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fire ants in the wood pile!

updated sun 10 nov 02


Janet Kaiser on sun 10 nov 02

Poor Merrie B... spent a lot of money, time and energy splitting X cords of
oak (a very HARD wood) and drying it ready to fire really soon, only to be
told to set fire to the lot or douse it with water-based mixtures!! Ye
gods, people! PLEASE read, inwardly digest and think before answering
individual posts... Merrie needs help for this particular situation NOW,
not a general solution or long-term cure...

Sorry, Merrie, but I (thankfully) have no knowledge of fire ants and their
habits, but I do know that ordinary ants (and other insects) will avoid and
run away from paraffin, or kerosene as you call it in the US. It evaporates
pretty quickly (within hours), so it will not be dangerous or add an
unexpected boost to your firing as long as you spray it on the wood WELL IN
ADVANCE. The usual warnings: stand up-wind, don't have any naked flames,
children or pets around and keep well away for a couple of hours after
spaying. Only use kerosene NOT gasoline (petrol) which contains some pretty
bad "nasties" which no one but NO ONE should be exposed to, whiff or

If the dry grits solve the problem (exploding ants!? gruesome!) in the
short-term fine... But if you do not have time to get rid of the critters
safely before firing, perhaps you know a beekeeper who could lend you one
of those smoker thingies? That would maybe anaesthatise the little buggers
long enough to handle the wood without getting bitten or stung?

I hope you have good gauntlet gloves to which you can maybe add an
elasticated band around the wrist over a long sleeved shirt, so that any
surviving and probably mad-as-hell beasties cannot get at you? Also long
pants tucked into socks and boots...?

Trusting you manage a pain-free stoke and wishing you a successful


Janet Kaiser

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