New to forum. Fire ant problem in box turtle enclosure

jodygal

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I have had my two box turtles for a long time one 30 years the other 20 years they have been in the same enclosure all theses years. Had our first baby spring of 2019. Put baby out this summer everything was great until I checked one morning and the ants killed the baby. Never in all these years did we ever had an ant problem I found the mound in his little enclosure next to the main enclosure and poured hot water on the mound. I have removed the adult turtles because I see the ants all over the enclosure. Tried Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade. We cleaned out the habitat of all grasses and is now just dirt only left the Hosta plant. What can I do to get rid of the ants in the enclosure that will not hurt the adult turtles.
 

ZEROPILOT

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What I did years ago...And still do as preventative maintenance is to treat the ENTIRE YARD that is not part of the tortoise enclosure with AMDRO fire ant granules.
Then I use mayonnaise jars inside the enclosure, hidden. With holes poked in the metal lids with a section of hot dog or dog food and fire ant bait mixed in. Jars laying sideways.
It makes for an almost waterproof ant baiting trap that is 100% safe for the tortoises.
Meat works better for fire ants than something like jelly. Trapping harmless ants isn't neccessary.
I no longer have ANY Fire ants on my small property and I still broadcast granules 2 or 3 times a year.
I have traps hidden in my night boxes and inside a bunch of bushes. But I seldom use them anymore.
It worked out much better than I'd ever hoped for.
I hope this helps you.
You've got to go to war with them to win and then keep them away.
You cant just treat them where you see them.
DE just isn't helpful in our constantly damp and raining location.
 

TammyJ

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I am so sad to read what happened to the little baby tort. You have to declare WAR on those ants like Zeropilot said. Let us know your progress!
 

Gijoux

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What I did years ago...And still do as preventative maintenance is to treat the ENTIRE YARD that is not part of the tortoise enclosure with AMDRO fire ant granules.
Then I use mayonnaise jars inside the enclosure, hidden. With holes poked in the metal lids with a section of hot dog or dog food and fire ant bait mixed in. Jars laying sideways.
It makes for an almost waterproof ant baiting trap that is 100% safe for the tortoises.
Meat works better for fire ants than something like jelly. Trapping harmless ants isn't neccessary.
I no longer have ANY Fire ants on my small property and I still broadcast granules 2 or 3 times a year.
I have traps hidden in my night boxes and inside a bunch of bushes. But I seldom use them anymore.
It worked out much better than I'd ever hoped for.
I hope this helps you.
You've got to go to war with them to win and then keep them away.
You cant just treat them where you see them.
DE just isn't helpful in our constantly damp and raining location.
I do this same thing. Amdro works great. If you can find the actual mound you can drop a few granules right down into the hole each day for a few days until they are gone. I use the jar technique too and it works great. Sorry about the loss of your baby. So devastating.
 

Ink

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I too lost a tortoise to fire ants when I lived in Georgia. It is horrible. I am so sorry for your loss.
 

Ray--Opo

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What I did years ago...And still do as preventative maintenance is to treat the ENTIRE YARD that is not part of the tortoise enclosure with AMDRO fire ant granules.
Then I use mayonnaise jars inside the enclosure, hidden. With holes poked in the metal lids with a section of hot dog or dog food and fire ant bait mixed in. Jars laying sideways.
It makes for an almost waterproof ant baiting trap that is 100% safe for the tortoises.
Meat works better for fire ants than something like jelly. Trapping harmless ants isn't neccessary.
I no longer have ANY Fire ants on my small property and I still broadcast granules 2 or 3 times a year.
I have traps hidden in my night boxes and inside a bunch of bushes. But I seldom use them anymore.
It worked out much better than I'd ever hoped for.
I hope this helps you.
You've got to go to war with them to win and then keep them away.
You cant just treat them where you see them.
DE just isn't helpful in our constantly damp and raining location.
So treating the whole yard is ok. Could I use like a fertilizer spreader. Opo just ran into a fire ant hill today. I usually scout the yard every day. I have spent the last 2 days in bed with horrible phantom pains. I use Amdro on the hill and cover with plywood so Opo doesn't come in contact with Amdro. I will definitely make some of those ant traps.
 

ZEROPILOT

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So treating the whole yard is ok. Could I use like a fertilizer spreader. Opo just ran into a fire ant hill today. I usually scout the yard every day. I have spent the last 2 days in bed with horrible phantom pains. I use Amdro on the hill and cover with plywood so Opo doesn't come in contact with Amdro. I will definitely make some of those ant traps.
I treat any portion of the yard that my tortoises don't use.
However, I think it's safe to use in a few days. (I think) But I don't know what the secret number would be with it raining every day. 48 hours? 72?
A couple of years ago, I was working on a sprinkler head in an area just treated with that Amdro and I got some sort of chemical burns on my forearm and elbows.
 

