Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Fireant Eradicator

Fireants are such a pain!
  (+1, -5)
(+1, -5)
  [vote for,

The imported Argentina fireant is a huge pest and a real problem in the southern USA. It's not unusual for a given acre to harbor 50-100 apple cobbler-sized mounds, causing a real danger to children. If we can go to the moon, we can have a simple device that quickly kills the entire mound. A tiny cobalt 60 pellet would work. Dursban works. Gasoline or lacquer thinner work. But they are dangerous to humans and other innocent critters, and get into the water supply. Liquid nitrogen works, but is expensive and impractical. We need a wand or probe that you just stick into the mound, press a button and ZOT! The mound instantly becomes a ghost mound. Maybe high voltage electricity like a TASER or stun gun. Maybe high frequency electricity like a plasma cutter. Maybe a 200 db ultrasound transducer. Maybe focused microwaves from a magnetron tube that would cook a 1 cubic foot area within 10 seconds. DING! Ants are done! Eh? Since there are only a few billion ant mounds in the southern USA, I suppose the market is limited. Ants 1, humans 0.
bobad, Nov 08 2004

Ortho fire-ant radio spots http://www.stevemor...ice-over-ortho.html
If you don't find these funny, then clearly you have never been bitten by a fire ant. [krelnik, Nov 08 2004, last modified Jul 09 2008]

Fire ant info http://www.safe2use...ants/ipmsummary.htm
I wish fire ants were quickly and completely eradicated from the face of the earth with as much pain as possible for the ants. [Zimmy, May 23 2006]

Phorid Flies http://www.ag.aubur...01/fall-graham.html
One can only hope. [Zimmy, Jul 28 2006]

Raid http://img.epinions...aits-resized200.jpg
Cute liddle death-bait pockets, aawww! [squeak, Jul 28 2006]


       Actually, we can't go to the moon. That was a long time ago, and we couldn't do it again without starting over. We couldn't duplicate that feat today.
normzone, Nov 08 2004

       Ah, this gives me an excuse to link to what I think are some of the funniest radio ads ever. They ran in the southeastern US in the late 1990's. See link.
krelnik, Nov 08 2004

       I've never been bitten by a fireant, and I found them hilarious. I vote +.
normzone, Nov 09 2004

       Yes, the Ortho commercials were funny the first 10 times I heard them. Orthene bait is a good product too, but it's expensive, and it takes nearly 2 weeks for the mound to be safe. I'm looking for instant gratification. Like when you decide to plant a bush and an ant nest is right where the bush goes. That means you can't do it for several days. (Hmmm... getting out of planting a bush... is that a BAD thing?) The little robot may work for many insects, but I'm afraid 50,000 ants in only 1 mound would wear the little fellow out in 1 day. Yes, I heard about the tiny wasps, and it sounds promising. But I want the mounds to die instantly. The best way is to pour ether or lacquer thinner on the mound. It's very expensive and dangerous, but it instantly renders the mound safe.
bobad, Nov 09 2004

       [normzone] - interesting. At first when I read your anno I thought: "Nah, we could go again if we wanted!" -- but the more I think about it, the more I think you're right.   

       I guess we'll have to wait 30-50 yrs to see if we get to mars...
not_only_but_also, Nov 09 2004

       Is anyone really sure that we went the first time?
Worldgineer, Nov 09 2004

       //Is anyone really sure that we went the first time?//   

       Where else would you get all those moon rocks? :)
bobad, Nov 09 2004

       The technologies are unfortunately going obsolete. We now have computer gear we lacked then, but the launch vehicles can't be built any more - the materials are obsolete, the engineers are retired, etc.   

       We could certainly do it again, and better, and faster, but we seem to lack the skill required to cooperate with each other. War and profit-taking seem to be our current priorities. Maybe if Democrats announced they were going to go to the moon, the Republicans would be there in less than a year.
normzone, Nov 09 2004

       If the ants protested, would that make them potestants?   

       send the fire ants to the moon
benfrost, Nov 09 2004

You could make it a contest and they'd be contesta...ok, shutting up now.

