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Fire Ants

  • , by Trudy Chuoke Trudy Chuoke

Tackling the fire ant p[roblem.

Ants, Amdro, and Mound Drench

Here in San Antonio, we have had rain.  Not enough rain to keep us from going into stage 2 watering rules, but enough to cause ant problems in the yard.  If you wrestle with what to use in your yard, I hope this article will help clear things up.  Let me tell you a story that happened to me.

 I was out in my yard one Sunday afternoon.  I had just planted grass and I was hand watering.  I was taking my time and enjoying the cool weather and dreaming of this grass taking hold and having a beautiful yard.    Taking time and not really looking about where I was stepping, I suddenly felt something on my leg.  I casually looked down and my mid-calf was covered in ants.  I screamed and at that moment, the ants started stinging me.  I quickly redirected my water hose to my leg but not before many ants had a chance to take a bite.  Luckily for me, I didn’t suffer much of a consequence, but I had some red welts for a few days. 

 I once had asked Dad about what to do with ants in the yard.  He suggested Amdro Fire Ant Killer.  Which I did use.  And of course, it took care of the ants.  But now I am more aware of the choices I make in my yard.  And I try to stay organic, instead of synthetic.  What do I mean by synthetic?  A synthetic is a chemical.  Which will react quickly but will not have a long-lasting effect.  And the chemicals are not good in the long run for your yard.  Organics, however, are natural substances which work well with the soil.  Because organics build up the soil when you plant, the long-term effect will be better for the soil.  So, when you think about it, synthetics are like calling 911--- they are there in the instant and take care of the problem.  But for long term health, organics are like going to a good doctor.

 So, what I use now is Natures Creations Fire Ant Drench.  It’s all natural, and I know any plants will not be harmed.  Once you find the ants, here is how to take care of them.  Pour 6-8 ounces of drench into a one gallon of water in a watering can.  I like to remove the sprayer part of the watering can so that I have a direct pour into the center of the mound.  Now I am going to tell you something that will sound silly.  When you are mixing the formula, don’t stand next to the mound.  Move away from the mound because you don’t want to give the ants a chance to move the queens.  I know I rolled my eyes when I was told that but then I remembered something Dad told me.  When I was covered in ants, he said if I had not reacted, they wouldn’t have stung me.  I should have just quietly rinsed off my leg.  Dad said when they get alarmed, they blow a horn and they all start biting.  And they did.

 I have a recipe for an ant killer that you can do yourself and it will be on the website, www.happyhandyman.com.  It will list a couple of ingredients and they will be a bundle that you can purchase. 

                                                                         TIP

 If you have cyclone fencing and you want to camouflage it….here is what you can do.  Paint it flat black.  The black will just fade away and your plants will be the star of your backyard instead of the shiny cyclone fence. 

 Now to the email….

 Question:  I have marble in my entryway  and I don’t know what to clean with.  I have never had a home with marble floors.  What do you suggest?  Love your articles and look forward to seeing them in the paper.

Answer:  Granite Gold Stone and Tile Cleaner is what I would use.  It’s an easy no-rinse formula that safely deep-cleans granite, marble travertine and all other natural and ceramic tile surfaces.  It comes in two formulas.  The concentrated version that is so economical will clean up to 12,000 when diluted as directed.  I would use hot water and a sponge mop.  The concentrate runs around $15 per quart.  The ready-to-use quart is $12. 

 

 

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