Thanks for all the help in the fire ant department.. I just read about the cinnamon and am eager to try it out and I'll let you know how it goes.
On to another pest problem though.. Here in south texas there seems to be a general infestation of caterpillars.. we'll this is my first time gardening so maybe the rest of the US is like this too and I never noticed. The two trees I have in the backyard have little nestlike clusters like a ball of spikes (sticks) about 3 -4 inches in diameter. They seem to be on many of the trees in the area and are accompanied by a mossy type of fungus that grows on the bark.. I don't know if these little nests have to do with the caterpillars that bunji-jump like para-troopers from the limbs of the trees into the garden or not. Maybe they are different problems or indicative of the type of caterpillar. Nonetheless, crazy amounts of caterpillars I've been using a tobasco and garlic water solution that I read about and can't really tell if it's working or not. The peppers they were feeding on don't seem to have as much damage as before but now the little multi-apendage buggers are eating my newly sprouted bean shoots.. Any ideas?