Killing Fire Ants

Killing fire ants - wouldn't it be great if there was a way to kill them systemically, without the use of poisons or bate? In fact, wouldn't it be great if nature already made a way to get rid of them, and all we have to do is tap in to it?

This is precisely what I would like to share with you in this article - how nature has made a way to get rid of fire ants!

Killing fire ants at Elaine's

John and Elaine live in southern Georgia. Back in 2016 they applied a soil amendment to their 1,100 acres of pasture and grass hay. This soil amendment is a bio-stimulant that helps to super boost the microbial activity in the soil.

I was surprised when Elaine shared with me what this bio-stimulant did to their fire ants. I had no idea that a bio-stimulant could kill fire ants.

She said that the first indication that something was happening was when she saw her calves pawing at the fire ant mounds in her pasture. Then she saw her cows doing the same. Of course, cows normally try to avoid fire ant mounds. So Elaine took a closer look.

Much to her amazement, the mound was dead. She started looking and found numerous other dead mounds.

Here is a picture of one of the dead fire ant mounds that the calves were pawing at. Dead fire ant mounds are a beautiful sight! I have used fire ant poisons and baits for many years to kill fire ants, but now this is how to kill fire ants!

The next thing that Elaine noticed were columns of fire ants moving out of her pastures. She had never seen this type of movement of fire ants before. 

Elaine contacted her Entomologist to ask him about it. She told him that she had put out the bio-stimulant the previous year. He asked her if it contained fungi, and she said yes. He then said that fungi kill fire ants. Actually, fungi attack the eggs.

Here is what most of Elaine's fire ant mounds look like now in most of her pasture. This bio-stimulant seems to be a great fire ant killer, but could it work other places as well?

No fire ants at my house

Earlier this year I sprayed my lawn with the same bio-stimulant that Elaine used. Well, something is working! This summer I just bought another container of fire ant powder for killing fire ants, but there it sits on the shelf. I haven't had one new mound pop up. Wow! This seems to be a great method of fire ant control.

No fire ants at other farms

Since Elaine shared her story with me I have spoken with other farmers in the South who have used the same bio-stimulant that Elaine and I have used, and they have reported the same thing to me. Their fire ant mounds are dying.

Elaine's Entomologist explained it to her this way. Fungi don't normally thrive in our lawns, our pastures or our fields. But when there is a bio-stimulant that is designed to greatly increase fungi activity in the soil, those fungi see fire ant eggs as food! That's why the ants were leaving Elaine's fields, because they couldn't survive there.

Does this mean that new fire ant mounds couldn't start up in soil treated with this bio-stimulant? Not necessarily. But it does mean that treated soil may contain the fungi needed for killing fire ants.

(Return from Killing Fire Ants to Fertility Soil)

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