Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Picking, pruning, pulling ... and miles of fire ants

Again? Seriously?

Yes, after I re-re-replanted those Agapanthus, Dakota snuck back in there and pulled them all out again yesterday.

So, as part of my prepping for the Central Texas Gardener t.v. taping here this Thursday, I had to go clean it all up again. And replant them -- again.


Then I stepped outside this evening and found a found-lane highway of fire ants racing across my beds, my driveway, down the river rock bed into another flower bed.

No lie - I counted it off, they went 100 feet. And they were in a real hurry. I couldn't figure out the source at either end and they were going both ways. One bit me before I figured out they were fire ants. It was an amazing, and frightening sight.

So, tomorrow = more pulling and pruning and picking. Most of it is done, but you know, there are always just a few more things you'd like to do ... At least I have no plans to rush out to a nursery for any last-minute planting. Now THAT would be nuts!

16 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

Scary fire ants--that would be a good Halloween picture for us Austinites, Diana.

Congrats again on the taping of CTG. I can't wait to hear all about it, and to see the show when it airs!

Diana said...

They were creepy. Not sure I've ever seen that many in one place - or seen them marching like that. I thought they were army ants, til one bit me. I'll tell you all about it! And I'll broadcast it when it's on. I'm excited about it. Any tips? Email me!

Janet said...

Fire ants are such a pain, figuratively and literally.
Oh that puppy, she needs to leave your Agapanthus alone....next year I guess.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I do wish I could see the taping of CTG. I will just have to read what you post about the adventure.

Now fire ants are scary. I wouldn't get a thing done if I had to deal with them.

Have you tried putting down chicken wire where Dakota likes to dig?? You don't have to leave it forever. They get the idea that they aren't supposed ot dig there.

Diana said...

Janet -- You're right - they are a huge pain. But I zapped them with wasp spray last night - I just can't have them on the march right by the house and where we walk all the time. I didn't even realize bug spray would kill them. Dakota will find a little foldable fence there next week - see if that will work for a while.

Lisa - I have two sections of foldable little fence that I will put up. The hot wire worked last year for 6-9 months after 1 touch, but it's worn off. Cayenne is useless - she licks it! I'll be all a-blogging about CTG and send the web link out when it's available.

TexasDeb said...

What a lovely blog - if the garden it features is half as nice I can understand why CTG is on the way.

I "allow" fire ants some run in the far reaches of our lot but agree they can't be tolerated in a shared walking space, especially not close to the house.

Wonder if your little digging wonder has anything to do with them packing up and moving?

Diana said...

TexasDeb - Thanks for the kind words. No, the dog is in the back yard and these ants were in the front, so no chance of that. But there are so many things I can blame on her. She eats Lantana and makes herself puke. I call her my bulimic dog! I just found your blog - it's lovely. I'm off 1826 - toward Salt Lick/Oak Hill area and we didn't get much rain either. 1/2 inch Sat - zip Sun.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

It's time for the Dog Whisperer. Something has to be done to stop that naughtiness. I hate stupid little red ants. At least the ones here aren't fire ants. I have lots of red ant nests in my lawn and garden. I have to be very careful when I dig anything in sun because they quickly swarm up the shovel or trowel to my hands or up over my shoes to my legs. Yuck.

Gail said...

I am excited to hear about the taping...but the fire ants...Yikes! Take care. gail

Diana said...

MMD -I'd love to have the Dog Whisperer! I watch him once in a while. Amazing. Guess I need training! I wouldn't want those red ants crawling on me, either.

Gail - Thanks! Maybe they will let me take pictures of the guy who is filming! That would be a turnaround!

Annie in Austin said...

The camera will love you, Diana! Bet it's fun with Linda there.

Just keep the cameraman out of the anthill or the filming may come to an abrupt halt!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Amy said...

Oh, the fire ants are awful and I am allergic to them and swell up. That is really great about the taping. I look forward to watching it on TV. Your garden is so pretty!

Meredith said...

The fire ants have been suddenly bad here, too -- I was out there two days ago with large pots of boiling water and haven't seen them since. I wonder if it has to do with all the rain or the cooler weather. I noticed colonies of all kinds of ant popping up from the saturated soils.

getgrounded said...

Congrats again on CTG, but I have to know what's up with those agapanthus?

Lancashire rose said...

I hope you had a fun day with Linda. She makes the whole process so easy. Look forward to the program. As to those fire ants. Which way are they going? I can never work it out unless they are busy transporting eggs. I'm quite ruthless with the kettle and the Green Light product with spinosad seems to have some good results. You are very patient with Dakota. I'm afraid I would lose my cool.
Tell Lisa she will be able to watch the garden on line after the show.

Diana said...

Annie -- We did manage to stay away from the fire ants! It was a good morning, but long - lasted 4 hours!

Amy - I can't imagine being allergic to the fire ants. That's like a double whammy. Taping was so fun. Now we wait!

Meredith -- yep -- all this rain has them coming up to keep from drowning down there. It's dangerous to walk in the grass right now.

Get Grounded -- And an Agapanthus leaf IN Dakota's bed this morning - brazen girl!

Lancashire Rose - Linda was great and it was easy, other than the miserable wind! I think the ants were relocating their nest after these rains. But they are gone now! (Thousands more will just take their place, sadly)