[NAFEX] Re: Fruit Management Methods

Doreen Howard doreenh at ticon.net
Mon Jul 29 16:31:51 EDT 2002

You talk about your fire ants and their enemies.  When I lived on the Gulf
Coast of Texas (also good for rice, tea, bananas and orchids), we were
infested with them.  The mounds are all intertwined, and the entire
population acts as one organism.  You have NEVER felt pain until you have
been bit by fire ants.  It's no joke that people pull off all their clothes
and run screaming around the yard when they encounter fire ants.  The little
buggers climb all over you, under your clothing and bite constantly.  It's a
searing pain that doesn't go away for days.  I've been in the Midwest for 4
years now, and I still bear scars from fire ant bites.

Several companies sell parasitic nematodes, which supposedly colonize, enter
the fire ant through its mouth or eyes and reproduce.  Texas A&M
experimented with them in the mid 1990's.  I inoculated my 1/3 acre in Texas
three times with the nematodes and never achieved freedom from fire ants.
The nematodes would knock back the population for about 6 weeks, and then
the fire ants would gain control again.  I understand the little monsters
have migrated as far west as Arizona already.
Doreen Howard,
Janesville, WI, where there are NO fire ants, thank Heavens!

----- Original Message -----
From: "LONGDISTSHTR" <longdistshtr at InfoAve.Net>
To: "NAFEX" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2002 1:33 PM
Subject: [NAFEX] Re: Fruit Management Methods

> Thanks Lon but Summerville is close to Charleston where they get Gulf
> Stream influence which is kinda like Florida. The soil and conditions
> are good for tea and rice and some orchids. Not the same as here where
> we get early frosts.  Wish I had the time to develop a decent pecan but
> that takes over 20 years just to get them to bear. I tried that. Your
> insight about not getting the varieties you have ordered from where you
> used to work really helped me avoid some nurseries. I have a "seckel
> pear" I got from that area which I think is a different variety or else
> the climate changed it. The June Bugs love it though, as well as the
> Japanese Beetles. When I beat them to one, it taste like cardboard.
> Won't some scions from this dude?
> I should have become an entomologist and would have plenty of
> experimental things going on by now. Heard anything from the
> Agricultural Service about Imported Fire Ants?  I can see eight nests
> from my computer room.  I hear they have a natural enemy fly which lays
> eggs which go in the ant's head.  I doubt if the fly will survive the
> organo-phosphate insecticides used by some farmers on their soy beans.

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