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Old 12-17-2018, 10:28 PM   #1
Aqua Puttana
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Default Fire Ants... morphed from ticks

Nope. This is not some new Frankenstein creation species to worry about.

The Tick thread got meandering over to alternative insecticides and chemicals.

The Tick thread is here.

Ticks
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=56915

This is the start of the meander to Fire Ants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by flman View Post
I tried permethrin on bees, and the can said it was wasp and hornet killer, it stunned them for a while but then they revived. Will have to see how it works on ticks?
Hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps are pretty tough little critters. Unfortunately our needed honey bees are a bit less resistant.

In my maintenance days we'd often find wasp and yellowjacket nests in Power Station and HVAC related units. We found that Spectracide Wasp and Hornet Killer was fairly inexpensive and very effective. I've always used it around commercial buildings and my house to avoid needing a professional exterminator. I still carry a can in my truck.

I don't bother mud dauber wasps or nests. They are typically not very aggressive.

vic
Quote:
Originally Posted by glasseye View Post
In extremis, WD40 is pretty effective against wasps, too. Less volume output from the cans, though. And probably more expensive than the real deal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by flman View Post
I only use Aero Kroil on wasps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
You guys are going to love this one. My sailing friends thought that I was nuts.

We were working on the trailered boats in a sandy yard area of Fort Walton Beach FL. There were fire ant nests that were pretty obvious. We were told to avoid them. Everything was fine until I needed to move my boat for someone else to access theirs.

Sure enough I managed to put the trailer back over an unnoticed fire ant nest. It didn't take but a short time for the ants to show me the error of my ways. I was in flip flops, shorts and was getting bitten pretty good. Brushing the ants off my legs and feet I went to the back of the truck where I noticed a can of spray carburetor cleaner. I took that and spayed my one leg and foot down. Why I didn't spray the other leg I'll never know... it may have been my wife telling me "stop doing that".

Anyway, the sprayed leg and foot never had a bite that raised or even itched. The other leg was covered with some ugly and painful bites. Was the carb cleaner effective? We're going back to Ft. Walton come March. I'm making sure that the carb cleaner gets moved to the 2006 before the trip.

Back to topic.
I'm not recommending for anyone to use carburetor cleaner... not even on ticks.

vic
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryN View Post
Here is a link to the MSDS sheet on carb cleaner - at least one brand:

http://docs.crcindustries.com/msds/5079.pdf

After you skim past the scary wording part, the main issue from a short term exposure viewpoint is the 30% methanol content. I try to avoid methanol exposure as much as practical due to the risk of neurological effects. Nonetheless, I probably would do the same thing given the circumstances.

What is kind of interesting is that the solvent was effective at reducing the impact of the bites so of course that made me wonder (and wander) a bit.

For mosquito bites, typically the saliva contains organic acids, so most post bite itch treatments are based on using a base of some kind to neutralize it - example ammonia based compounds.

I have had some success in a pinch using dilute bleach.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito#Saliva

Fire ants venom on the other hand interestingly appears to be an organic base of heavy oils:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_ant

And some also appear to use formic acid as well, which complicates treatment.Completely speculating here but:
- Your use of a solvent appears to have rinsed off the heavy organic base venom sufficiently to reduce the fire ant sting impact
- Possibly use an alternative solvent - example isopropanol / rubbing alcohol, vodka / bourbon, or even gasoline might be a suitable alternative in a pinch to rinse it off.

- If the ant venom were just a base, potentially a mild organic acid might reduce the impact as well - examples orange juice, vinegar.

Some ants attack with formic acid, but my interpretation of the wikipedia article is that fire ants don't rely on formic acid in attacks like this.

Again - pure speculation on my part regarding potential treatment options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryN View Post
...

After you skim past the scary wording part, the main issue from a short term exposure viewpoint is the 30% methanol content. I try to avoid methanol exposure as much as practical due to the risk of neurological effects. Nonetheless, I probably would do the same thing given the circumstances.
...
Staying away from solvents is always good advice.

