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whoapony
Jul. 4, 2010, 10:38 PM
We are getting ready to build on some property in Virginia. We recently discovered we have an ant infestation - as in 40 acres of ants. No fire ants - these are the little black ones. I plan to contact the Dept. of Ag. next week to see if we can safely do anything about them. In the mean time, anyone have any ideas how to get rid of them over such a large area? Is there anything safe for pastures that won't require a second mortgage to purchase and apply?
I understand agricultural lime will repel ants but not kill them. That might be an option to keep them from reinfesting once we initially get rid of them.
We aren't planning to move for a year or so but I would like to nip this issue in the bud before we build.
Anyone w/ any experience or advice???

Another question - am I making a mountain out of a mole (ant) hill?? :)
I am assuming the buggers will want into the house/barn once they are built - I can probably control that - but what about the horses? Will they be at risk of being chewed on if they lay in the pasture? What if one of the oldsters has trouble getting up - will he become a smorgasborg???
You can see I watch too many bad movies......

K

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jul. 4, 2010, 10:44 PM
Before we had fire ants, I never worried about ants.

In your place, I'd definitely contact the Dept of Ag before you poison. Good grief, you might kill off the competition and pave the way for fire ants (or fahr aints, as they are known hereabouts:winkgrin:) to move in!:eek:

Snaffle81
Jul. 5, 2010, 01:30 AM
Until you get something in place through the DOA, I don't know how economic it'll be for such a large amount of land... but I've had success in my garden with Diatomaceous Earth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth). It's used a lot in agriculture and it's not poisonous to animals, so I wouldn't be concerned about using it on land intended to be a pasture. Good luck! :)

jherold
Jul. 6, 2010, 01:49 PM
How much Diatomaceous Earth do you put on an ant hill? I have some in my pastures and they are expanding...

baysngreys
Jul. 6, 2010, 01:54 PM
My pest control company offers pasture treatment for ants at $45/acre.
They recommend April and October, but said it will help at any time.

Both my neighbor and I had our pastures treated and there's a huge difference this year!

SGray
Jul. 6, 2010, 02:03 PM
on the plus side you should have few ticks/fleas/etc

TxEventer81
Jul. 6, 2010, 06:21 PM
How much Diatomaceous Earth do you put on an ant hill? I have some in my pastures and they are expanding...

DE is a great product, but don't apply indiscriminately. Also, don't use the stuff for swimming pools, only use the DE sold in garden centers (or like suppliers). Ants need to be baited to the DE. It is possible to wipe out an entire huge nest of ants in a couple of days with the right bait and DE. Bait can be anything that the ants eat - some are protein eaters some are sweet - so maybe corn meal or sugar. Put where the ants will swarm and take the baited DE back to their nest... then adios and vaya con dios ants! That's always worked for me against nasty Texas fire ants.

whoapony
Jul. 6, 2010, 10:21 PM
baysngreys,

Are you in VA? If so which pest control company do you use?
We are in the process of contacting companies to get estimates for 40+/- acres and see what pesticides they recommend.
Looks like we should be able to control the problem - just hoping it won't be cost prohibitive and will effect the benefitial buggers as little as possible

SkipHiLad4me
Jul. 7, 2010, 08:53 AM
The black ants generally are not aggressive like fire ants and don't bite people/livestock. It could be that the reason you don't see fire ants is because of the black ants. Native ants compete with fire ants and you usually won't find a huge population of fire ants in an area with native ants. So be careful in killing off what's out there in case you end up with something worse in it's place :winkgrin: Definitely check with the Dept of Ag or Extension office there to see what they recommend. You may decide you just want to treat the areas where your house and barns will be and let the rest go.

http://fireant.tamu.edu/antfacts/nativeants.cfm

baysngreys
Jul. 7, 2010, 06:59 PM
We're in SC. It's the pest company that treats around the house and barn that does the ant treatment too.