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Tetramorium Eradication Journal

tetramorium tetramorium eradication

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#1 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 22 2018 - 12:50 PM

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July 21st - Tetramorium immigrans experimentation

 

This is my journal about eradicating  Tetramorium immigrans in my yard, to see how that may effect the native ants. Tetramorium kills off lots of native ants, and over the next few years I plan to figure out how fast natives move in and which natives move in when Tetramorium is removed from the habitat. Hopefully, this will help other keepers who enjoy native fauna instead of the common invasives. 

 

Right now, I see Formica montana and Camponotus pennsylvanicus as the native ants in my yard. I sometimes feed them dead insects I find around the yard to help, as it seems that Tetramorium outcompete them for food, and they've been raided by Polyergus this year. I fear they'll be outcompeted by the Tetramorium since the Formica  are only out of the nest during the day. 

 

I've planted all sorts of plants to assist the natives, such as milkweed and beans. I am also letting weeds grow around my pond. There's already pea aphids present in one of the areas with plants, however they have no association with ants so I am hoping to somehow acquire black bean aphids. I'm hoping that by making the yard a haven for native species such as Formica, Lasius, and Camponotus, the natives will thrive and resist any invasives that move into the area.

 

I poured a pot full of boiling water down one of the Tetramorium nests, and the next day there was no activity. 

 

I am using this thread as a way of updating what happens if the invasives are removed, and how the native ants will do better without them. If you don't like the invasives getting removed, don't read this thread. 

 

 


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#2 Offline EthanNgo678 - Posted July 22 2018 - 1:14 PM

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I understand your cause. Good luck.



#3 Offline BMM - Posted July 22 2018 - 6:05 PM

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Seems like an odd experiment. Tetramorium thrive in areas affected by humans, which provide them with ideal nesting sites. They’re not displacing other species so much as taking over areas that are no longer well suited to them.

#4 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 22 2018 - 6:31 PM

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Seems like an odd experiment. Tetramorium thrive in areas affected by humans, which provide them with ideal nesting sites. They’re not displacing other species so much as taking over areas that are no longer well suited to them.

I think Formica can be suited to sidewalks, but how do they live in sidewalks when there are constantly small black ants in the cracks killing them or taking their food?



#5 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 23 2018 - 2:23 PM

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July 23rd 2018 

 

SMALL SUCCESS!

 

The Formica had a small trail going from the tree to the pond today. To my surprise, there was about a dozen of the workers farming aphids on the plants that I had been growing. This is good, as Formica tend to do much better with aphids and I'm hoping they will push out the Tetramorium in this area with a little help from me. 


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#6 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 24 2018 - 11:55 AM

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Pictures of the Formica 

 

 

 


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#7 Offline Major - Posted July 24 2018 - 1:24 PM

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I can totally understand where you are coming from. I have noticed that areas with lots of Tetramorium tend to have less ant diversity. I found a new acting spot recently and there's no Tetramorium. But there are many species I have never seen before.
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#8 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 28 2018 - 3:50 AM

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It sounds like a good idea to me!
Planting plants that are native to an area will always be beneficial to native animals, you should look into trying to make the plant life in your yard as natural as possible too, add native plants and remove exotic weeds and I bet a lot of mini wildlife will flourish! :)

#9 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 29 2018 - 10:56 PM

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7-29-18

 

I went searching for aphids on nearby milkweed plants, and finally found a thriving population of oleander aphids. I quickly took a small leaf with roughly 20 aphids and moved them to the milkweed in my yard. I'm hoping the Formica soon find these aphids and begin to farm them. Pictures coming soon.

 

I've placed test tubes of honeywater nearby the Tetramorium in hopes they will incorporate this tube into their nest and I can easily pour water into it. The nest entrances seem to be conspicuous in most cases, which is why this is necessary.


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#10 Offline Skwiggledork - Posted July 30 2018 - 1:04 AM

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I think the honey water test tubes may actually work against you. I doubt they will make any kind of nest in the test tubes, but they definitely will feed out of them, so depending on how often you are checking them and killing what's there, you might just be feeding them and helping them grow.



#11 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 30 2018 - 10:08 AM

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I think the honey water test tubes may actually work against you. I doubt they will make any kind of nest in the test tubes, but they definitely will feed out of them, so depending on how often you are checking them and killing what's there, you might just be feeding them and helping them grow.