That said, I've worked around industrial solvents most of my life. I'm not too concerned with a short term occasional exposure to methanol or even some other more nasty solvents. Even the EPA and OSHA have published exposure limits. Long term exposure is more my worry.

As an apprentice I was sent in to clean up after PCB filled power capacitors failed. They literally exploded and ruptured during failure. We were given rubber gloves, mineral spirits, and dust masks for PPE. PCB's are bad, but the pungent Pyranol Aroclor solvent was the worst. It would literally gag some people to the point they couldn't do the work. (Those were the smart people. ) What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryN View Post
...

And some also appear to use formic acid as well, which complicates treatment.Completely speculating here but:
- Your use of a solvent appears to have rinsed off the heavy organic base venom sufficiently to reduce the fire ant sting impact
- Possibly use an alternative solvent - example isopropanol / rubbing alcohol, vodka / bourbon, or even gasoline might be a suitable alternative in a pinch to rinse it off.

...

Again - pure speculation on my part regarding potential treatment options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
Some research that I did back when it happened also had me thinking the carb cleaner had washed off oil based venom.

91% rubbing alcohol might work. It wouldn't be as aggressive as the potpourri of solvents in carb cleaner. That's good for personal exposure, maybe not so effective as to bites.

Perish the thought of pouring out good drinking alcohol.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosierrun View Post
... Permethrin applications must be allowed to dry before putting on clothes and using sleeping bag. Wet contact with the product is not supposed to be good for you. I think it is also poisonous to cats. ...
They warn about the toxicity and directions should be followed. Permethrin is sprayed directly on dogs, horses, and cattle. I once thought that it got into their bloodstream. Turns out it resides on their fur similar to us using it on our clothing.

Permethrin is very bad for cats. They recommend keeping dogs that are treated away from cats for a time period after application.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hoosierrun View Post
... Lyme disease will make you very sick and may cause long term joint and body damage if not treated. I have talked to people who caught it and it sounds horrible.
Yep. It almost literally killed a friend of ours. He's still suffering side effects.

Lyme Disease
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=48001

vic
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryN View Post
Paper studying just a bit more on wikipedia:

- The primary toxin in fire ant venom is Solenopsin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solenopsin

This is a nominal C17 based organic with a ring structure and tail.

In some ways, not so different than diesel fuel if we assume that it can be nominally assumed to be cetane which is C16 based:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexadecane

If a person didn't have any more information to go on than this, a first order speculation would be that a solvent that works on diesel fuel would be a potential candidate for rinsing away fire ant venom.

The value of this speculation is that a person could experiment relatively easily with diesel fuel and various solvents to do some quick and dirty testing if any of them might be useful or not.

Also - since Solenopsin is an alkaline organic compound, mild organic acids might be useful in helping to neutralize the effect of the bite. Example vinegar.

Again - just speculation on my part.

Maybe we should open a fire ant thread?
And here we are in the new thread.

vic
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fire Ants... morphed from ticks

I use Regent 4SC (Fipronil) on the farm. It is $6 or more per ounce which will treat one acre. I buy it in 108 oz. containers from a farm chemical store. We usually spray it by tractor but occasionally with a backpack. We don't spray the hill. We just spray the perimeter and crisscross though the field. You don't see instant gratification but if you do it twice a year consistently (I don't) they disappear.

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Old 12-18-2018, 12:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: Fire Ants... morphed from ticks

dunno if i ever ran into the ones in Fla (down in the keys), but i did have a couple run ins with little fire ants
ya never know they on ya til its too late...
and 'fire' is an understatement...
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Fire Ants... morphed from ticks

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
dunno if i ever ran into the ones in Fla (down in the keys), but i did have a couple run ins with little fire ants
ya never know they on ya til its too late...
and 'fire' is an understatement...
Even after decades of winter vacations in the Florida Keys, I don't ever recall fire ants being a problem, but we don't stay in the primitive camping areas.

The fire ants I ran into in Ft. Walton Beach FL is the panhandle, kinda near Panama City.

vic
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