Goats and Fire Ants?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by GCKRanch, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. GCKRanch

    GCKRanch New Member

    May 27, 2014
    Fort Myers, FL
    Since we live in the south, fire ants are a given, but the ones we seem to have are enormous. I read in another post about pouring boiling water into the mound, which I like the idea of. But it looks like the nasty things have gotten into our container of BOSS. 1.) how do I keep them out? 2.) Is it ok to give to goats? (probably not, but I figure I'll see).
    Also, we have a few decent sized mounds in their pasture, the goats never seemed bothered by them, but should I see to killing the mounds? Or can they live in harmony?
    We have chickens, but they won't touch these huge ants that we've got.
  2. GCKRanch

    GCKRanch New Member

    May 27, 2014
    Fort Myers, FL
    Update: In order to kill the ones that were in the container of BOSS, I emptied it into a SpaceSaver bag and sealed it shut, then I stuffed it into the spare refrigerator and I'm gonna leave it for a bit. I read somewhere that dish soap and water on mounds is helpful, so we're also gonna try that.

  3. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would put the boss in the freezer. But you are not going to want those ants consumed by the goats.
  4. lottsagoats1

    lottsagoats1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Middle Maine
    Freezer would work best. Leave it in there several days to make sure they are dead. Porbably not good to feed to the goats, but the chickens would love it.
  5. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    Call your county soil and water people. They can tell you what to use on your particular ants.
    We have a large ranch in Central Fla. and fire ants are a real problem for the newborn calves.
    A professional bug company can use chemicals, etc. that the average person isn't able to use. (Sometimes you have to go the chemical route, initially, then do the "safe" route.).

    Sometimes boric acid will get rid of the ants, but, again, fire ants are a strange breed.
  6. packhillboers

    packhillboers Senior Member

    Oh wow. I can't imagine having fire ants. California ants are bad enough and even if they are not fire ants like you have in the south east; I have seen a variety her that must be related. We had these ants in the backyard when our sons were young and they would attack, run up the legs and bite down and do a sting in a circle leaving painful bites and stings. They were aggressive. Here now where we live, we have ants that are still dangerous to any new born goat because they will swarm all over and bite and even get their eyes. I'm sorry you are dealing with these. I would try all sorts of things to get rid of them. Try and find the main nests of them and wipe them out somehow. My husband trapped a large rat in one of our sheds... He forgot to get rid of it but no need because the ants had swarmed it and literally ate the whole thing to the bare bone. Even the hair was gone. Ants are scary.
  7. Tapestry

    Tapestry New Member

    Feb 4, 2015
    The boiling water doesn't kill all of them, but it does kill a bunch of the eggs and usually causes them to move. I heat the water then add some dish soap to get the water to soak into the ground faster. I usually make a depression in the mound to start with.
  8. packhillboers

    packhillboers Senior Member

    Kill the ants. Very few ant species will ever be endangered. Kill kill kill the ants. they have thrived well for thousands of years in all sorts of conditions. Blow them up, torch them, flood them, boil them or whatever it takes to safely kill them. I am cheering you on to war against the ants.
  9. thekibblegoddess

    thekibblegoddess Member

    Dec 13, 2014
    Sylvania, GA
    We have fire ants too. Our technique is to kill any mounds in traffic/feeding areas, but let the mounds in out of the way areas go. You're never going to get rid of all the ants and this way they have a place to exist and you can go about your work too. One tbs Dawn Soap to a gallon hot water kills most mounds. I took out a 18" high mound that had developed under an overturned wash tub this way. Soapy water sprayed on plants works too, 1 tsp Dawn/quart of water. Wash off after 2 hrs or the soap may damage the leaves. Periodic check-ups help keep the mound from coming back. Plain water does not work.
  10. greenfield

    greenfield Member

    Apr 5, 2012
    Cedar Creek, Texas
    If they do get in the fire ants they do the fire ant dance! (couldn't resist saying it)
  11. Dayna

    Dayna Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Pahoa Hawaii
    ugh I hear ya! We have the "little fire ant" which while small leaves a horribly painful sting that lasts for weeks on most people. My daughter gets bruises when she gets bit.

    Our fire ants not only live in the earth but also up in the trees, in the walls, etc. They blind pets (by stinging in the eyes). They've killed litters of chicks and baby rabbits here on my farm. Horrible.

    I use two treatments to keep them away from the house, parrots and goats. I have to treat monthly because as soon as I kill off one "hive" another one just moves in. These fire ants are a bit different as they don't have a single "hive" type living situation, they communicate with other ants in other hives far away and each area has thousands of queens.

    So the two treatments I use are "Siesta" which is for use on fire ants and it works REALLY well. I sprinkle the granules under chunks of metal roofing I have spaced around the home. I put a large rock on it to keep the chickens from eating it.

    The second and newer treatment I'm using is a chemical called "provaunt". The Hawaii Ant Lab recently got it approved for use in our state and it's working really well. I heard "Tango" works on normal fire ants but we've not had luck with our little fire ant.

    Good luck. Kill em.