       How about a big lens mounted on a tripod, that you place over the mound. Focus the sun's rays (fire-ants live in hot countries right, i.e. lots of sun already) Retire from the scene, for perhaps 20 minutes, on return, a lot of cooked ants.
zen_tom, Nov 09 2004

       1. Argentine ants and fire ants are different. But I looked it up and I guess fire ants did come from argentina. We have Argentine ants in California. They get into everything, but do not bite. I wonder if they can overpower the fire ants on their own turf? 2. [UB] - you're in Queensland, right? I wonder who would win in a battle pitching cane toads against fire ants. The question: can a mighty toad eat the ants as fast as they come? Now that would be a battle royale! Two exotic invaders of the first rank, in a fight to the death. 3. The way to use electricity against a mound would be to drive two rebars and use them as poles, running current between them and through the mound. I am not sure whether a slow steady current or a sudden surge would work better. I think it is the slow and steady that is used to move worms up and out.
bungston, Nov 09 2004

       [longshot] I remember reading that someone tried to do just that many years ago. It worked as far as attracting the ants, but they just built a nest in it and called it home. I guess maybe they needed to crank up the voltage a bit...
scad mientist, Nov 09 2004

       Maybe electrical boxes are warm?
bungston, Nov 09 2004

       Twice this week I've accidentally stepped on a fire ant mound. I put out the ortho poison bait, but they just move the mound somewhere else (or immigrate from other yards - I'm not sure).   

       I hate putting poison down all over the yard. I was thinking about how to rig up some sort of steam inducing mechanism, but it seems someone has already done this with not great results. (I've also tried boiling water, gasoline - the time they got one of my kids & made me really mad & that felt good to see them panic when I lit it up, daily nest destruction for weeks with a hose, & possibly other things, they just keep coming back)   

       Anyone from California want to mail me some Argentine Ants? Apparently they don't get along so well with fire ants.   

       I added a link with fire ant info in case it's any help to someone.
Zimmy, May 23 2006

       I watched a program on the introduction of Phorid Flies to Southwest Texas. I sat in intense concentration. I cheered loudly when the god damn fire ants scurried around in fear and pain. (I seem crude? You step on a nest.)   

       oh. they are perfect. I want to order some right now. I have suspicions that they don't entirely eradicate the ants as a whole, though. These suspicions make me sad.
Zimmy, Jul 28 2006

       Can't you just poison them with that bait stuff that they take back to the nest? Raid, I think it's called.
squeak, Jul 28 2006

       Once, in a creer many long years ago, I was responsible to care for a 78 acre desert estate. The owner positively hated ants and gave me the primary mission to eradicate every ant on the property. I dutifully recorded every ant mound and species...We had harvesters, soot ant, piss ants and fire ants and a few others I can not recall the names of...big, small, red, black and brown...some with stingers, some with huge mandibles...I had an unlimited budget (the old boy never cared how much we spent on taking care of the place..he was filthy rich) and I bought a guaranteed ant control bait (Amdro) and other poisons that worked essentially over night. I kept a record of every ant nest and when it was destroyed and when it re-emerged (poisons only kill the active ants, not the ones yet to hatch)...and then began a year of an amazing experience. After about two months of the start of my campaign, I felt very confident I had achieved the mission and reported all ants dead. But, I maintained a steady watch for any interlopers. Soon, a new species of long legged and very fast moving ant was noticed. I could not find their nests. I soon discovered this new guy was very aggressive and lived in small colonies...but thousands of colonies!!!....I was ultimately overwhelmed with this new ant and began spending thousands on pesticed, professional assistance and work, all to no avail. The other, less harmful ants were apparently keeping the really bad guys out. Soon, another new species emerged even harder to control...and this one had a very painful sting. I began to realize the mistake I had made...I needed the other ants back...but, try as I might, I could not entice them to come back...I'm sure they came back eventually on their own...but I soon quit my little job as caretaker for the desert estate and found other employment...but, I always remembered my adventure with the ants....   

       My lesson learned: Everything is here for a reason...and without them, we may find something more evil awaits us. There is something good in everything...before destroying anything, you should look hard at the consequinces of life without them.
Blisterbob, May 11 2007

       [BBob] - that is very cool. If you can post that stuff I would like to look at it.
bungston, May 11 2007


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