock:

I can only hope that someone, somewhere is researching a feed-inhibitor for these demonic creatures.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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stella1751
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haname wrote:Stella how do you apply the baking powder? Do you just sprinkle it around the nest and does it kill them or does it make them move away?
I sprinkle it all over: on the nest, around the nest at least 3 feet, on any ants I see. It's inexpensive and organic, so I don't worry about using too much. It works for me. However, we don't have fire ants up here, just little brown biters, not sugar ants, the next size up. I don't know whether it would work on fire ants.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

haname
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The ants I have are the African pharaoh ants, invasive species here in Arizona. They're supposed to be very hard to control.
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stella1751
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haname wrote:The ants I have are the African pharaoh ants, invasive species here in Arizona. They're supposed to be very hard to control.
I looked up the African Pharaoh, and it's not the same one I have up here. My baking powder doesn't really kill my ants, by the way; it just causes them to move. However, after five years of baking powder and disrupting their nests with my gardening, I've pretty much run them off the place (I think). At least I no longer see masses of them swarming like I did when I first moved here.

The [url=https://www.rottler.com/pests/profile/pharoah-ant/category/ants]African Pharoah[/url], according to the article I found, responds best to baiting. They are supposed to like mint apple jelly the best. I guess you would use a vessel with water, luring them in with mint apple jelly. They also like dog food, which is considerably less expensive :lol:
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

haname
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Stella, thank you! I appreciate so much that you looked this up and shared what you found. I've prepared two baits for them, using borax. One is a mixture of honey and borax, and the other is borax mixed with some raw meat. They seem to like both baits so in a few days I hope to report no more ants.

I would do the boiling water method but with pharaoh ants, disturbing the nest isn't a good idea because they are inclined to split off into several separate colonies. I've been putting up with them but what really made me want to remove them was because I went to turn my compost the other day and it was filled with ants with eggs. They were in the process of setting up a sister colony in addition to the one that is already established.

I will post with results when I have some!
---<--@ Haname :)

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razyrsharpe
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try diatamaceous earth...it is a natural product of organic origin that does not poison. it is microscopically crystalline and does not dissolve in water(can be applied wet). it works by cutting up the insect (ant, roach, spider etc.) kills them dead. you must stir/agitate the mound then apply it. WEAR a mask and gloves and shoes. will irritate skin. do not breathe it in. it is non-toxic, but can be annoying to human respiration and skin.

haname
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Well I have had a change of heart toward my ants. Maybe it's because aphid season is over, or maybe it's because I have learned more about the ants. They aren't coming into the house and ants are deadly enemies of termites which is a good thing. Maybe it is okay to let the ants live here. There is one nest in back and one out front, and they're doing what they do and haven't really bothered me.

Next spring, I'll just put an oil barrier on the stems of the roses and any other plants I don't want the ants farming aphids. That should give the beneficials a chance to do their thing against the aphids and create a reasonable balance.
---<--@ Haname :)

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!potatoes!
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i toast your conclusion.

cheers!

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Kisal
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A good decision, IMO, haname. :clap:
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

Charlie MV
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We have fire ants. We have hundreds of colonies in our yard. If I find something that works on them I'll have to talk the whole neighborhood into the fix because they are everywhere.

Same thing for mosquitoes. We have our own yard free from standing water but the neighbors don't. In South Carolina you don't make these kinds of suggestions to your neighbor. They are really big on retaining their perceived rights.

haname
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Sorry to hear it Charlie, maybe you could enlist the help of some Texas blind snakes to help with the fire ants. There must be something that could help!

I recently was looking at info on mosquito control and came across this which seemed interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU2kbghz85I&feature=relmfu

This guy built a mosquito trap with a strong fan and some screening held in place with magnets. I would try something like this if I had a serious mosquito problem like he does in Florida.
---<--@ Haname :)

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