Friday, July 27, 2018

Furtive Fire Ants

Cyndi:  What was the commotion on the front porch about a little while ago?

Marcus:  Oh, that was Jan dropping a 3.5 pound bag of fire ant killer on her big toenail.

Cyndi:  I'm glad I don't go outside.  It seems this is a bad year for fire ants.

Marcus:  Yes, new mounds are popping up all over.  A week or so ago, Jan decided to level the lawn beside a corner at the end of our walk.  She reached down, grabbed two handfuls of grass and yanked.  She then had two handfuls of grass and dirt - and her left hand covered with fire ants. And not a mound in sight!

Cyndi:  Ouch.  That must have hurt.  Those bites not only sting, they blister.

Marcus:  She brushed them off, came inside, washed her hands, and massaged several drops of tea tree oil all over her hand.  She had so many bites her whole hand burned.

Cyndi:  So that's why she went on a mad killing spree.

Marcus:  Yep, she killed every mound she could find.

Cyndi:  If all the mounds are gone, why did she drop the bag of killer on her toe?

Marcus:  It's been raining a lot and this morning she found new mounds being dug all over the yard.  She spent the afternoon "edging" the jungle growing over our front walk.  Pulled all that grass and the weeds by hand.  There was a fresh fire ant mound on each side and about a half dozen more around the yard.

Cyndi:  No wonder she was so tired!  Counting fire ant mounds must be hard work.

Marcus:  According to her, edging the walk was harder.  She got down to the end, yanked some weeds out of a crack, and suddenly she had fire ants inside her left glove.

Cyndi:  How did that happen?

Marcus:  Those things are furtive, sneaky.  We went mound hunting in the evening to kill the new mounds.

Cyndi:  Wouldn't it be easier to kill the fire ants?

Marcus:  That's what I meant.  They sure seem to be hard to kill, though.  Jan said she thinks there is some kind of fire ant telegraph system and when those in a mound are killed, a message goes out to distant relatives to come hold a funeral and then they just decide to stay.

Cyndi:  In that case, we'll never get rid of all the fire ants.

Marcus:  Of course, it could be that fire ants are like cats.  Sometimes, for reason unknown, cats just pack up and move next door or down the street.

Cyndi:  Jan has some totes in the closet.  Do you think if we offer each new mound a free tote, the ant's will move to the neighbors next door that don't like us?

Taylor: Excuse me, but do you cats remember the tree limbs Jan cut down recently? ( Sawing Branch as Percy Turns 14.  And Let There Be Light. )  Imagine our surprise to find Jan mentioned (instead of us Funny Farmer Felines) in a Mousebreath article.  You might want to stop by to read Yard Waste Transformed into Cat Furniture.  What a nifty idea for a cat tree.

Jan was all for cutting down that last branch she's been eyeing, but putting a cat tree together with screws is a bit above her coordination level. Besides, we're all out of log screws.  (Anyone know what a log screw is?)


  1. First the Mom - I don't miss fire ants at all! We had them in Midway! Getting rid of them is no fun! And I hope your toe is OK!
    Marv now
    I want to thank you for coming to my 2nd Birthday Pawty! It would not have been the same without you!
    You Rock!
    Purrs Marv

  2. Fire ants? Yikes! So glad we do not have those here...though there are others that will bite but not like those you have.
    Your hands must be really sore now. And I hope your toe is not bruised too badly.

  3. Momma says fire ants are no fun!

  4. Oh those fire ants are evil. Several years ago they attacked our Mom and she spent the day at the hospital in the ICU.

  5. Hari OM
    Oh yuck - fireants appeared in Australia before I left, so I know the trouble they cause... good luck to Jan with the fight against those invaders!!! Some POTP for the sore toe and hand... and Marcus, good work keeping Jan company in her battles! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  6. Oh my, glad that we don't have to deal with fire ants! And I know what a lag bolt is, but not a log screw. And I must protest; you can build anything! Just give yourself time, and don't sweat a few bent nails here and there. I've watched "This Old House" on PBS, and even the bestest carpenters still bend 'em!

  7. I bought some fire ant chiggers,,or whatever they are, from a guy in Georgia or Alabama some years ago and they wurked. If they show up they're soon gone.

  8. A log screw sounds kinky but maybe buy Jan those LONG 🧤

  9. My husband swears it's an old wives tale and has never tried this, but my friend's mom, who is literally an old wife, swears that sprinkling cornmeal on the mounds kills them because they take the 'yummy treats' into their mound and everyone eats them, but then bloats and dies.... All I know, for a fact is that her mom's yard is ant-free.

  10. Oh that sounds so painful! We don't have any fire ants here. Dad will put boric acid powder down to keep ants from coming in our house. Maybe that will work on those nasty fire ants.

  11. Those ants sound awful! I have no idea what a log screw is.

  12. We don't have fire ants around us. But my daughter was bit by one when we were in Arizona a few years ago. Those babies are tiny but mean. Ouch.

  13. Those ants sound down right scary! We're glad they don't live here. We is sorry that Jan got hurt by them, and we hope they find a funeral to attend elsewhere!!!

  14. Wow, those ants sound creepy!
    Have an ant free weekend...

    Noodle and crew

  15. Ouchy! Dad recently stepped right into a fire ant mound here. It sure didn't take long for him to realize what happened, either. He also grew up with a very large mound (they called them red ants) right in the back yard, too.

  16. hello funny farmers its dennis the vizsla dog hay oh wow those fire ants sownd terribul!!! i hav never seen them but i think we do hav them heer and their in the mithikal land of suthern kalifornya!!! wun time wen mama and dada wer owt with saya the mighty she got bitten by an ant between the toes and frum wot i hav herd that wuz wun time wen beeing mighty did not help her at all!!! ok bye

  17. Sorry 'bout the fire ants. Mommy be deathly 'lergic, so we get it. We're sendin' purrayers. Big hugs

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Raena

  18. Suddenly, we dont mind the few ants that we find wandering around in the house each day so much...


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