Fire Ants...a positive?

1,944 Views | 21 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Madman
ApachePilot
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I hate fire ants more than anything in Texas. But talking to fellow Ags this weekend it came up that fire ants did help with a few pests we all hated like ticks.

So is it a net positive on these damn ants? I have a hard time seeing any value in them.
Yelnick McWawa
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I'll take a fire ant every day and twice on Sunday over a tick.

I can get over a sting....hell at least I know when I'm stung. There are thousands of people with Lyme disease (among other tick borne disease) that never had any idea they had a tick on them.
SockDePot
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1) helllllll no
2) if you've seen a small / young animal or child really get tore up, no way you'd even consider any positive
3) my uncle has said that 30 years ago there weren't fire ants in west Texas, and swears fire ants have been the biggest detriment on quail population at his ranch.

TLDR


ApachePilot
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I was very naive about them in 1992 while stationed at Fort Hood. During BRM I was in the prone qualifying when they came from nowhere and got inside my BDUs. Their nests are hard to see sometimes. The little f-ckers waited to bite as a team. I had over 30 bites as I remember, maybe more. I finished my qual as my arms were on fire. Hated them ever since!

Growing up in Oregon we have big red headed ants that clear the forest floor and are easy to see. They make massive mounds that can stand 3 feet tall. Easy to avoid. F fire ants

https://images.app.goo.gl/s83cGNK9JghiXKd56
MouthBQ98
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I find fire ants annoying and mildly painful but their stings are much better than parasitic tick diseases.
ttha_aggie_09
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MouthBQ98 said:

I find fire ants annoying and mildly painful but their stings are much better than parasitic tick diseases.
Amen! Every time I find a tick on me, which is not often, I am paranoid for the next couple of days that I won't be able to eat red meat ever again. I am not sure what the disease is that causes it, but it haunts me.
fightingfarmer09
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Spent a summer digging up fire ant colonies for study. I find them fascinating. There are a lot of benefits from predatory ants in controlling pest insects and animals. I'll take them over many of the pests they control.
SunrayAg
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When I was a little kid in the 70's I remember pretty much every time we went walking around our place in central Texas we would come home covered in ticks. After the fire ants showed up around 1980, I have found very few ticks.

As much as I hate fire ants, they might be the better end of the deal.
Aggieangler93
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What I miss are horny toads and quail. I've been told fire ants played a role in both. If that's true, I wish we could nuke em in a very targeted manner!
GIG 'EM - Class of '93
Dad of Class of '22
SanAntoneAg
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So yesterday I applied Amdro to several fire ant mounds out at deer camp.

This morning, during a Google Hangout for work, I pulled out a tick that had selfishly embedded its mouthparts into leg.

To hell with them both.

Counterpoint
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Do fire ants have any effect on termites?
MouthBQ98
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I've found a remote nest and fire and mount in the same dead stump before. They ignored eachother. I even stirred them up trying to cause a fight and they still ignored eachother.
confucius_ag
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fire ants>ticks>mosquitos
"Me not know, me not tell, me push button and run like hell."
geoag58
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If fire ants get to be too much bring in some crazy ants. They seem to clear out the fire ants and don't bite. At least you'll have a different set of problems for a while.
Spore Ag
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Have used fire ants to kill white fly. One shovel of pissed off ants wipe out the fly and their nymphs.
Brazos1865
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Quail, horny toads, tarantulas, seed ticks, red bugs, all here in my Brazos County childhood and mostly gone today. I wish my kids could quail hunt here, catch horny toads and scream when they are surprised by a tarantula. The ticks/seed ticks and chiggers are another matter, can't say I miss them.
Cromagnum
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Bifen sprayed on my yard takes care of all those problems so that.
fire09
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My suburban rectangle stays relatively fire ant free with liberal doses of orthene on their mounds. I didn't know they are invasive to ticks and chiggers though, I hate those way more than fire ants.
BlueSmoke
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Lyme disease is terrifying, but the "Lone Star" tick and it's impairment to eating red meat. Oh, god no....
Water Turkey07
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BlueSmoke said:

Lyme disease is terrifying, but the "Lone Star" tick and it's impairment to eating red meat. Oh, god no....
Ya that s&** scares the piss out of me. I'd almost rather lose an appendage than lose the ability to eat red meat.
ToddyHill
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Ten years ago I moved from Texas to the Knoxville area. While I left behind a lot of stuff that I missed (Tex Mex and BBQ for example), I was grateful I left those ******* fire ants.

Unfortunately, they infiltrated East Tennessee about two years ago.
Madman
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Oddly enough I am seeing a comeback in native ants in my little area of Texas. A few years ago I don't think I ever saw anything but fire ants but the native types seem to be getting stronger.
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