Fire Ant Control – Grits

There is much to be learned “over the fence” when you’re gardening. Your friends and neighbors can tell you how their plants have behaved in certain situations and you can use their experience as a guide.

But some of the information that has been passed from neighbor to neighbor for years is simply worthless. The information might seem logical – but in the hard light of science, the supposed “facts” turn out to be false.

A national gardening magazine recently published one of those myths. They recommended using grits to control fire ants. Lest you read the article and believe it to be true, let’s hear what a scientist says.

Dr. Beverly Sparks has been studying fire ant control for 20 years. She knows what works and what does not. “Fire ants do not explode from eating grits. The worker ants can’t even eat solid food. They have to carry solid particles back to their nest so the larval ants can chew them up and make liquid food.

“The larval ants don’t explode because they break down the solid food into such small pieces before it goes to their digestive systems. They regurgitate the food for consumption by the worker ants.”

Even though it is amusing to believe that grits kill ants, the attempt is just a waste of good food. Instant mashed potatoes do not kill rats. Chewing gum does not kill moles. Ultrasonic repellers do not repel insects or animals.

If you are tempted to spend your money on these supposed pest control products, remember that a donation in that amount to your local charity would accomplish a lot more good.

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