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rainbowgardener
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Re: blank slate!

Oh jeez...fire ants! People write in here about them frequently, so I've read a lot. But I've never seen one and hadn't thought about the fact that I am moving in to fire ant territory.

I looked up this map

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/Storytelling ... f3d7b66644

Where I will be in very north GA is clearly in the range, though sort of at the northi-ish end of it.

Thanks for the heads up!
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ElizabethB
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Re: blank slate!

DITTO Allyn on the fire ants.

Not only do the bites burn then itch for days but they form pustules. 2 or 3 months ago I was working in the yard with G and stepped in a Fire Ant mound. I had over 2 dozen bites on my feet. Yeah - I was wearing flip-flops. I had 5 bites on the big toe of my left foot. I can still see the scars.

RBG I am with you on not using chemicals but you may have to bite the bullet on this one. I have tried everything with no result. I have "Bitten the Bullet" and use Ortho Dust. It stinks to high heaven but works within 24 hours. Seriously - you don't play nice with fire ants.

Fleas are another issue. My cats are indoor cats. Fleas are rarely an issue. Apparently we brought a flea in on our clothes from working in the yard. I noticed Sallie Sue scratching and biting and I saw a flea on Daisy Faye's face. :eek:

I gave them both baths and ordered some flea treatment. I hate to do it but if I do not the fleas will infest the house. It happened once before.

If you do not have pets the fleas are not such a big deal.

Do you realize how involved every one is in your move and your new adventure? I don't know about the other Guys and Gals but I am just a little jealous that you and your partner are starting over. :wink:
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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Allyn
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Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Re: blank slate!

Oh! and Palmetto bugs! I've seen distribution maps that show palmetto bugs up north, but I never saw one until I moved down here. They don't bite or sting, but they're so big (I've seen them over three inches and my husband swears he saw one that was almost five inches) that even if you're not squeamish about bugs, you'll suck in a deep breath and back up a few steps the first time you see one. There's just something really creepy about an insect that is so big, that even from across the room, you can clearly see it lift its head and look over its shoulder at you.

Elizabeth is right. Fleas aren't a big deal, but because we don't have the winter weather that keeps the flea population outside in check, it's just an ongoing concern that I didn't have to contend with up north.

My husband kills fire ants with a few tablespoons of gasoline dribbled on the mound. For anything else, I'd fuss at him for doing that; but honestly, I want the fire ants gone at all costs. I've had three run-ins with fire ants and I have the scars on my feet and ankles to show for it. Horrible, horrible creatures.... :::shaking my head, wandering in a circle and muttering like Rain Man:::: Horrible, horrible creatures.....yes, horrible creatures...

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rainbowgardener
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Re: blank slate!

I will just have to wait and see what shows up on my property and then figure out how to deal with it!

I sincerely hope it isn't those palmetto bugs. I used to be a big insect-o-phobe. Over the years of gardening, I have worked hard on that and am much better than I used to be. But still pretty sensitive and squeamish. That one would give me nightmares!

Don't tell me too much more or I might have to change my mind! :D

Right behind our back yard is a horse farm and the next property over from that has cows. I have no idea whether that all means that there will be more bugs or maybe if the bugs would prefer the farms and stay away from me (fingers crossed! :) )
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applestar
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Re: blank slate!

HEARING THAT ABOUT HORSES AND COWS Right away, I'm thinking... BLUEBIRD HOUSES!

Maybe Bat houses and Purple Martin houses, too. :-()

...also, maybe first order of business this fall should be beneficial nematodes even if you end up killing them because you have to resort to chemical arsenal.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: blank slate!

Nice ideas, applestar! Definitely! We were down visiting our new house Sun and Mon for home inspection, termite inspection, appraisal, and to do some measuring, to think about what furniture will go where and what to leave behind, etc.

Anyway, we noticed our backyard smelling pretty horsey... wasn't like that the past visit. I hope it is just the way the wind was blowing or the humidity levels or something. I guess we have to get used to being country girls! :) In the meantime, it should mean I have access to as much horse manure as I want! Being strictly in the city, I've never gardened with manure.... Lots of new stuff to learn.
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GardeningCook
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Re: blank slate!

Horse manure is the best!! (Of course, spoken from someone who has five of the beasts & thus a lot of manure to play with. . . .) Key is to compost it well. After 6+ months it turns into the most beautiful crumbly (& non-horsey smelling) stuff you've ever gardened with. :D
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imafan26
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Re: blank slate!

If there are horses and cows around expect giant flies. Unfortunately the fly trap I know works stinks like rotting meat, so I don't know if that is better.

Amdro works on fire ants but it is not good for the edible garden.

I also found out the hard way that terro works on sweet ants but the fire ants are protein ants so you need to find the right kind of bait for them. The really hard part is finding something other than amdro.

https://www.extension.org/pages/68606/th ... a-9nvlViko
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GardeningCook
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Re: blank slate!

imafan26 wrote:If there are horses and cows around expect giant flies.
Maybe in Hawaii, but where I've been living in Virginia for nearly 20 years now, flies have never been much of a problem. And I'm surrounded by other horse owners and a beef cattle farm. Everyone keeps their animals well, & I go the extra mile by buying & distributing fly predators every year. Again - no fly problems. In fact, I've even been able to do away with using fly spray, masks, sheets, etc. on the horses. Because even with property-to-property livestock, it just isn't a problem here.

