Fire Ants – Good for the Garden!

  • Fire ants voraciously consume populations of fleas, ticks, termites, cockroaches, chinch bugs, mosquito eggs and larva, scorpions, etc.—after learning this, I realize that it really has been years since I last set off a flea bomb. A non-overstated culinary creed for fire ants could be the following: If it will stay still for a bit . . . then it’s dinner!

  • Fire ants are extremely effective in controlling plant-feeding insects and arthropods such as boll weevils in cotton and stinkbugs in soybean. Under some conditions fire ants keep the pest populations below the level of economic loss providing a financial savings to growers.

  • Fire ants can benefit such crops as cotton, sugarcane, and soybean because they aerate and break up the soil making more water and nutrients available to the plants.

  • Auburn University/Alabama Agricultural Experimental Station and Texas A&M/Texas Agricultural Experimental Station studies have demonstrated that fire ants can kill other costly agricultural pests which do more economical harm than they do. These insects include the corn worms, cotton flea hopper, army caterpillars, and sugarcane borers.

  • After a colony vacates a mound in your garden, you are left with beautifully aerated and tilled soil.

  • Humans are not at the top of the fire ant food pyramid—as long as we keep moving

Source: Texas Master Gardener

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