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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:51 am
Posts: 4
Location: Houston,TEXAS
I joined this forum today. I am new to organic gardening. I have a newly built home with fresh sod and new homes being built next door, across the street, and behind my home. I have big dirt ant piles in my front and back yards. I think they are fire ants. The lawn was mowed, the piles were cut flat, and built up high again within a day or so.

I have already visited the Library. I printed 16 pages from these articles:
Ants & Grits
Ants - Fire
Ants - Leaf Cutting Ants
Ants - Pest Control
Ants in the house
Ants, Carpenter
Ants, Harvester
Ants, Red
Ants, SUGAR

My impression is a lot of the information is repeated within the 16 pages and could have been printed in one or two pages.

I printed the two pages for "The Basic Philosophy of the Organic Program 2009", which was pretty generic.

Furthermore, I am surfing through the posts and seeing a lot of good suggestions that aren't in the 16 pages that I printed.

Frankly, I am exhausted with the searching and ready to buy a poison to be done already. Obviously I won't.

I paid for the membership because I was hoping to find something more coherent than my Google surfing was giving me.

Will whoever is managing the content for the Dirt Doctor please consolidate and streamline the ant info and merge in the tips from the forum?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:00 am
Posts: 514
Location: Dallas,Texas
Fair comment, but a lot or people are looking for information on a specific ant issue, not just "ants".

Here are two other topics relating to fire ants - hopefully this will help you:

Fire Ant Control that Works http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garde ... n/id/2704/

Fire Ants Explode After Rain http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garde ... n/id/3022/


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:51 am
Posts: 4
Location: Houston,TEXAS
Doug,

Those two pages you just referred to me are identical except for the photos.

Per your reply: "Fair comment, but a lot or people are looking for information on a specific ant issue, not just "ants"."

I was looking for help specifically with fire ants, not just "ants".

You just can't have tons of duplicate info for people to wade through. Now I see why the high-water mark for activity in the Dr. Doctor was several years ago. Free Google is just as efficient as the Dirt Doctor website.

People pay for streamlined info. If you don't know how to consolidate, then ask people on the forum to help you.

Mary


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Frisco, Tejas
Paid for what? The forum is free.

Speaking of ants, you generally catch more of them with honey.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:51 am
Posts: 4
Location: Houston,TEXAS
Oh goodness! You are confused. I don't want more ants. I had so many fire ant hills in my back yard that the cable guy could not dig a straight line for the cable.

Fortunately, I found a local holistic gardener that gave me a list of natural ingredients to combine specially. The ingredients were expensive and not listed anywhere in the Dirt Doctor forum. I just treated two ant hills first. They flattened and have not built back up. I am treating the rest of my yard and am making excellent progress.

My original post was a very respectful request for a consolidation of repetitive information.

I will not share this recipe with a patronizing forum.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
I like your suggestion. I don't see why there are so many different articles on ants. As you have noted, the same info is repeated. It could be that other users come here to search for specific information about a certain ant and won't be satisfied until the article is properly titles for their search. I don't know.

To me there are two kinds of ants: those that forage for sugar and those that forage for protein. Any ants that seem to be doing no harm to other plants and are not invading your home should be left alone.

As I said, ants in your home are either searching for sugar or protein. You can prepare baits to attract the sugar ants pretty easily. Mix sugar and molasses (equal proportions) to bait them in but put some baking yeast into the mix to eradicate them. The specific recipe I used was 1/2 cup of the sugar and molasses to 1 tsp of baking yeast. It makes a gooey mess that I smeared onto pieces of cardboard and put into the ants trails. I was able to track the trail through the wall and outside. It took the ants a few days to find the goo but once they did, they were all OVER it :shock: . They cleaned that cardboard slicker than a whistle, so I had to reload it. It finally took about 3 weeks before all the ants were gone. My theory as to why that works is the yeast creates a culture inside the ant mound that affects their food supply. No food - no ants.

For protein eating ants in the house, no amount of sugar will attract them. Protein ants avoid sugar like the plague that it seems to be. For them you need to find the mound outdoors and drench it with a weak sugar solution. 2 ounces of molasses in a gallon of water will do it. If you can find a bait to attract the protein ants, you can poison that bait with boric acid. That will definitely kill the ants. You cannot use boric acid in the garden, though, so only indoors. Fire ants are a protein eating ant so sugar drench seems to get rid of them.

For outdoor ants like cut ants, I would treat them with both yeast and sugar and see what happens. Dissolve the yeast into the sugar water and drench.

For carpenter ants you are screwed unless you can keep the wood from getting moist. Carpenter ants seem to be able to make their own moisture so it usually works best to replace the wood they are eating.

I don't know if this helps consolidate the ant issue, but it is an attempt.

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David Hall
Moderator
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:51 am
Posts: 4
Location: Houston,TEXAS
I appreciate your post explaining the difference between ants searching for sugar versus protein.

Thank you very much!
:D


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