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Re: CULT: my friends, the fire ants
iris@hort.net
  • Subject: Re: CULT: my friends, the fire ants
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@lock-net.com>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 17:51:58 -0400

Thanks, Dave, but I don't want to kill them. I appreciate the work they do, feasting on ticks and chiggers. Plus killing this colony will just make room for some new beasties - they are everywhere in my county now. I read up on TALSTAR - highly toxic to bees and other insects. :-(

Until this year, the fire ants had a small chimney (or maybe it was a separate queen/colony) down near the swamp. They kept trying to move into the seedling rows (bare ground), but I Roundup'd a small area in the pasture next to the seedling rows, & they eventually moved their living room there.

It's rained so much this winter, no place for them to be comfortable in that part of the 'garden' now.

Plus I plowed up their old digs for the new seedling rows this year.

They are moving around trying to find a 'permanent' place for a chimney where it's drier, but most of their choices have been unacceptable (to me) so far - manure pile (ran over it with the cultivators & tractor to discourage them - they moved), seedling row.

Now that I've reminded myself of their roundup'd site, I'll try picking an ideal location for them, kill the veg, see if they can figure it out.

Where they are now isn't <too> bad - but I <was> planning on using that spot for veggies!

On 3/28/2012 7:40 PM, Dave Silverberg wrote:
<<Next issue to be resolved - what to do with my fire ant colony.>>

Hi Linda: My local Ag chemical supplier suggested an ant insecticide for
me last year that turned out to be the best thing since.........(fill in
your choice).

I wanted to keep the ants away from the spuria so that they wouldn't
interfere with our hybridizing. This product is fantastic!!! What I'm
referring to is TALSTAR.

Step 1: Give the bloom stalk a substantial wiggle between thumb and
forefinger to knock all the ants and other bugs off the stalk.

Step 2: Apply the TALSTAR lightly around and through the clump.

Step 3: Move on to the next clump and repeat.

I did this for all 100 plus clumps of spuria last year. I came back
about 45 minutes to an hour later and every clump was free of ants and
remained that way for the entire spuria bloom season and then some!! We
made 18 crosses and had 17 takes. Its a little bit on the pricey
side......about $1.00/lb. One of the nice things about it though is that
it has NO expiration date.

The product for fire ants is TALSTAR XTRA. Google the product name and
check it out for yourself.
The following was taken from their advertising:

<<Research trials and field tests conducted by industry professionals
have proven that with the addition of its powerful new active
ingredient, Talstar XTRA granular insecticide eliminates fire ant
colonies within four hours or less. And in some cases, the fire ant
populations were decimated in minutes, not hours.>>

Dave Silverberg
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