Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Frank - Fire Ants

Today was Frank's appointment with the oncologist surgeon. He said he wants to remove the tube a little at a time. So today the doctor deadened around the tube entrance and pulled a bit of the tube out and resutured. Frank got a bit shocky, but made it through all right. Another CT scan next Monday afternoon. Frank said his body is going to be lighting up soon from all the radiation.

I decided to heat a couple of Healthy Choice dinners in the oven instead of the microwave for our dinner today. I have to wait an hour after taking carafate to eat, so I had the time. I think the dinners taste a bit better in the oven than microwave. I'm not real fond of them though. Do y'all have a favorite frozen dinner or entree you like? I do freeze leftovers for times when I don't want to cook or there is no time to cook.

After dinner I went out and put poison on the fire ant mounds. They are easy to spot after a good rain. I don't think I've ever seen so many fire ant mounds in the yard. Frank normally does this job. Sometimes I feel all we do is move the fire ants just a few feet.

The red fire ant was accidentally introduced into the United States in 1929, when a cargo ship that had used soil as ballast arrived in Mobile, Alabama from South America. They initially spread throughout Alabama and Florida, but it did not take them long to invade twelve of our southeastern states and Puerto Rico. In recent years, the fire ant has spread as far west as California and as far north as Kansas and Maryland. Today the fire ant habitat in the USA covers 300 million acres and it is growing all the time.

Fire ants like to make their mounds in open areas, but they do make them in flower beds and next to trees. They have killed some of our plants. They mostly feed on young plants, seeds, and sometimes crickets. They will eat most anything though... just like a vulture.

Fire ants are very organized. Each ant has a job to do.... from old to young.

Young fireants help the queen deliver her eggs and tend to the larvae.

Tunnel diggers dig new tunnels as the population grows, making room for increased traffic and new rooms for eggs and larvae.

Guard fire ants stay near the entrance of the mound, blocking strangers from entering.

Winged male and female fire ants go on mating flights in the spring and summer and start new colonies. Shortly after mating, the male dies and the female becomes a queen. She flies anywhere from 100 feet to 10 miles to start a new colony.

And foragers, the oldest of the colony, search for food.

Below is a picture of a fire ant. I did not take the picture. I try not to get that close to them.... but maybe sometime I'll try with a zoom lens. Their bite is very hurtful. If you ever step in a mound of them you can quiet the burning with straight chlorine bleach (or keep a bottle of half water half bleach... I usually just grab the bleach bottle from the laundry room and then I rinse the bleach off.) If you you have an allergic reaction take benadryl (use an epi-pen if you have one) and go to the emergency room if the reaction is severe.

Ashburn Georgia, a town about fifty miles east of us embraces the fire ant and has a Fire Ant Festival every year. The dates of the Festival are the evening of March 27th, and all day on March 28th, 2009. For more information on this festival go to Fire Ant Festival. They have a lot of good, fun activities. I've never been able to go... something always happens :-(


Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. -- Proverbs 6:6



  1. I continue to remember you both in prayer Zaroga. Hope you have a peaceful evening.

  2. So sorry to hear of the pain that the tube causes Frank. I'll continue to pray for you both.

    Very interesting post about fire ants, Zarogo! I learn something new every visit:)

    (We had a beautiful day in the low 70's today:)
    Linda C

  3. Very interesting about the fire ants. I hope things get better for Frank soon.

  4. Zaroga,

    That was very interesting about the ants. I didn't realize how they came to be in America. When you read that scripture and really study ants, it makes that scripture mean alot more, doesn't it?

    I knew a boy once that was dared to swallow a fire ant and did so, and needless to say ended up in the ER, very serious! He's ok though. It's hard to believe anyone would do that, isn't it?

    Poor Frank has been through lots....I'll pray for him.


  5. Hi Zaroga, Hope your hubby is better today. I have herd of fire ant and how bad they can be. Thanks for stopping by. I miss you. I saw one exit of Georgia near ten & Al. on hwy I also bought a Georgia lottery ticket. But did not check yet to see if I won. LOL
    Any way missed ya. Have a wonderful day!


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