Monday, April 20, 2009

Organic Gardening & Fire Ants

As a native of New England now living in the south, fire ants are one of the things that I had never experienced before now. These are the most aggressive crawling insects that I have ever encountered and they are an epidemic out here. We have a pest control service (another thing I have never experienced before moving out here) which normally takes care of the mounds for us. This company does offer "organic" solutions, however this does not always mean they are non-toxic, so for the garden I went looking for something safer.

I did read about using grain or cornmeal, though apparently this only affects certain types of workers and only during certain stages of development. With the size of my garden, it seemed that the best solution at this time was to use the boiling water method to treat the mounds. It is documented that this can kill up to 60% of the colony so, until the beneficial nematodes take over, this would probably be the safest, most inexpensive solution for us at this time.

One of the more helpful documents I found on the subject was, A Review of “Organic” and Other Alternative Methods for Fire Ant Control, by Bastiaan M. Drees, Fire Ant Project Director, Department of Entomology, College Station, Texas.

No comments:

Post a Comment