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grassdude
10-20-2010, 07:37 PM
Are fire ants everywhere or are we (south) the only lucky ones?

fl-landscapes
10-20-2010, 07:51 PM
http://ipmworld.umn.edu/chapters/lockley.htm

grassdude
10-20-2010, 07:59 PM
Thanks but that chart was done in 1996.......i am sure they have covered more territory by now......just wondering how far north they are.

PlantscapeSolutions
10-26-2010, 06:51 PM
Fire ants are your own little money makers. Sell your customer on Top Choice.

morgaj1
10-26-2010, 09:58 PM
Are fire ants everywhere or are we (south) the only lucky ones?

If anyone needs some, we have plenty to spare in Alabama :)

Richard Martin
10-27-2010, 04:05 AM
Thanks but that chart was done in 1996.......i am sure they have covered more territory by now......just wondering how far north they are.

That map is fairly accurate. They've only progressed a little further north since then. I spent 4 days in Clayton this year (just north of Fayetteville) and I saw no evidence of fire ants anywhere. This past winter was rough on them and they are killed by cold temperatures. Even here in my area (Greenville) there weren't very many of them until September.

This is a 2009 map:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/fireants/downloads/fireant.pdf

cgaengineer
10-27-2010, 06:32 AM
They are all over the place here in GA, just because Richard didn't see them doesn't mean they aren't here! :)

I do remember a time when we didn't have them.
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Richard Martin
10-27-2010, 06:40 AM
They are all over the place here in GA, just because Richard didn't see them doesn't mean they aren't here! :)

Yeah. I'm not in Georgia. It didn't get nearly as cold that far south last winter.

cgaengineer
10-27-2010, 06:47 AM
September is the time when I notice them most, though they are here pretty much the entire growing season. I'm not sure if our winters are cold enough to kill them, but they are less active in the winter for sure. I was just referring to your trip to Fayetteville.
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Charles
10-27-2010, 06:50 AM
They are all over SC. I can't change the blades on my mower without getting bit. Usually a good bit of strays on the driveway. I did a one time mow on a yard a few years back . You couldn't stand in one place to weedeat for a second because they would be covering your shoes. I think some fire ants are more aggressive and speedy :laugh: than others. I had to jog and weedeat:dizzy:
I read where some University produced gnats that will eat fire ants. I would rather have gnats than fire ants any day.

cgaengineer
10-27-2010, 06:55 AM
I had to jog and weedeat:dizzy:
I read where some University produced gnats that will eat fire ants. I would rather have gnats than fire ants any day.

Man, I don't know about that...they both suck. I can control ants with chemicals, gnats not so much!

Have you noticed that kudzu bug around in SC Charles? Its an odd shaped (almost triangular) bug that is supposed to be a kudzu feeder...they are all over the place around here, along with kudzu. Here is a link: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/22/kudzu-bugs-stink-up-georgia/
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Charles
10-27-2010, 07:01 AM
I haven't noticed the bug, but it would be nice to have something eating the Kudzu.
Maybe the flies would eat the gnats. The gnats would eat the ants:laugh:

cgaengineer
10-27-2010, 07:09 AM
Well if they feed on kudzu they better get to work around here.

I hate flies too...they were bad around July here, open the door and 10 would come in, fly patrol for the next few hours!
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Charles
10-27-2010, 07:14 AM
Ya I was grilling out Sunday. Just took the swatter outside and killed 20 before they could get in. A preemptive strike:usflag: Still 2 got past me:rolleyes:
Maybe the gnats would be too busy eating the ants to bother us. They say the gnats will eat the ant heads

Richard Martin
10-27-2010, 04:48 PM
I read where some University produced gnats that will eat fire ants. I would rather have gnats than fire ants any day.

Decapitating phorid flys. Yes, I have spent way too much time researching fire ants. You are right, there are 3 main types of fire ants. The biggest problem species is the Argentinian Fire Ant. It's natural predetor is the decapitating phorid fly. Unfortunately much like the Argentinian fire ant the decapitating phorid fly isn't natural to the US and must be introduced to the US.

WHat happens is this. The phorid fly hovers over an ant mound until an ant comes out. When the fly sees the ant it lands on the ant and lays an egg in the ant. Then the egg hatches and the larve works up into the ant's head and literally eats the head from the inside out.

It's not the actual act of what the fly does that destroys a fire ant colony. The ants recognize their natural enemy hovering about and refuse to come out of the mound. It is this fear and the resulting dimishing food for the ant colony that dooms it to destruction.

They have had good success in controlling ant infestations in several areas. Texas being a notable place. One of the problems with the fly is also a problem with the ants though. They don't survive well in cold areas.

They have released them in my area but I don't know how well they're doing. I have noticed in the last year or so mounds that were clearly inhabited after a rain event that are not active. Could it be phorid flys?

They have also been working on genetically engineered viruses but that is a long, long way off.

I know a bunch more but I don't want to bore you guys.

Richard Martin
10-27-2010, 04:51 PM
Here's a phorid fly getting ready to land on a fire ant. You'll notice the other ants appear to be watching the "action".

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/graphics/photos/sep99/k8575-1i.jpg

grassdude
10-28-2010, 10:56 AM
Richard, the reason they arent as bad in your neck of woods is because they have all moved to Cumberland county. If you got a spare sack, tube, box, or bucket of those flies let me know! lol

cgaengineer
10-28-2010, 11:02 AM
I will send you all you want Richard, you pay shipping.
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fl-landscapes
10-28-2010, 12:01 PM
That map is fairly accurate. They've only progressed a little further north since then. I spent 4 days in Clayton this year (just north of Fayetteville) and I saw no evidence of fire ants anywhere. This past winter was rough on them and they are killed by cold temperatures. Even here in my area (Greenville) there weren't very many of them until September.

This is a 2009 map:

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/fireants/downloads/fireant.pdf

yup, they are geared to live in certain climates. Evalution is a slow process. The demographic of where they are wont change much. Wont be seeing any polar bears in FL anytime soon either,