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Fire ants..Are their numbers declining or am I just lucky?

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  • Fire ants..Are their numbers declining or am I just lucky?

    I've been battling fire ants on my farm for the past 20 years and never really noticed any headway. I just seem to keep their numbers in check, until this year. There is a marked decrease in the number of mounds around the farm and I'm no longer finding the mega mounds that look like something a termite would build in Africa.

    Has anyone else noticed a fire ant population decrease? I'm thrilled but wondering if they are secretly building a giant underground mound that will erupt someday and swallow the farm. Could I possibly be winning my war? I'm not using a new type of ant killer and nothing else has changed except a milder than normal winter.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  • #2
    Yes and no.

    I've noticed a significant decrease in the number of above-ground mounds. However, it appears to be that they're simply staying underground. Areas that previously would have had large mounds only have a minimal signs of ant activity, yet if you disrupt the area, they still swarm out of the ground. This year is the first time I've ever found myself in ants having not stepped in them or anywhere else that remotely looked like fireant habitat.

    I'm not sure what changed, but I'm honestly very curious to know now where phorid flies have been released and if they're responsible. Because the fireant behavior is different.
    "I did know once, only I've sort of forgotten." - Winnie the Pooh


    • #3
      I agree, less mounds but they are there, still much less of a problem(for now).


      • #4
        I know that after winter before last, which was very cold here, the number of fire ant mounds decreased tremendously. Maybe they are changing their habits to better cope with different weather patterns--ie in colder places. Of course, last winter we really didn't have winter to speak of, so I'm expecting an explosion in the ant population.

        Armadillos like to eat them like candy.
        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
        Thread killer Extraordinaire


        • #5
          Wait until it rains.....


          • #6
            You sent the damn things down here didn't you?
            Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!


            • #7
              I've noticed a decrease in fire ants in the past several years too. I haven't had to treat any mounds in the yard and there appears to be fewer of them in the pastures also. I confess to wearing crocs or flip flops to feed and in the past, the ants would just swarm on my feet, not so for the past couple of years. I haven't had a problem with them getting in the switch points for the pump either.
              I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.


              • #8
                Same amount as always. I wish the damn things would drown with all the rain we have been getting. But nooo, they make "ant boats" and float around on the surface until they get to higher ground (my barn) or the waters subside.
                "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."


                • Original Poster

                  I had never heard of phorid flies so I googled them. I read that they are in Alabama and since I'm in Georgia its conceivable that they have found their way East to my farm. Now if I could just get rid of the ticks.
                  Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


                  • #10
                    The answer? I am definitely seeing less ants



                    • Original Poster

                      These phorid flies eat ant brains and create ant zombies. Sounds like a horror movie.
                      Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


                      • #12
                        Central Texas here, and WAY fewer fire ants than last year.