Friday, January 18, 2008
Fire ants are finally gone
It took longer than I expected, but the organic fire ant control finally took care of my scary ant problem. The ants set up house in my compost pile and in a container I use to collect stuff for the compost pile. They were also foraging in the worm bin, but I did not put the stuff in there. I was afraid it would hurt my worms. The product said it would work in three days, well its been two weeks and I was about to give up. When I checked on the infested areas this afternoon, no signs of ants. I know the treatment, Spinosad, is not selective, but I think using a bait will keep it from hurting too many of my good bugs. Also, it's winter and most of the good bugs are not around or at least not active. I hate using pesticides even the natural types. I love my butterflies, ladybugs, and praying mantis. We have so much fun watching the caterpillars in the summer. We have gulf frittilary, giant swallowtail, and black swallowtail butterflies and caterpillars living and feeding in the garden. I won't kill most bugs, but fire ants are the acception. As long as they stay away from places where we work and play, I let them be. I have been told that they will keep fleas and ticks under control, so they do have a purpose. When they get into my compost pile, worm bin, or container plantings, all bets are off. They have to go. I just use dish soap in the containers and water it all the way through. I'm pretty sure this does not kill them all, but it runs them off. In the worms bin, I have had to drench them with orange oil, water and soap, and then dig out the dirt and compost after they are gone. They don't seem to like molasis, and the worms seem to love it, so periodically I add molasis to the water when I need to get it the bin contents wet. Hopefully, this will keep them out of my way for a while. Wish me luck.