Some of you will have stories

Every Texan knows the wrath of fire ants. –  Texas Heritage Protection.

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h/t Bruce.

18 Comments on Some of you will have stories

  1. Off topic, but I hope you see this MJA and BFH (and everyone else up at this hour) – check out Drudge right now and the link from the Hillary pic at the top of the page titled “Another Brain Freeze”.

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

  2. I stepped on a fire ant once. Ouch! But I have a story about that rain gauge above the sign. Mine is just like that, you can read it from a long distance. Pretty cool until the miserably hot Arkansas sun bakes the orange color right off that indicator disc and turns it a dull gray color that is damn hard to see.
    And then after painting the disc a bright fluorescent orange, the paint flakes off during a downpour and the color goes back to neutral.
    Great gauge otherwise. I need to find a fluorescent ball the right size and right buoyancy.

  3. Yep.

    I always wore sandals when I drove, unless I was on a dock. Had a breakdown on the way to Laredo. Stepped off the truck right into a good sized nest of the little darlings (yes that’s code). Rubbing alcohol applied immediately, liberally and with great enthusiasm went a ways toward getting the sting to back off. Never shucked a pair of pants so fast in my life.

  4. Anonymous was me – in all the excitement I forgot to put my name. But Chalupa had already posted the news on the original video thread too.

  5. I do have a story about ants but can’t tell it all here LOL. I stepped in an ant hill a few months back and thought I had gotten all of them off of me …… until I sat down in the bathroom and felt a stinging sensation on my ……..

    I did kill the little cock sucker though!

  6. There are actually four types of fire ants – different “breeds”, if you will – and I happen to be allergic to two of them. I get bites every year in my yard, but the ants in the South Eastern part of the metroplex don’t set me off. Growing up in the Mid-Cities was bad, though, because three or four bites/stings and anaphylaxis would set in. Lemme tell ya, that shit is tight.

    When I was about twelve, I fell off my bike into a large hill, receiving 200+ bites and stings. I stopped breathing entirely in 20 minutes, but we were already pulling into the ER at that time. Intubation and Epi, and I was fine in about an hour.

    Now, everything I feel that fire, I pause, think about where my keys are, and get ready to drive to the fire station a mile away.

  7. Fire ants are now the easiest ant for me to take care of. They accept all baits readily, but more importantly, the chemical Fipronil is devastating to ants in general and can keep S.A.I. fire ants out of your yard for very long periods of time.

    I charge $25 per 1,000 sq ft. None will be on your property for at least a year. Last customer that hired me for it is going on the third year of being fire ant free. They have some leaf-cutting ants, but no fire ants have returned yet.

    Yes, there are more than one species, but the only one that matters, because they breed so quickly, no longer fight other fire ant colonies, have multiple queens per colony, and can kill your pets & livestock – is the South American Imported Fire Ant.

    All the others are insignificant by comparison.

    If you were stung by a S.A.I. fire ant in your childhood in the Dallas/Ft Worth area, then it happened in the 80s or later. You must be a young whipper-snapper (compared to me being a child in the 60s). They didn’t get to this area until the 80s and were a new phenomena to deal with, professionally, at that time.

    None have venomous bites, btw, they just hold on to sting you better. Think of them as tiny wingless wasps and you’ll be on target about what’s happening.

    Applying lots of kill-everything chemical only results in fire ants being the only thing on your property because when they start to encroach again – they now have no competition and blow up out of proportion population-wise.

    There is no reason to tolerate them on your residential property now days with Fipronil being available. Bayer tightly controls who gets to use it’s original products with Fipronil, but it’s been out long enough for other companies to start making and marketing it. So that’s a good thing.

    https://www.solutionsstores.com/taurus-g-fipronil-granules-topchoice

    This product, or any other granule with fipronil that you can find, will do the trick for you. Expensive but more than worth it if your kids’ play area or pets’ area has them.

    Always, ALWAYS, follow the directions. Don’t use too little but that’s better than using too much. You’ll need to water in in with two inches of water. This is where most applications fail – both professional and non-professional. I do my treatments in the rainy parts of the year here so I don’t have to be concerned about the customer dropping the ball by not putting enough water on the yard.

  8. @Bubba’s Brother
    “I did kill the little cock sucker though!”
    Before, or after ?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist 😉

  9. I was stationed at Fort Hood in the mid 80s. Fire ants got in the barracks and into my locker. I was running late, so I put on my uniform and rushed down to formation. I had about 20 in my uniform and they sterted biting. It was not pleasant.

    Getting stung by a scorpion isn’t fun either. It seems all the creepy crawlies down south bite or sting.

  10. Dadof4,

    The only reason I haven’t gone full fipronil is the number of wildflowers I let grow on my small 1.5 acre plot. There’s a (sorta) local beekeeper that I buy honey from often after they removed a basketball sized transition hive from the eaves of my house. They actually specifically asked that I not use fipronil on the parts of my lot with the flowers.

    I do try to use the mound-based treatments, and usually have good success. I always miss a mound or two, though, but since I don’t think the S.A.I. like the hard clay in my area, I haven’t had a reaction in two decades.

    The funny thing is, when i get hit by one or two, I don’t even rush to scrape them off anymore. I know that subsequent stings (and the bites hurt, even without venom) aren’t going to increase the intensity or duration of the pain, so I’ll just get to’em when I get to’em.

    Either way, this is one species that needs to go extinct, but they probably eat something I dislike more.

  11. Just keep the fipronil application specifically on the ground and in granular form. If it isn’t on the flowers it won’t affect the bees.

    No liquid application of fipronil should ever be used in a broadcast fashion over a yard or garden. Just on the trails on a structure or a tree trunk and the label has a severe limit to that too.

    It’s not like you need to do it more than once every year or four in a garden or yard setting. It will keep them out an incredibly long time.

    But I understand the take-no-chance stance. Nothing wrong with that.

    Again, you’re actually feeling the sting from the other end when they grab hold of you with their mandibles. It just looks like it’s the bite that hurts because those ant-ends are so close to each other in the first place.

  12. Ever notice those little bastards will climb on you without biting you until the ring leader gives a silent signal to all the others to commence biting?

  13. When my wife came to Texas from Russia eleven years ago, I could not convince her to avoid the fire ants. She thought, hey, they are just ants. It wasn’t until she got into a mess of them that she became a believer.

  14. You’re very welcome MJA. I hope it helps or at least is entertaining. I’m such a nerd about pests.

    @azwatergeek

    Yes. You are not imagining anything about that. The sting itself is an attack signal. Little f**kers.

    S.A.I. Fire Ant trivia:

    Every ant you see above ground foraging and/or stinging you is a female.

    The stinger is a modified ovipositor. This also means the males can not sting you.

    Males have only one purpose and are intentionally made by the queen. The most males you will ever see in a colony are the reproductives before the mating flights – then they are gone, never to return. Before the mating flight, they do no work and are tended to until they take off. Other than that, you’ll be hard pressed to find them.

    The wings of both drones and queens are shed shortly after the flight.

    Male S.A.I. fire ants are black. The only ones in the whole colony not reddish. Racist!

    There are around 23 different sizes of the females. If you see a small one, it is not a “baby ant”. It is full grown and will not get any bigger. Baby ants are maggots and pupae, whichever stage you wish to focus on before it emerges as an adult from the pupa case.

    Now where is that woman that wants the human race to reduce men to that role? I have a few words for her.

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