I nearly dropped my chainsaw on my foot today when I got this burning pain on my finger and realised the saw was covered in jumping bull ants which had crawled onto it to attack it while it was idling in the grass.
They are strange ants 2cm long which which can jump up to 10cm like a grasshopper. The bite and sting is really painful and so itchy the next day you wanna scratch your skin off. Anaphylactic fatalities have been recorded from jumping ant stings.
There are more than 12,500 species of ants already classified and it seems that most have moved to Thailand, if you put down some food or a soft drink it doesn’t take long for the Thai ants to find it.
Ants will travel up to 50 meters from their nest in the search of food, yes thats right it could even be your neighbours neighbours ants that are swarming over that dinner you left out to cool.
If you have trees in your garden, especially mango trees you will most likely have weaver ants, these are actually very good at keeping other insect pests away from your fruit trees, but they have great big mandibles which can inflict a painful bite. In Thailand the weaver ants eggs and larvae as well as the ants themselves are used in a Thai salad, yum (ยำ), in a dish called yum khai mod daeng (ยำไข่มดแดง), here you can find the beef version of this recipe.
So lets get down to the business of why you are here on this page, the odds are you want to inflict death and kill millions of ants, or you just want to get rid of ants, there are lots of ways to kill and destroy ants nests, sadly most don’t kill the whole nest, from gallons of boiling water poured on the nest to in Thailand anyway, dangerous pesticides that may cause harm to the user, 1 time in a Thai hardware store I was given a small tub of 90% arsenic to kill a bee’s nest, I explained this was probably a bit over the top for what I had in mind.
In Thailand the ant chalk is freely available, the ants walk across the chalk line and then die, sadly most of the ants will avoid the chalk lines and also the chalk comes off walls or where ever you have put it in a very short time so isn’t really a very good solution, albeit quite a fun one if you draw circles round some bait you have left out for the ants.
Borax (boric acid) is the best and safest ant killer, if your taking ant control seriously this is what you will need, you can make your own bait using borax or just buy the Thai ant poison in the bottom middle picture, it is 30baht for 2 small sachets, the ants take this back to the nest and within a few days the whole nest is dead.
When you are using this remember there are probably hundreds of nests within your area, whichever nest of ants finds the pile of bait will be the one to die, so from each satchet make as many small piles in different areas as possible to cater for as many nests as possible, do this about every 3-4 days, in an area where pesticide or control of ants isn’t done it will take about a month to destroy all the ants nests that are within the scavenging area.
If you want you can make your own ant bait poison using jam/jelly and borax, 1/2 a teaspoon of borax and 10 teaspoons of jam mixed together and placed in caps from soft drinks will do the job, if you see too many dead ants around your bait it maybe too strong, you really want the ants to take the bait back to the nest for this to be effective.
If your a tree hugger the odds are your going to have to get used to living with ants, its either that or harden up and poison the little buggers like the rest of us do, there are repellents that work to a certain degree and a very limited time period for ants dependent on type, from boiling tobbaco and using the juice to vinegar, chilli pepper, citric extracts and even perfume.
The ant and ant egg snacks below can be ordered online from ThailandUnique.com