I've done the test tubes a few times before, and if I cover up all but the entrance and they need to feed from it long enough then they make a tunnel to it. I then lift up the test tube, exposing the tunnel they made to the test tube.


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#12 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted August 12 2018 - 7:09 PM

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8-12-18

 

Large update

 

The group of 20 - 30 oleander aphids on one of the milkweed plants has quickly multiplied into at least 500 aphids. Along with the staggering number of individuals, I've noted at least ten winged aphids, which will help colonize other plants and spread the aphid species. The Formica montana have not yet discovered this large population of aphids. All my attempts to grow milkweed nearby their nest have failed, and it's too late in the year to do so now. 

 

Further away, there's another species of aphid colonizing an even larger plant. These aphids are tended by Camponotus, but still, every once in a while there's ladybug larva preying on them. I believe the aphids have over 300 individuals and may have two types (variants). 

 

I'm hoping that by increasing the number of organisms and helpful plants in the area, the Formica will do better. There was another  Polyergus breviceps  raid that took place just a few days previous to this update. This is the second time this year. What doesn't help is that the Tetramorium are nesting just inches from the Formica under a small black birdbath. I need to remove this colony. 

 

Here's some pictures of the oleander aphids

 

Winged Aphids

Ladybug larvae

 

 

The Formica appear to go to a plant that doesn't have any aphids. I think this may be the plant emitting some kind of odor or juice that the Formica enjoy.

 

Here are videos of the Ladybug larva.

 



#13 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted September 8 2018 - 1:28 PM

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9-8-18

 

Since the last update, all of the Oleander aphids have died off. They produced reproductive winged aphids and seemed to have just finished their natural cycle. 

 

Since it's the time of year where the aphid populations dwindle, I decided to boost the Formica montana colony by feeding them a cricket and some honey. Even during this, there were skirmishes with the Tetramorium immigrans. 

 

I've used boiling water treatment on three colonies of Tetramorium immigrans this year and all of them have shown signs of their population going down, and since then the Formica and Lasius have been thriving. I even found a Crematogaster sp. worker foraging on a plant today. I hope to see more diversity when there's less competition (Tetramorium) since my backyard is touching a fragment of a small forest/mesic area.

 

Here's the  Formica montana eating crickets and honey.

 

 

 

 

Here's the Crematogaster worker foraging. 

 


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#14 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 28 2018 - 6:45 PM

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This is a great topic. I’ve been cultivating native plants in my yard for years. One native that really helps our ants is partridge pea, chaemachrista fasciulata. It puts out extra-floral nectaries just for ants that are always covered with all kinds of native species. Look it up! Not enough people know about it.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#15 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 28 2018 - 6:47 PM

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It is a native annual, so if you can get seeds (praeriemoon.com) you can just sprinkle them wherever you want, and they will show up. It’s an incredible native bee plant, too.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#16 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 28 2018 - 6:56 PM

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If you want lots of aphids, I would also suggest planting lots of rudbeckia hirta, our common black eyed susan. Their stems are always covered in aphids.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#17 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted September 29 2018 - 7:19 AM

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9-29-18

 

Today was the first frost, and the aphids didn't fare well against it. A few survived, but many have disappeared at this time of year. This may be one of the last updates for this year. 

 

The Tetramorium immigrans have gone quiet and inactive, as it hasn't gotten above 60 degrees Fahrenheit for the past few days. The Formica montana have been tending their sunflowers, even in the cold weather. 

 

I've ordered seeds from edenbrothers to plant in the spring for the Formica montana. They are Bells of Ireland, Wild Blue Lupine, Blue Iris, Perennial flax, Creeping Thyme, Birdsfoot Trefoil, and some packs of free garden flower seeds. I've heard it may take a while for some of these plants to grow, so I've planted them indoors and will plant them outside in the spring.



#18 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 30 2018 - 12:07 PM

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Hmmmm 🤔. Many of those seeds aren’t natives. If you are trying to bolster native species, you need native plants. Check out Praerie Moon nursery.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#19 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 30 2018 - 12:54 PM

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Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means a native only fundamentalist. It just seems counterintuitive to me that you are trying to eliminate invasive ants while planting non-native seeds.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#20 Offline Major - Posted September 30 2018 - 1:49 PM

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And here I am feeding the local Tetramorium colonies...

:lol:
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