Gijoux

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So treating the whole yard is ok. Could I use like a fertilizer spreader. Opo just ran into a fire ant hill today. I usually scout the yard every day. I have spent the last 2 days in bed with horrible phantom pains. I use Amdro on the hill and cover with plywood so Opo doesn't come in contact with Amdro. I will definitely make some of those ant traps.
You must be careful that Opo does not come in contact with the Amdro. The jars work great because it keeps the Amdro dry. It only works dry.
 

jodygal

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Bakersfield
What I did years ago...And still do as preventative maintenance is to treat the ENTIRE YARD that is not part of the tortoise enclosure with AMDRO fire ant granules.
Then I use mayonnaise jars inside the enclosure, hidden. With holes poked in the metal lids with a section of hot dog or dog food and fire ant bait mixed in. Jars laying sideways.
It makes for an almost waterproof ant baiting trap that is 100% safe for the tortoises.
Meat works better for fire ants than something like jelly. Trapping harmless ants isn't neccessary.
I no longer have ANY Fire ants on my small property and I still broadcast granules 2 or 3 times a year.
I have traps hidden in my night boxes and inside a bunch of bushes. But I seldom use them anymore.
It worked out much better than I'd ever hoped for.
I hope this helps you.
You've got to go to war with them to win and then keep them away.
You cant just treat them where you see them.
DE just isn't helpful in our constantly damp and raining location.
I have several 8oz glass jars is this something I can use and how many should I put out? How much Amdro bait do you put in the jar mixed with food and should I bury them but leave the lid exposed. We have cleaned out the enclosure so there is nothing but dirt. I have my turtle out next to our patio on grass right now and have no other place to put them and I also have several small dogs and am worried about using the Amdro on the grass where they like to play. Any suggestions.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I just use a spoonful of the bait.
I place my jars on their sides so water doesn't just pour into them.
Placing them out of sight...the location would be up to you
I use locations that aren't likely to get poured on when it rains
 

jodygal

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Where I live in California we do not have a problem with rain this time of year it gets hot during the summer. So I can just lay them out anywhere in the enclosure it is an open area or hide them. Sorry for so many questions
 

jodygal

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Where I live in California we do not have a problem with rain this time of year it gets hot during the summer. So I can just lay them out anywhere in the enclosure it is an open area or hide them. Sorry for so many questions
I just use a spoonful of the bait.
I place my jars on their sides so water doesn't just pour into them.
Placing them out of sight...the location would be up to you
I use locations that aren't likely to get poured on when it rains
I just use a spoonful of the bait.
I place my jars on their sides so water doesn't just pour into them.
Placing them out of sight...the location would be up to you
I use locations that aren't likely to get poured on when it rains
How much canned dog food should I use and do I mix the spoon full of Amdro in with the food.
 

Gijoux

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How much canned dog food should I use and do I mix the spoon full of Amdro in with the food.
If the Amdro gets wet it won't work. I have personally never used any type of bait. The ants just go for the Amdro as is. If you don't see them going into the jar through the little holes you will poke or drill through the metal lid, then I suppose you could put a little dry dog food into the jar with the Amdro. I think you will find that they will go for the Amdro all by itself, because it is considered bait itself. Be sure to make more than one hole because you want the ants to be able to enter and leave, to take the Amdro back to their nest, where it will kill the queens and the rest of the colony.
 

ZEROPILOT

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If the Amdro gets wet it won't work. I have personally never used any type of bait. The ants just go for the Amdro as is. If you don't see them going into the jar through the little holes you will poke or drill through the metal lid, then I suppose you could put a little dry dog food into the jar with the Amdro. I think you will find that they will go for the Amdro all by itself, because it is considered bait itself. Be sure to make more than one hole because you want the ants to be able to enter and leave, to take the Amdro back to their nest, where it will kill the queens and the rest of the colony.
My thought was to make it so appealing to them, that they'd come from far away to get some.
 

saleena.lewis

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I have had my two box turtles for a long time one 30 years the other 20 years they have been in the same enclosure all theses years. Had our first baby spring of 2019. Put baby out this summer everything was great until I checked one morning and the ants killed the baby. Never in all these years did we ever had an ant problem I found the mound in his little enclosure next to the main enclosure and poured hot water on the mound. I have removed the adult turtles because I see the ants all over the enclosure. Tried Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade. We cleaned out the habitat of all grasses and is now just dirt only left the Hosta plant. What can I do to get rid of the ants in the enclosure that will not hurt the adult turtles.
Aww i'm so sorry! I would look into ant traps. They have them at most hardware stores. And I would not put the adults back in until you know it's COMPLETELY safe.
 

jodygal

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An up date. The jar with Amdro and very little dog food is working great put it out Friday and we saw one steady line going straight to the jar and hopefully they are bringing it to the queen we do not want to disturb the situation just want those busy little workers to do the job and bring home the bait. We are seeing very little ants now and know it does take a few days for it to really work but what we see something is working right. Will keep the turtles out for a little longer. Do you guys keep this stuff in the the enclosure with the turtles or take it out. Let me know. Thanks for the help.
 

Gijoux

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An up date. The jar with Amdro and very little dog food is working great put it out Friday and we saw one steady line going straight to the jar and hopefully they are bringing it to the queen we do not want to disturb the situation just want those busy little workers to do the job and bring home the bait. We are seeing very little ants now and know it does take a few days for it to really work but what we see something is working right. Will keep the turtles out for a little longer. Do you guys keep this stuff in the the enclosure with the turtles or take it out. Let me know. Thanks for the help.
I keep it where the trail of ants is NOT in the enclosure if possible. It can be shocking how many will go to the jar.
 

jodygal

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I need to know if it OK to sprinkle some of the Amdro around the outside of the enclosure to make sure know new ants are coming in. What are your thoughts. Thanks
 

Gijoux

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I need to know if it OK to sprinkle some of the Amdro around the outside of the enclosure to make sure know new ants are coming in. What are your thoughts. Thanks
I always contain the Amdro in a jar with holes punched in the lid to avoid other animals coming in contact with it. The only time I have ever used the granules otherwise is to drop the granules down into the opening of a large ant hill if it is not where my tortoises could get near it. It is not a repellant, but rather a bait that the ants take back to their nests. Keeping a jar with a small amount of Amdro right outside the enclosure will draw ants from all over to the jar, so you might want to place the jar away from the enclosure.
 

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