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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Trisnake's Avatar
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    Fire Ants in rack?

    Yesterday morning I was pulling water dishes from the tubs to clean them and to my utter shock and horror, underneath the water bowl in Atlas' tub was a small nest of fire ants, little eggs and all!!! I immediately went to examine him and he seemed completely untouched (thank goodness) and I checked on the other snake in the same rack (only 2 of 6 slots have animals in them) and her tub was ant-free, so I figured I'd just clean and disinfect the one tub and that would be the end of it right?? Well, since then I've been checking like every few hours and just a bit ago I found a couple of ants under his water bowl!!

    What can I do about this? I've had some issues with fire ants in my bathroom and kitchen for a few months now but it's only ever been a small amount here or there, and I've never seen them anywhere else in the apartment until now. Would treating the enclosure with provent-a-mite or another type of mite killer work to remove them and still be safe to the snakes? I would call maintenence but I know they'd get an exterminator and I'd have to find a place for the animals to stay while the apartment is spray treated, which is a hassle.

    Btw here is a picture I managed to get of the ants. I assume the reason they were able to congregate like that without me noticing was because I fed and watered the snakes Tuesday night and had left them alone besides refilling water and checking for messes until Saturday morning, about 4 days later.

    Any ideas appreciated, thanks!!

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Registered User MR Snakes's Avatar
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    Yikes!

  3. #3
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    Ugh! When I lived in the desert, ants (not fire ants) got into a banded gecko cage after his mealworms primarily, but they killed him too. Only a couple of
    ants were on him, I couldn't believe my eyes. Ants are scary, & relentless too.

    I discovered a product (sold in CA) that both killed & repelled ants safely & effectively (supposed to be safe for pets, kids, kitchen etc- though I'm sure they
    didn't mean "snakes" when they said "pets"). Anyway, it was a yummy smelling spray that contained wintergreen & rosemary oils. Killed them AND they didn't
    return. Can't recall product name & couldn't find it afterward, but searching natural ways to kill ants may help you. There's a list of alternative things to try.
    Such as https://homeguides.sfgate.com/recipe...ide-81790.html
    You might also try using diatomaceous earth...also should be safe for snakes & all...read up (fast)

    Good luck, let us know what helps? (I would think that 'PAM' would kill them too?)

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  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Trisnake's Avatar
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    Re: Fire Ants in rack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Ugh! When I lived in the desert, ants (not fire ants) got into a banded gecko cage after his mealworms primarily, but they killed him too. Only a couple of
    ants were on him, I couldn't believe my eyes. Ants are scary, & relentless too.

    I discovered a product (sold in CA) that both killed & repelled ants safely & effectively (supposed to be safe for pets, kids, kitchen etc- though I'm sure they
    didn't mean "snakes" when they said "pets"). Anyway, it was a yummy smelling spray that contained wintergreen & rosemary oils. Killed them AND they didn't
    return. Can't recall product name & couldn't find it afterward, but searching natural ways to kill ants may help you. There's a list of alternative things to try.
    Such as https://homeguides.sfgate.com/recipe...ide-81790.html
    You might also try using diatomaceous earth...also should be safe for snakes & all...read up (fast)

    Good luck, let us know what helps? (I would think that 'PAM' would kill them too?)
    Yikes! Thanks for the reference, I'll have to check out that recipe and see if it helps. Yeah I had read about diatomaceous earth but I was concerned if it would be harmful to the snakes or not? I'm worried about it getting in between their scales or in their heat pits or eyes. As of right now I have some reptile spray that I'm going to wipe the tub with, hopefully that will help in the meantime while I get some PAM and figure out some natural repellents to try.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  6. #5
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    https://www.mnn.com/your-home/at-hom...e-ant-invasion

    I think that DE (diatomaceous earth) works but probably not fast enough (esp. for FIRE ants! )

    Afterthought on rosemary oil: to me it seems similar to cedar oil, which is an irritating "no-no" for snakes and the same probably true for wintergreen oil.

    BUT, part of the battle with ants is to stop them where they come into your house or where they get into your cages...you don't necessarily have to put any
    of these things into the snake's actual enclosure, but outside at the base where the ants climb in.* And apparently ants follow each other's scent-mark trails
    so you want to disrupt that or they keep coming back. Have you ever noticed that if you kill ants & leave their bodies, the other ants will come & carry them
    away (like overnight)? That also helps to discourage & teach them not to come back...yes, I've battled ants before. Thankfully not fire ants...And I also hate
    to use any toxic pesticides.

    *For example: if ants are getting onto a table, put a small bowl (plastic margarine tub works great) under each leg with some powdered remedy in it that
    they must walk thru...that really works well! (they don't like walking thru 'cleanser w/ bleach' for example, also DE, salt, etc.)

    It helps to figure out what the ants want from you & your place: sounds like they might want water? They often travel thru walls & under houses along the
    plumbing pipes, so they end up in kitchen & bathrooms but it's not always for "food" or even water. The only time I get ants here (& yes, in my kitchen &
    bathrooms) is after a lot of rain...they're looking for higher ground & following old trails along my pipes...they're so freaking annoying, but I think I've finally
    re-trained them now. There's lots of ants in my yard (around my house) but I don't bother them outside, only if they come in. Around here, many of them
    eat & break down the leaves...I know because I see them marching along carrying bits of leaves. Anyway, if it's been really dry where you are, the way they're
    getting into your snake cage (humid?) & under the water bowl suggests to me that they want water...?
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 12-02-2018 at 08:47 PM.

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  8. #6
    BPnet Lifer zina10's Avatar
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    If those TRULY are fire ants then let me tell you this. Fire ants are the devil. And you can't kill the devil.