Having livestock owners as neighbors does not automatically mean you're going to have a pest problem.
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Allyn
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Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Re: blank slate!

GardeningCook wrote: ...Having livestock owners as neighbors does not automatically mean you're going to have a pest problem.
I concur. There are horses and goats on three sides of our property and they come right up to the fence, not 20 feet from my front porch. I don't have pest problems from my neighbors. If there is a smell, I don't notice it. I grew up in a rural area, we had our own animals (including horses), and I worked at a thoroughbred stable, so if there is a "smell," I just attribute it to living in the country and that's how the country smells.

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applestar
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Re: blank slate!

Fly predators are the best!

When I moved here, first summer we had ridiculous number of flies -- presumably houseflies but dozens in every window because they got in no matter what.

I researched and bought fly predators -- actually smaller parasitic flies -- came as pupae that just had to be scattered like seeds... And no more fly problem. It was beautiful and I was sold to the idea of "Garden Patrol" -- natural predators to take care of target pests... then came the realization that you don't necessarily have to BUY Garden Patrol members if you quit killing them off and create a garden that will attract them... And the rest is history :-()
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imafan26
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Re: blank slate!

I'm glad you don't have that problem. Flies are among the aliens here so there aren't a lot of fly predators around. There is however many households who like to cook fish regularly, so animal neighbors aren't the only ones that attract flies.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: blank slate!

This is pretty far O.T., but I was looking in to the fly predators in case I turn out to need them and bumped in to this:

Delphastus Pusillus / White Fly Predator
Delphastus is a small, shiny, black beetle, about one quarter the size of a ladybug, which feeds on several species of whitefly including greenhouse, sweetpotato (silverleaf) and avocado whitefly. If whitefly are not present they will also feed on spider mites. Both the adult beetle and larvae are predators and will eat whitefly eggs and larvae, but not adult whiteflies. Each container includes 25 live adults. (You can order them on line.)

This seems like something especially people with greenhouses who have problems with white flies and/or spider mites should know about it.

Maybe somewhere we should do a compilation thread of information like this....
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rainbowgardener
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Re: blank slate!

Well, I'm here! There do seem to be more flies in my house than I am used to, but they are not horse flies, just ordinary house flies. One of the first things we bought for the new house was fly swatters! But some of that is just that with all the moving, there have been lots of times with doors standing open.

I've been very lucky with weather for this move. Earlier it was mentioned about moving in Aug with 90+ weather and high humidity, at both ends of the move. In fact, at both ends of the move, we have had fall like weather, temps in low 80's, very low humidity, and beautiful blue skies. I couldn't have asked for better if I had ordered it myself!

Have really not even been out in the yard much so far. Very busy getting stuff moved into the house (and garage!, where a lot of the extra and so-far-unhomed stuff is staying) and then starting to unbox, unpack, figure out where everything goes.

In the meantime, we knew we would have to buy washer and dryer. Also turned out that the stove is terrible and we are buying a new range as well, and there was no garbage disposal. I compost as much as possible, but still it is nice not to have to worry about every little crumb. Needed to figure out how to get trash removal set up (it is privatized and lots of choices) and how to recycle. Needed to set up local bank accounts. Still don't have GA driver's licenses or license plates....

I am hoping today to at least get out and walk the yard more, figure out where compost piles go, etc.


I have to say people in the South really are different - that whole Southern hospitality/ Southern charm thing you always hear about is real. EVERYONE is so friendly and helpful! We still have to go back for one more load, stuff from the attic of the old house, stuff from the storage unit we rented when we had to get the old place decluttered, etc. But it includes our lawn mower, which hasn't made it on to the truck(s) so far. So we talked to our next door neighbor, who of course barely knows us yet, asked him where to find someone we could hire to mow the lawn until then. He immediately came by with his riding mower and mowed the whole (almost) half acre and wouldn't take any money for it. The flooring company laid down more than 1000 sq feet of hardwood floor (ripping out old wall to wall etc) on a handshake, no papers signed and no deposit up front, even though they had to lay out the cash for the materials. By the time we got here with the first load, the floor was down and it is beautiful! Who does that (do all that work for strangers with no up front money)?

And everyone is our neighbor. We were at the credit union, getting local checking accounts. The bank lady looked at our form and said Meadow Green? I just live on the next street over... you could throw a stone from your back yard to mine.
Lots of that happening all the time. Not a big coincidence - our town has pop 3700. Ft. Oglethorpe, the next town over, where we do a lot of our shopping, etc, has pop about 10,000 (up 37% since 2000, the area is growing). So with so few people, I guess it is not so surprising that the bank lady and the Home Depot guy who sold us the garbage disposal, and etc., turn out to be part of our community. But very different from what I was used to.

I am really liking this, though I sure never pictured myself living in rural Georgia!
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applestar
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Re: blank slate!

Sounds great, Rainbowgardener. I am SO GLAD that your moving process has been so auspicious. I guess it's going to take a little getting used to (on both sides) when you translocate from an entirely different region, but that's so nice that your neighbors and folks you have become acquainted with are being so neighborly and helpful, welcoming.

What fun to plan your garden and explore. Have a wonderful day! :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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