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Harvester ants

Angus86

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Does anyone worry about harvester ants in the pastures? I have quite a few nests and they don't bother anyone but I'm wondering if they should be controlled do to their seed eating. Anyone Have an opinion on these things?
 

Caustic Burno

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Angus86":mw9uxfdl said:
Does anyone worry about harvester ants in the pastures? I have quite a few nests and they don't bother anyone but I'm wondering if they should be controlled do to their seed eating. Anyone Have an opinion on these things?

When your tractor falls off in one of their caverns your questions will be answered.
 

bird dog

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If you believe Wiki they are somewhat beneficial. They state

Ants may play an role in the dynamics of plant communities by acting either as seed dispersal agents or as seed predators, or both. During the day, these ants search the savannas for vegetation and plant seeds, and carry them along back to their nest. The two main mechanisms through which ants disperse seeds are myrmecochory, or seed dispersal mediated by the elaiosome, i.e., a lipid-rich seed appendage that mainly attracts non-granivorous ants and provides rewards for seed dispersal, and diszoochory, or seed dispersal performed by seed-harvesting ants that is not mediated by any particular seed structure. While the former has traditionally been recognized mainly as a mutualism, the latter is usually perceived as an antagonism.

Never heard of myrmecochory before but it is an interesting read along with the other stuff on that page.
 

lavacarancher

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They're making a come back on my place. Been dormant for years now but lately I'm seeing the bare spots on the ground created by these little devils. Don't know about their underground caverns but they will sting the heck out of you.
 

Caustic Burno

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lavacarancher":12e11zig said:
They're making a come back on my place. Been dormant for years now but lately I'm seeing the bare spots on the ground created by these little devils. Don't know about their underground caverns but they will sting the heck out of you.

I keep them killed back after dropping a MF 135 in about a three foot deep hole. That was a fun adventure.
Neighbor dropped a 75 NH that was sitting on the frame cost him a wench truck.
It might be the red clay soil that makes their towns so unstable.
I know the foresters try to keep them in check here due to destruction of seedlings.
 

greybeard

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The only place I ever saw them here was in the iron ore driveway, and they didn't last long with all the driving on it.
I guess they don't do good in clay or the fire ants keep them eaten up.
Now out in San Angelo, I had several colonies of them in my back yard--big bare circles about 6'-8' around. A cup of 87 octane down each entrance got rid of them. They moved over to the neighbor's back yard.
 

TexasBred

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I had one colony in a pasture a few years ago. A few cups of gasoline down the hole killed them out. Haven't seen anymore sense then (Will trade some fire ants though).
 

Caustic Burno

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TexasBred":27iyhj20 said:
I had one colony in a pasture a few years ago. A few cups of gasoline down the hole killed them out. Haven't seen anymore sense then (Will trade some fire ants though).

Will trade and throw in some hogs to boot. Fire ants are easier to kill as they will take bait versus the harvest ants unless it's my pear trees
 

wacocowboy

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I had them bad last year so I bought some Amdro Fire Strike and that killed them. Just drove around sprinkling a little all over the bare spot. Next morning some dead the rest slow by the afternoon all dead just a bunch of little bodies all over the place. Now I have grass growing back over the bare spots.
 

Caustic Burno

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wacocowboy":2ewkoko2 said:
I had them bad last year so I bought some Amdro Fire Strike and that killed them. Just drove around sprinkling a little all over the bare spot. Next morning some dead the rest slow by the afternoon all dead just a bunch of little bodies all over the place. Now I have grass growing back over the bare spots.

They are not the same strain as ours are then. TAMU foresters have been working with
Experimental baits that they will take over here. They wipe out acres of seedlings. My neighbor down the road has them so bad they have been using it for a test site.
They used to use Metyhl Bromide took them right now since it was outlawed they haven't been very successful with anything until now with a product called Taurus.
This takes them out
http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/tauru ... wAodj7kMmw
 

wacocowboy

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Caustic Burno":1c6z7su6 said:
wacocowboy":1c6z7su6 said:
I had them bad last year so I bought some Amdro Fire Strike and that killed them. Just drove around sprinkling a little all over the bare spot. Next morning some dead the rest slow by the afternoon all dead just a bunch of little bodies all over the place. Now I have grass growing back over the bare spots.

