My Lost Battle against The Red Ants

in #life6 years ago

I have been living in the city of Maturín for 18 years, in the Paramaconi Housing Complex, a housing project created by the Venezuelan government to serve the survivors of the Vargas Tragedy of 1999. When I arrived at that place, only the walls of the houses were white. Everything else was red. Roofs of red tiles, red clay floor and large red ants.
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From that moment I began to fight against those terrible ants, also called fire ants. My intention was not to exterminate them, but to take them away from my house, my yard and my garden. However, I could not achieve my goal. On the contrary, they multiplied themselves and we learned to live with them. But, 18 years later, our friends, the red ants, have become a plague, they are millions of them. Therefore, they are already a latent danger because they have invaded a large part of the yard and their main nest is built under the foundations of our house which can cause its imminent collapse.
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Recently I decided to plant some fruit trees in the yard of the house as part of my retirement project.
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original photo taken with my phone
But, I noticed that as soon as the small plants began to grow, the ants destroyed them, eating their leaves. Therefore, I made the decision to restart my old battle against the red ants. First, I started researching all about red ants on Google. And I found this: Red ants, colored ants or fire ants (Solenopsis), are a genus of mincing ants, with more than 280 species in the world. The name, fire ants, applies only to some species of powerful and painful bite.
A colony of ants produces large mounds in open areas; They feed mainly on young plants, seeds, and sometimes on crickets, cockroaches, etc.
They often attack small animals and can kill them.
They nest on the ground, often near wet areas, such as stream beds, pond borders, lawns and motorways. Usually the nest is not visible by doing it under objects such as wood, branches, rocks, bricks, sidewalks, houses, etc .; if not, they make dome-shaped mounds, in bare, open areas such as fields, parks and grass. These mounds can reach 40 cm high and more.
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original photo taken with my phone
The colonies are founded by small groups of queens or by a single queen. Even if only one survives, in six months the colony can reach thousands of individuals. Some colonies can be polygyns (multiple queens per nest); having seen a colony of more than a hundred queens. The queen lays eggs daily, an average of one thousand six hundred each day.
A queen is usually the largest individual in the colony. Its primary function is reproduction.
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The male has the sole function of mating with the queen, giving continuity to the species with its genes.
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The workers are sterile females who build and repair the nest, take care of the larvae, help the soldiers to defend the nest, look for food around the nest and feed both the young and the adults.
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The soldiers are sterile females who are responsible for the defense of the nest. They differ from the workers by their powerful jaws.
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In the US, more than 5,000 million dollars are spent annually on medical treatments, damage and control of infested areas. In addition they cause approximately 750 million dollars in damages per year in agriculture, including veterinary losses. In the same way, the island of Taiwan has been seriously affected by this species.
After reading many articles, I found different ecological repellents to keep the ants away from my patio. And I decided to apply a preparation of vinegar, dishwasher, salt and water. I prepared 25 liters of this repellent which I called "Acid Lemon of Zullú" because I put a dishwasher of "Natural Lemon". I introduced the 25 liters of the repellent in all the holes of the ant nests that I got in the yard.
The following week I went to the patio to evaluate the results of my repellent "Acid Lemon of Zullú" and observed that all the entrances of the ants' nests had moved and my friends, the red ants, were more alive than ever.


original video taken with my phone and uploaded by me to youtube
But, my surprise was greater when at the entrance of one of the nests I found an immense brown insect more than 5 centimeters long and two centimeters in diameter at its widest part.
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photo taken with my phone
His body was covered by a hard shell. A battleship without legs and without a head that looked like a gigantic worm. He could only move his back side by side.
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original photo taken with my phone
I took it, thinking that I had captured the queen ant, and put it in a shoe box with some clay to simulate its habitat. I felt victorious. I said to myself: "If the queen was at the entrance to the cave, it must have been because she was fleeing due to the effect of the repellent and I captured her in her flight." Then I concluded that the others must also be fleeing.
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original picture taken with my phone Then, I showed everyone at home the ant queen captured as the prize of my victory. Everyone was surprised to see the strange insect because they had never seen anything like it before. But, to my sadness, I discovered that it was only the pupa of a giant butterfly.
Days later I noticed that the ants were still there, eating my plants and more aggressive than before.
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original photo taken with my phone
Suddenly I felt the sting of several ants that had climbed my leg inside my pants. I shook violently and hit my leg hard with my hands to remove them and keep them from stinging me. Some ants fell to the ground dead, crushed and others just fled. Then, I was surprised because the dead ants that fell to the ground did not have the natural smell of the ants. Its smell was a natural lemon dishwasher. My super repellent "Acid Lemon from Zullú", far from repelling ants was a nutritious and fragrant ant food with a "Natural Lemon" taste. If you have ants in your yard, do not let them multiply there. And if you know an effective type of natural and ecological repellent against ants, please share it here for me and for anyone else whose yard is invaded by them

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