Captain America To The Rescue

If I could send things I don’t like to a deserted island – even better, a planet in another solar system – so I would never have to deal with them ever again, I know EXACTLY what would be the first to go: FIRE ANTS.

They. Are. EVIL. Absolutely PURE EVIL. Tiny, spawns of the devil himself. Voldemort is a happy little Christmas elf compared to these guys.

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I abhor them and their malicious, painful little bites. What is their purpose here on Earth? Trick question – THEY DON’T HAVE A PURPOSE BEYOND BEYOND CAUSING YOU PAIN AND MISERY AND FRUSTRATION.

Alright, y’all already know I’m dramatic. But do you even know what a fire ant is? If you’re reading this from Georgia, I know you know exactly what fire ants are. They’re as innate to the South as sweet tea and sass. They’re an insect in the genus Solenopsis, and there are over 200 species of them worldwide. They’re actually really great for some crops like cotton, sugar cane, and soybeans because they bring in more water and nutrients.

Alright, so there’s one purpose, but too bad there aren’t any crops on my property to assist. GO AWAY, A-HOLE FIRE ANTS. NO COTTON HERE.

They have a dedicated venom-injecting sting and IT HURTS like a SONOFABISCUIT. And they leave WELTS. THAT LAST FOR DAYS. They’re an invasive, parasitic insect and I would give my left eyeball to never have to deal with them ever again.

Before we moved to Georgia, my poor husband had never experienced fire ants. Bless his heart (that’s Southern for “what is wrong with you???”), he is now fully aware of their existence. In the 2 months we’ve been here, I have used almost a whole bottle of Tea Tree Oil on his feet and ankles alone, he had so many gory wounds from having unknowingly stepped in a pile. Or just near a pile, because they will travel to sting. Insult to injury – he got “the toe” (that’s what we call an ingrown toenail) and couldn’t wear boots. He had to walk around on our fire ant-infested property in sandals. It was so sad. Just… So sad.

And let’s briefly touch on the previous owner of our property. He didn’t do anything to keep the place nice or livable. That’s it. Enough said. I am not exaggerating when I say I poisoned over 500 mounds in our front yard alone. It was truly an epidemic, and really disheartening. I would worry incessantly about myself or my husband or my dog getting stung – I had had enough and spread 50lbs of poison. Three days later, maybe half the mounds were gone.

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As could be expected, my husband came to the rescue. He is an expert level Googler, and he found the solution to our painful problem: Diatomaceous Earth. It’s a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine off-white powder. It consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae, and it is extremely absorbent – which means bugs really don’t like it. It can penetrate the hard exoskeleton of insects – like FIRE ANTS – and completely dehydrate them from the inside out. Best part – it’s safe to use around humans and animals (farmers even feed it to their cattle as a yearly dewormer), and you can buy it at Tractor Supply for $12.99. BOOM.

Guys. I was in tears. I was so relieved that there just might be a solution! We got ourselves a 40lb bag and declared war on our yard and field.

24 hours later, we were down to less than 20 fire ant mounds. I cried. I laughed. I jumped for joy and kissed my husband. My Captain saved the proverbial sinking (or stinging) ship, yet again.

TAKE THAT, EVIL LITTLE STINGY THINGS!

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