This link Fire Ants is informative and fun to read. Yes there are benefits to the little (fill in the blank) critters. Here are some of the benefits from the article.
“Fire ants voraciously consume populations of fleas, ticks, termites, cockroaches, chinch bugs, mosquito eggs and larva, scorpions, etc.”
After learning this, I realize that it really has been years since I last set off a flea bomb. A unspoken culinary creed for fire ants could be, “If it will stay still for a bit . . . then it’s dinner!”
“Fire ants are extremely effective in controlling plant-feeding insects and arthropods such as boll weevils in cotton and stinkbugs in soybean. Under some conditions fire ants keep the pest populations below the level of economic loss providing a financial savings to growers.
“Fire ants can benefit such crops as cotton, sugarcane, and soybean because they aerate and break up the soil making more water and nutrients available to the plants.
“After a colony vacates a mound in your garden, you are left with beautifully aerated and tilled soil.”
I like the aerated and tilled soil aspect. However, if they are in our footpath or in a pasture with a new lamb or goat that hasn’t learned about the bite, a non-poisonous deterrent is Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth commonly called DE.
We sprinkle it lightly around the mound and the ants move. It may need to be reapplied if it rains. It is obvious when the nest is abandoned, and no more than two applications have been necessary at our farm.
Please don’t use the DE designed for swimming pools. It isn’t food-grade and could harm your livestock or pets.
Where to purchase Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
We carry DE in our Farm Feed Store. A 50# bag is $50.00. It doesn’t have a shelf life so keep it dry and it will last forever.
Get a friend or neighbor to share a bag with you.