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Posted by nathana on April 17, 2003 at 09:58:19:
In Reply to: Fire Ants in Florida? posted by EasternLvr on April 17, 2003 at 08:10:18:
diatomacious earth is fossilized remains of "diatomes" (duh! *grin*) which are little tiny creatures I suppose, because their fossilized remains are small enough that they form a fine dust, which sticks to ants among other things. Ants, being fastidious little buggers, then return home and help to groom each other. At this point the fossilized diatomes lodge in the workings of each ants insides and shred them up. The ants effectively bring home their own demise.
The product is not harmful to anything but small insects that clean themselves after getting it stuck to them. It won't harm turtles or humans. It does wash away in rain, though. Normally I think it is used by pouring a line of it around an area that has ants in it, or around a hill. Do this when it is dry outside. It should kill off ants if they are forced to cross it (they are not afraid of this stuff and do not avoid it).
You have to re-apply it every time it rains until the ants are gone.
Another option is a low covered dish (that still lets ants in) of citrus oil, which sticks the ants to it and dissolves them.
Easiest way is to take a small hand trowel and a pot of boiling water. Open up the nests and pour an entire pot of boiling water into it slowly. This will kill almost all of them and their larvae.