They are not the same strain as ours are then. TAMU foresters have been working with
Experimental baits that they will take over here. They wipe out acres of seedlings. My neighbor down the road has them so bad they have been using it for a test site.
They used to use Metyhl Bromide took them right now since it was outlawed they haven't been very successful with anything until now with a product called Taurus.
This takes them out
http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/tauru ... wAodj7kMmw

Glad I don't have your type. These I tried some other Fire Ant killers and didn't work, but that Fire Strike sure did. Fire Strike was a bit more expensive and hard to find but it worked and since it is neon yellow it was easy to see where I had been.
 

lavacarancher

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Caustic Burno":1nrfvfcd said:
wacocowboy":1nrfvfcd said:
I had them bad last year so I bought some Amdro Fire Strike and that killed them. Just drove around sprinkling a little all over the bare spot. Next morning some dead the rest slow by the afternoon all dead just a bunch of little bodies all over the place. Now I have grass growing back over the bare spots.

They are not the same strain as ours are then. TAMU foresters have been working with
Experimental baits that they will take over here. They wipe out acres of seedlings. My neighbor down the road has them so bad they have been using it for a test site.
They used to use Metyhl Bromide took them right now since it was outlawed they haven't been very successful with anything until now with a product called Taurus.
This takes them out
http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/tauru ... wAodj7kMmw

I think you're right, CB. We have an Entomologist living down the road from us and he says that red harvester ants don't sting but that's BS. Mine sting - and hurt like hell.
 

greybeard

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You have them big ol mean red harvester ants Lavaca. No real mound above ground, just a hole with little bitty pebbles around the opening, and no vegetation around the colony for a couple yards radius. They hurt like heck. (genus Pogonomyrmex 11 different species in Texas.
Pest status

Worker ants can give a painful, stinging bite, but are generally reluctant to attack. Effects of the bite can spread along lymph channels and can be medically serious. Harvester ant workers commonly are sold for ant farms.

The ones CB is talking about is the Texas Leaf-Cutting Ant (Atta texana). You can tell them by the debris around the entrances--it's little pellets that all look the same.
.
When building tunnels and
chambers, materials transported to the surface by ants are mixed with body fluids to form uniform pellets.
A. texana is a forest pest because it cuts needles from
both natural and planted pine seedlings. Though ant foraging occurs year round, the
industrial forest impact is felt in the winter months when pines are defoliated in the absence
of other forage (Moser 1967). In East Texas, this situation causes considerable loss to timber
producers, especially in young plantations on droughty sites

http://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/cgi/viewc ... t=forestry

They aren't common here on my place because of the flat terrain and the water table is too high most years. They like it dry deep down.
 

wacocowboy

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greybeard":2xxfta5h said:
You have them big ol mean red harvester ants Lavaca. No real mound above ground, just a hole with little bitty pebbles around the opening, and no vegetation around the colony for a couple yards radius. They hurt like heck. (genus Pogonomyrmex 11 different species in Texas.
Pest status

Worker ants can give a painful, stinging bite, but are generally reluctant to attack. Effects of the bite can spread along lymph channels and can be medically serious. Harvester ant workers commonly are sold for ant farms.

The ones CB is talking about is the Texas Leaf-Cutting Ant (Atta texana). You can tell them by the debris around the entrances--it's little pellets that all look the same.
.
When building tunnels and
chambers, materials transported to the surface by ants are mixed with body fluids to form uniform pellets.
A. texana is a forest pest because it cuts needles from
both natural and planted pine seedlings. Though ant foraging occurs year round, the
industrial forest impact is felt in the winter months when pines are defoliated in the absence
of other forage (Moser 1967). In East Texas, this situation causes considerable loss to timber
producers, especially in young plantations on droughty sites

http://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/cgi/viewc ... t=forestry

They aren't common here on my place because of the flat terrain and the water table is too high most years. They like it dry deep down.

That top one sounds like the ones around here. I heard some people got bit said it was like a red wasp. I made sure to stay on my 4wheeler when putting out the poison.
 

papavillars

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I fought them for two years in my lawn and under my foundation. Finally found a product called surrender that absolutely worked and it's cheap.
 

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