    I HATE those things !!!!

    I'm forever fighting huge mounds of them at the horse barn. And if you get lucky enough to get stung by them, OMG. Its like a electric shock and then comes pain and itching and a blister. And pain and itching for weeks.

    Oh how I hate them.

    I have yet to find anything, powerful or home made, that will kill them. Some stuff makes them move, though. To another area. Only to come back eventually.

    I've had my entire horses side covered in huge welts from those @%@@#$%. I have had painful stings from them, 2 in my neck just recently. They are always worse (more mounds coming up) after a rain, so they may be looking for moisture, esp. since they are under your water dish.

    You need to wait until they are back and then backtrack to see where they are coming from. They will form a "2 way highway". Follow it back to the point of entry in your house. Once far enough away from the reptile cage use this product.

    Warning, it stinks like rotten cabbage. Truly disgusting. And I'm not convinced it kills the ants, I think they just move away from the stink, LOL. Either way, I always sprinkle it on a mound and they will be gone, only to return elsewhere, though. You could block their entry point with a bunch of it. Use a nose clip...

    Last edited by zina10; 12-02-2018 at 08:54 PM.
    Zina

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  10. #7
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    Re: Fire Ants in rack?

    Quote Originally Posted by zina10 View Post
    If those TRULY are fire ants then let me tell you this. Fire ants are the devil. And you can't kill the devil.

    I HATE those things !!!!

    I'm forever fighting huge mounds of them at the horse barn. And if you get lucky enough to get stung by them, OMG. Its like a electric shock and then comes pain and itching and a blister. And pain and itching for weeks.

    Oh how I hate them.

    I have yet to find anything, powerful or home made, that will kill them. Some stuff makes them move, though. To another area. Only to come back eventually.

    I've had my entire horses side covered in huge welts from those @%@@#$%. I have had painful stings from them, 2 in my neck just recently. They are always worse (more mounds coming up) after a rain, so they may be looking for moisture, esp. since they are under your water dish.

    You need to wait until they are back and then backtrack to see where they are coming from. They will form a "2 way highway". Follow it back to the point of entry in your house. Once far enough away from the reptile cage use this product.

    Warning, it stinks like rotten cabbage. Truly disgusting. And I'm not convinced it kills the ants, I think they just move away from the stink, LOL. Either way, I always sprinkle it on a mound and they will be gone, only to return elsewhere, though. You could block their entry point with a bunch of it. Use a nose clip...

    Fire ants are the devil! I actually love ants but hate when they attack! The worst is when it floods and u have a floating pile Climb on you! Iíve been bitten over a hundo times at once like that. I was scared of going into Anaphylactic shock

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  12. #8
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    Re: Fire Ants in rack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Ugh! When I lived in the desert, ants (not fire ants) got into a banded gecko cage after his mealworms primarily, but they killed him too. Only a couple of
    ants were on him, I couldn't believe my eyes. Ants are scary, & relentless too.

    This is pretty much the same thing that happened to a leopard gecko I hatched. The only difference is the baby dropped her tail and was curled up in the water dish when I found her...but she died the next day regardless.


    Getting some silicone to seal up any cracks around windows and floorboards will also help keep away future infestations after getting rid of the buggers.
    Ants are so frustrating.

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    Bogertophis (12-02-2018)

  14. #9
    BPnet Lifer zina10's Avatar
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    Re: Fire Ants in rack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Danger noodles View Post
    Fire ants are the devil! I actually love ants but hate when they attack! The worst is when it floods and u have a floating pile Climb on you! Iíve been bitten over a hundo times at once like that. I was scared of going into Anaphylactic shock
    I seriously can't even imagine being bitten over a hundred times by fire ants. I'm not sure I could stand it. I reached into a hay bale once and about 10 or so got on my hand. Those @$%@ all wait to sting at the same time, so that more of them are on you when they do that. They all stung at once. I thought my hand got electrocuted, its literally like a shock and then comes the pain. Then the itch. Its a painful itch though. And your skin and nerves just jump. You can't stop yourself from tearing up your skin.

    Its truly horrible.

    When I see a bug or other animal swarmed by fire ants I just can't watch. I think that has to be the most awful death. And I absolutely believe they kill calves and other animals. There aren't many animals I hate more then those dang things.

    Well Spiders. I don't like spiders much at all. Ok. I fear them and run away screaming. But I still hate fire ants even more.
    Zina

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    0.1 Pastel Enchi Desert Ghost Ball Python "Venus"
    1.0 Pastel Butter Enchi Desert Ghost Ball Python "Sirius"
    1.0 Pastel Yellowbelly Ball Python "Jag"
    1.0 Crested Gecko ( Rhacodactylus ciliatus) "Smeagol"

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
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    Bogertophis (12-02-2018),Dianne (12-02-2018)

  16. #10
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    Re: Fire Ants in rack?

    Quote Originally Posted by Armiyana View Post
    This is pretty much the same thing that happened to a leopard gecko I hatched. The only difference is the baby dropped her tail and was curled up in the water dish when I found her...but she died the next day regardless.


    Getting some silicone to seal up any cracks around windows and floorboards will also help keep away future infestations after getting rid of the buggers.
    Ants are so frustrating.
    Oh that is so sad! My banded gecko was an adult, & a local desert (SoCal) native. It doesn't seem like a few ants could harm a gecko that's so much bigger, and
    especially native to the same area as the ants? I didn't think they were fire ants, but I had all kinds there so I can't really say. At the time, I'd not had any run-ins with
    fire ants until much later, when one got in my shoe & "educated me".

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