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fire ants

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by Yvonne G, Jun 24, 2008.

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  1. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    April S asked about fire ants on another thread, and I thought I would start a thread specifically for this subject so it can be found easier.

    "RE: Humidity

    I do wish that I could have LF outside but I am afraid that she is too small @ this point to take on FIRE ANTS if they find her. When she gets bigger she can stay outside unatended. I hate ants. Hate them I tell you. How do you all keep ants away from your outdoor enclosures?

    I will keep looking for a fogger & such to keep humidity up. Thanks for the ideas."

    I hope you all have some ideas to add to this thread. Here's how I deal with them:

    I use a very strong liquid poison on the nests that I find outside the tortoise pens, making a berm around the hole and filling it with poison...lots and lots of poison. If I discover an ant hill inside a tortoise pen, I do the same thing, only after all the poison has sunk into the ground, I place a piece of plywood over the hill and place a heavy cinderblock on top of it. I also spray outside the tortoise fences all the way around with Home Defense, which leaves a residual. I think ants are very smart. I know that the poison kills the ones that it comes in contact with, but the others will just take the dead bodies, place them outside the hole on top of the ground and go about their business, abandoning that particular hill and moving to a new spot. They can smell a dead body from miles away. One morning I found a very large dead moth outside my door in the middle of a large expanse of black top, covered with red ants. I followed their trail until I lost it, and as far as I could see it was over 150 feet across black top and decomposed granite, and I finally couldn't see it any more outside my property in weeds. How on earth did they smell that dead moth from that far away?

    I have found red ants walking all over my large tortoises, but not seeming to be biting the tortoises. They don't seem to bother live animals, however, last year they ate all my baby box turtles. I had them in a rubbermaid tub outside on a table in the shade. I gave the babies some pin head crickets. I think some of the crickets must have died, drawing the ants to the container, and the ants also attacked the live babies.

    I can't leave any turtle/tortoise eggs in the ground because of the red ants. Its a really big problem. We have an agency here in California that will come out and show you how to rid your property of "imported fire ants." But every time I've called them they've told me my red ants aren't the imported kind. They might not be "imported" but they're every bit as lethal!!

    Yvonne
  2. Redfootedboxturtles

    Redfootedboxturtles Member

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    Check out a pest control product called Top Choice . Might be safe for yards with tortoises.
  3. K9KidsLove

    K9KidsLove New Member

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    Where do you get the Top Choice...Home Depot maybe?
    Patsy
  4. Crazy1

    Crazy1 New Member

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  5. elegans

    elegans New Member

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    The best way I have ever seen to control Fire Ants that is almost 100% effective is to treat with a mix of AmdroPro and Extinguish a 50/ 50 mix treated twice a year. This has kept my place in South Florida ant free for 9 years. Both products are also almost 100% safe for your animals. They do not make the grass or other forage plants toxic. The primary way that they work is as a growth regulator. I have had no problems using these products around my tortoises and Cyclura. This is also very affordable as both products are relatively inexpensive. I hope that this helps. Best wishes Douglas Beard / Flora & Fauna
  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer Staff Member

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    I bought AmdroPro last year, but didn't know about Extinguish. I didn't think they took the Amdro back into the nests. It stayed outside on the ground and didn't disappear. I still have it, so I'll see if I can find Extinguish.

    Thanks...

    Yvonne
  7. james77075

    james77075 New Member

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    hello,
    new here...but i found the best way to get rid of fire ants is hot water..and in the ;ate evening when all the ants have come home....your hot water heater needs to be flushed every now and then...why not put that hot water to good use...hook up your garden hose..and you may want to wear gloves and long pants and closed shoes...spray the wnt bed as much as you can and oown the hole...if you are lucky you will kill the queen which will kill the mound. and the hot water will kill all the ants it comes in contact with. and no chemical residue...i usually put my torts in a basket while i do this..so as not to accdently burn them...and within a few minutes,,the ground has cooled off.... and it is not safe for yout torts...and dogs..and kids...and NO CHEMICAL RESIDUE..lolol...
  8. james77075

    james77075 New Member

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    ohh...i would turn the heat up on the water heater up for a few minutes...before treating the mound...also works on other pests...lol
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