market-farming digest: December 30, 2000 fire ant control

marc at marc at
Sun Dec 31 12:08:39 EST 2000

> We do pastured poultry here. One morning during cage moves we noticed that we had placed a cage over an ant hill. Big ants. We started to get the cage out of there as we were worried about the hens getting bit but stopped when we noticed the hens were eating the ants like M&M's and digging down into the ant pile to get at them.

The ant pile was a hole that evening and those ants were completely eradicated by the hens. (Rhode Island Reds.)

I don't know if they were "fire" ants.


> 3. "organic" fire ant control
> Subject: "organic" fire ant control
> From: "nan and stewart" <stewart at>
> Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2000 15:17:40 -0000
> X-Message-Number: 3
> As a result of many friendly conversations with my local, family owned =
> hardware store (where they will order organic supplies from the back of =
> their catalog and then THEY pay the shipping!) the owner is much more =
> aware of garden poisons.
> He recently showed me a brochure about a pyrethrin based fire ant =
> control (powder) with the word organic in title, from a Louisiana =
> company.  I knew the usual warnings about use of pyrethrins in terms of =
> contamination of waterways and death to fish, so I showed him that part =
> on the label. =20
> But we were both wondering if the conventional fire ant poisons are ALSO =
> harmful to fish PLUS humans, earthworms, etc. so that one would still be =
> better off using the "organic" control (which, by the way, the =
> accompanying endorsement pointed out that there are some "non-organic" =
> ingredients) even around farm ponds, than using the ortho type =
> poisons???  So, it would be the lesser of two evils, even though it =
> would kill fish......
> I guess that alot of fire ant mounds are around folks' ponds??  I have =
> fire ant mounds in my garden that I can scoop up with shovel and move to =
> another area, rather than use any kind of poison.  I have alot of =
> children visit, so it is of some concern that they not exist in the =
> garden area.
> Is there a product out there you have used that is non-toxic, so to =
> speak, to fish, earthworms, etc. and could be used around a pond?  I =
> would suspect one could use a pyrethrin product in a non-watery area?  I =
> haven't used any myself yet on my vegetables (though heaven knows i have =
> felt desperate enough last summer!!!)
> I am tickled that the local store is considering stocking and displaying =
> prominently any "organic" products that I give my endorsement to (they =
> really trust me, plus I literally never shop at Walmart and they know I =
> patronize local businesses only, unless ordering from organic type =
> catalogs!)  I told the owner I would consult y'all.
> thanks, nan in mississippi

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