Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Club the Fire Ants?

Apparently, there has been an e-mail floating around that using Club Soda will control Fire Ants. I personally have not seen or received it, I heard it from my Clemson Extension Agent. After I heard about this I went and did a little research on it, after all it SOUNDS good. Guess what? That is exactly all it does, SOUNDS GOOD.
This information has been around on the internet since 2007 and for some reason regained a foothold last December.
Researchers have done extensive tests and it has been found to be ineffective. This will probably tick off the ants and they may move. They don't like to be disturbed. It will also produce a neat bubbling action in the ground and you may drown an ant or two, but that is really about the extent of it.
The theory sounds good because it is environmentally sound and uses a readily available product. Carbon dioxide in high enough doses will kill many organisms, however, the amount needed to get some 12 feet into the ground would be astronomical. The ants nest can be that far below ground.
Fire ant baits are still your most effective method of fire ant control.
There is a two step method:
* Step 1. Broadcast a fire ant bait once or twice a year to reduce fire ant colonies by 80 to 90 percent.
* Step 2. Treat nuisance mounds or colonies that move into the bait-treated areas. Step 2 may not be needed.
Baits contain active ingredients dissolved in a substance ants eat or drink. To be effective, baits must be fresh and applied when ants are actively foraging. There are many baits available to the general public. ALWAYS make sure you read and follow the package directions, This is FEDERAL LAW!
There have been some, shall we say, "Unusual" methods to control Fire Ants. They include, Ant Stompers, and Queen Smashers. There have been home remedies tried like, Exhaust fumes from engines and Microwaves used. Some have even tried Electric Shocks and Grits. For a full list of these and many other "Home Remedies" go to:
Some of these will give you a chuckle, they did me.
I will end today by saying, I luckily do not have a problem with Fire Ants in my yard. Knock on wood. The way my soil drains and with all the rain we have had, they would need rubber booties and snorkels!
Happy Growing!


  1. Darren we raise poultry, some of which free range during the year at different times. We cant use the fire ant poison for fear of harming birds! Is there anything less poisonous?

    1. I will be upfront and totally honest, if there is something out there, I unfortunately do not know about it. Sorry.
      Just as a side question, I know chickens will eat just about anything that moves, my mother's do. Will they eat the fire ants?