ant problems

saltychick

Active member
Sep 5, 2017
39
Gray, Ga
Hello everybody,

I've gotten a lot of helpful advice so far, so I'm hoping someone can help. Long story short, we bought a house 3 years ago with an in ground pool that was in great need of repair. Basically, we could spend zillions or opt to do what was necessary to start swimming, which is what we did last year...no deluxe revamp by any means. The cement around it was basically ok but we had to have a piece cut out and redone, in addition to new SWG, new liner, etc. We are on red dirt and the fire ants are completely ridiculous here in Georgia. They continually build mounds around the outside perimeter and when we get them out of one spot they move to another. Even pest control has told us there is no sure method to eradicate them. We are noticing that they are getting under small separations between the cement and plastic divider pieces and I am terrified! Their activity is also sending small amounts of dirt into the water on the steps which I have to vacuum daily. We can't really tell where they are coming from and can't afford to replace a liner so they have got to go! We have a dog and small grandkids so we don't like using strong pesticides that close to our pool. Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated because we don't know what to do:confused:
 

wjr75

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 6, 2013
895
IL
We don't have fire ants in IL but we get a lot of the other ones unfortunately. I use Bifen IT bought on amazon mixed in a one gallon pump sprayer to spray the perimeter of our foundation of our house. I have also used borax on different insects before. Yes, the same stuff you put in your pool. Try mixing some with sugar and dump it down thier ant holes. Be careful if you have pets with that method.
 

PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
3,077
Connecticut
Hello everybody,

I've gotten a lot of helpful advice so far, so I'm hoping someone can help. Long story short, we bought a house 3 years ago with an in ground pool that was in great need of repair. Basically, we could spend zillions or opt to do what was necessary to start swimming, which is what we did last year...no deluxe revamp by any means. The cement around it was basically ok but we had to have a piece cut out and redone, in addition to new SWG, new liner, etc. We are on red dirt and the fire ants are completely ridiculous here in Georgia. They continually build mounds around the outside perimeter and when we get them out of one spot they move to another. Even pest control has told us there is no sure method to eradicate them. We are noticing that they are getting under small separations between the cement and plastic divider pieces and I am terrified! Their activity is also sending small amounts of dirt into the water on the steps which I have to vacuum daily. We can't really tell where they are coming from and can't afford to replace a liner so they have got to go! We have a dog and small grandkids so we don't like using strong pesticides that close to our pool. Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated because we don't know what to do[emoji782]

I think when labeled “ant killer” diatomaceous earth is $5 per pound or something crazy.
 

saltychick

Active member
Sep 5, 2017
39
Gray, Ga
Thanks so much. Yes it is a challenge with the dog and the kids because we don't want to harm them with pesticides. It is driving me crazy because they just will not go away but I will try these.
 

Uncle Salty

Gold Supporter
Feb 3, 2017
291
South Carolina
Hi Saltychick, sorry to hear about your fire ant troubles. If you don’t want to use chemicals which I understand, have y’all tried pouring boiling water down the holes? Best to do this early morning before any real activity that will rile them up otherwise the queen will be gone and she’s got to die to be successful, you may have to hit each mound a couple times.

Salty
 

RonsPlc

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2015
925
Gaylesville, AL
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I have found Permethrin SFR 33% mixed 2 oz to a gallon of water in a sprayer sprayed on the hill, and a 5' radius of the mound does the trick with those little home wreckers. It is the same thing used in dog dips, and kennels for pests, so it doesn't bother dogs. And is fine for use around kids from everything I have found.

I have about rid my 2+ acres of them this way, and still have my dogs, and cats.
 

keithw

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2007
314
Virginia Beach
Costas is on the right track. Spraying poison only kills visible ants and actually exasperates the problem because when you poison them, their natural instinct to preserve the colony causes them to split it and start a new separate colony. They then promote a new queen in the new colony and now you are dealing with two separate breeding colonies. It may not work overnight but your best bet is to bait them. Ants that you see are foraging ants. There are separate ants that you never see that live in the colony and tend to the queen and eggs. The foraging ants collect food and bring it back to the colony and regurgitate it so that it is fed to the queen and egg-tending ants. Ants generally like protein foods and sweet foods, and usually will alternate that menu so I use two baits and test and switch them depending on what they will eat on that day. Buy a squeeze bottle of Borax powder from the bug spray section of the store. It is usually called roach poison. For protein food I use peanut butter and for sweet I use apple jelly. You want to put enough borax in them to eventually kill the ants but not too much because you do not want them to die until they have brought the bait back. I usually use a heaping tablespoon of borax to 1 cup of each and I make a batch of both PB and jelly mix. Use a fork to mix each completely. Might need to add some water to the peanut butter to get it a bit runny. Don't put both down at the same time, just whichever they are taking at that time. If they take both, pick one. Place small amounts in a lot of different spots. You should see the ants swarm to it and start foraging. That's all there is too it. Every day or when ou remember, go out an put some of whatever they will eat on a trail. Within a few days it'll start to wipe out the underground colony. This method works with most major ant breeds including the common odorous ant and the carpenter ant which are usually the most common nuisance breeds in the US.
 
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