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Old 05-31-2009, 11:01 PM   #21
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When living in my first house, bought when I was in my early 20s, I had some tough time with some gophers. The darn creatures burrowed through my nice front lawn that I covered with "Tif", a hybrid Bermuda that was often used for golf courses. They tormented me, and caused grief to no end. I tried poisoned grains and traps but nothing worked. They just pushed these out of the holes, along with a fresh mound of dirt. Remember the movie Caddyshack. It was not funny when I watched it.

One afternoon after work, I smoked their burrows with several gas bombs. My neighbor ran out to watch. As we stood there watching, we saw smoke coming out from his yard, actually at the base of one of his yucca plants. Cursing, he ran back to investigate. The gophers had dug over to his yard and ate all the roots of his plants, which fell over as he shook them.



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A concussion method kills gophers instantly with a shock wave. Specialized equipment used by trained operators wearing personal protective equipment injects a mixture of propane and oxygen into the gopher burrow. An igniter on the end of the injection probe explodes the fuel mixture, destroying not only the gophers, but the burrows as well. It sends a fireball and intense shock wave throughout the tunnel network.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:08 AM   #22
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I spent a few years as a kid growing up in San Antonio, presumably somewhere near REW. Was playing at a construction site and slide down a pile of dirt right into a fire ant pile. Got the little buggers all over me and in my jeans. Ran all the way home and jumped in the shower fully clothed. Still hurts thinking about it some 45 years later...
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:38 AM   #23
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As an adult, do you use your shotgun?
Actually it's a sport down south.

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Old 06-01-2009, 09:43 AM   #24
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For whatever reason the ants up here in hardscrabble (Ellis County) seem to be on the decline. People in the area always do the usual treatments of various baits and stuff to keep them in check, but every spring it was like starting over again.
Over the last two years I've noticed a big difference though. Five years ago I would treat over 20 mounds on my 1/4 acre joining lot. This spring I've had to hunt to find one. None of the properties or pastures near me look to be as infested as in the past.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:48 AM   #25
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For whatever reason the ants up here in hardscrabble (Ellis County) seem to be on the decline.
Same here. I suspect it is due to the prolonged lack of rainfall.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:48 AM   #26
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This motivated me to proactively put out ant killing insecticide 2x a year ('bait' as they call it). We have a horrible fire ant problem in our backyard.
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:06 AM   #27
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I think our fire ants have washed away with the rain.....
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:15 AM   #28
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I think our fire ants have washed away with the rain.....
I think someone caught it on video:

Floating Fire ant raft
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:55 AM   #29
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I think someone caught it on video:

Floating Fire ant raft
OMG!
I'm assuming there is something underneath them to float on. Right?
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:14 AM   #30
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OMG!
I'm assuming there is something underneath them to float on. Right?
Nope. In a flood situation fire ants cling to each other to form large floating masses of angry fury, looking for a target for their aggression. You can imagine the unpleasant end result if you happen to be in their path as they float by.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:44 AM   #31
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Fewer fire ants must be the result of Swine Flue, everything else is!
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:02 PM   #32
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This is interesting.

Parasite turns fire ants into zombies

"Researchers have released four types of Phorid flies across Central Texas. They are hoping to release more. So far, they believe the results are promising.
Researchers do not think the parasites will eradicate fire ants from Central Texas for good, but they do think the Phorid flies will help to keep fire ants under control."
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:11 PM   #33
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Nope. In a flood situation fire ants cling to each other to form large floating masses of angry fury, looking for a target for their aggression. You can imagine the unpleasant end result if you happen to be in their path as they float by.
On my first weekend in Texas some 25 years ago, my ex's work had a picnic out by a little lake just north of Bryan. After saying hello to everyone I jumped into some shallow water to cool off, wearing nothing but my Hawaiian bikini. By the time I noticed the fire ants all over me, they were stinging me - - so I tried to get rid of them by washing them off. I ended up with over 300 bites (I counted them). Each developed into a little mini-boil filled with pus. Ewww.

What an awful first experience with fire ants! The moral of the story is that fire ants simply do not drown. They float around looking for somebody to bite.

True story - - Not even an exaggeration.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:44 PM   #34
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...wearing nothing but my Hawaiian bikini. True story - - Not even an exaggeration.
...this thread is USELESS without Pics.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:49 PM   #35
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...this thread is USELESS without Pics.
No pics of that day, but it was probably the same blue bikini that I was wearing in the photographs I included in the scuba diving thread.
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:33 PM   #36
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How about some fire ant earrings....
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:42 PM   #37
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PS. Found the following in Wikepedia. Sounds like FUN.
That reads like it was written by Bill Murray...

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How about some fire ant earrings....
Of course they're for pierced ears, and you just squeeze their little mandibles gently together into the hole.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:33 PM   #38
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Actually it's a sport down south.
We have hunters too here in Arizona. In Mississipi, I am sure you have better critters to aim that shortgun to than fire ants. By the way, it's not you in the picture is it?
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:22 PM   #39
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For whatever reason the ants up here in hardscrabble (Ellis County) seem to be on the decline. ....
Maybe that's why they're on the route to the nursing home.

Thanks, Ziggy, I was itching by the third post.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:52 PM   #40
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For whatever reason the ants up here in hardscrabble (Ellis County) seem to be on the decline. People in the area always do the usual treatments of various baits and stuff to keep them in check, but every spring it was like starting over again.
Over the last two years I've noticed a big difference though. Five years ago I would treat over 20 mounds on my 1/4 acre joining lot. This spring I've had to hunt to find one. None of the properties or pastures near me look to be as infested as in the past.
It happened slowly at first, but I have noticed the same thing. I think the fire ant population started to go down sometime after 2000 (maybe they got a Y2K bug?).

What got me thinking of fire ant decline was the new critter that started up... chiggers. Bad. Real bad. Got first chigger bites of this season last week. Last year, first chigger bites were about the end of the first week of May.

The chiggers are everywhere - grass, bushes, concrete... yes, even on concrete far from grass there are chiggers. Lay down on the concrete to work under a car, and the next day, arrrgh! Putting down a carpet piece to lay on doesn't help, they get over that soon.

Never got them years ago here. Somewhere I was reading once that with a high density of fire ants, the crawling insect population goes mono-culture (or something like that), the fire ants prevent other species from taking off.

With the decline of fire ants, have been seeing a lot of Texas-type of carpenter ants, and small red food ants that like to get into kitchens. Never saw any of them before with lots of fire ants.

Sitting here with itchy scratchy oozing chigger bites all over me, and that was even through heavy applications of OFF (my blood alcohol level is zero, but my Deet level has got to be > .1 %). I want the fire ant population back up!

For the last few years, I have only been using Amdro on very select places: Mounds next to concrete, as they dig out dirt or sand underneath it, weakening it. Or on the weird places like opening a window, to be met by a mad flurry of fire ants that have made a nest inside the hollow aluminum frame of a window screen.

I used to go through pound jugs of Amdro per year, but I have been using the pound I have now, into the third year. Wow, that's a real decrease. I never realized that. I have no idea what Amdro costs per pound now.

Never thought that I would think of fire ants as a positive!
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