I’ve just spent half an hour or so assassinating fire ants after donning my cape, goggles, gloves, and mixing 2 gallons of EIGHT bug killer in my sprayer.
These are the odious fire ants that are the bane of my existence for the past couple of years. I never really thought about them before until I happened upon them in one of my garden boxes (about 3 feet up in the air) and they swarmed all over me. biting/stinging me and causing my poor body to turn bright pink, swell up, ache, and itch all at the same time for about three days before starting to subside.
I have since looked up information, thinking that, before I set out to murder something, I should at least know if they do anything good for the environment.
According to extension.org, “Beneficial Effects of Fire Ants. Collectively, ants are beneficial insects in our environment. Their nest-building activities reduce soil compaction and help aerate the soil. Many ant species, such as imported fire ants, are omnivorous (they eat just about anything).”
I’m sorry, but the fact that also eat ME make aerating the soil a very low priority for me, particularly since we don’t need that around here.
I read a nice article by a lady who suggests that you pour a teakettle of boiling water down the hole of the mound and that will take care of the problem. That may very well be true, but I don’t think she is trying to treat a garden of veggie plants who would be upset at having boiling water poured on them or almost 8 acres of ridge line rocky soil. The EIGHT spray works well. The fact that the co-op guy in town recommended it highly, after me telling him I was planning to spray it on things I hoped to later feed to myself and my family, and that I didn’t want our pets hurt, went a long way to convince me.
There is Ant-Man from Marvel Comics and the super hero movie genre, but I don’t think he is murdering ants. I’ll just have to fill that gap.