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Old 09-04-2014, 11:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I think my dogs saved my house...

I bought a fixer upper last year that my husband and I have been working on. Great 1920's style brick Tudor home, with an awesome backyard and more room than I am used to. Lena and Della have been digging in certain areas in the yard. I attributed this to just being puppies and why not dig I guess lol...Anyways, I had also noticed that Lena had gotten a couple of red patches on her soft stomach, which I was about to take her into the vet this week and have it checked out (figured possibly impetigo or allergies, yeast infection idk lol). Well, my husband is inspecting a hole they are actively digging in and OMG it was the start of a termite nest!!! Thank goodness it was not that extensive yet, and my husband was able to eradicate it. We also found out we had a small carpenter ant nest AND a fire ant nest! As I look at some of these spots on her, I am getting more confident that she was getting bit by these little ants in sensitive areas. But they have earned their keep in my book, we are not being vigilant and they have also lessened on the digging. So I am hoping that means that we are getting rid of them. Thank you Lean and Della you get special treats this weekend!
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Fire ants are not found as far north as Detroit. Were they positively identified as such?

If so I would be contacting my local agricultural extension or etymology department at a local university.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice!! I hate digging but I do like when it's for a reason. My previous rommate's GSD used to dig in the same areas constantly and my roommate decided to investigate once and it turned out that he was digging only where there were leaking pipes! No wonder the water bill was unusually high!! After the pipes were fixed, no more digging ever! Good boy Brutus!

Hope you guys got rid fo them too... any of those bugs are nasty. Not sure about the fire ants, but it'd be interesting to check them out like MichaelE said.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelE View Post
Fire ants are not found as far north as Detroit. Were they positively identified as such?

If so I would be contacting my local agricultural extension or etymology department at a local university.

Yes they were identified...I grew up down south and I've seen/stepped in my fair share of fire ant nests. What we believe has happened is the previous owner had imported a large amount of mulch to put down in parts of the lawn. You would not believe some of the weird things that have grown/came out of that bed. I don't know if you have ever heard of stinkhorns, but they basically a smelly fungus that is not native and the spores are carried in mulch that is imported from South America. 2 other people on my street have also found colonies in our neighborhood

EDITED: MichaelE, I am going to take your advice and just have someone that is an exterminator check it out...they look a lot like it and they were some visible mounds I saw once you pushed back some of the mulch. But agreed, couldn't hurt to make sure!

Last edited by Girl_Loves_Hydraulics; 09-04-2014 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Glad that you have sorted the problem and hope Lean and Della won't get allergies due to ants again. Do share what treat did Lean and Della got and if possible, share some pictures of Lean and Della.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Woah, and I here I was thinking that dogs only dig when they are bored!
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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might just be red ants. either way, good job.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bevis View Post
Glad that you have sorted the problem and hope Lean and Della won't get allergies due to ants again. Do share what treat did Lean and Della got and if possible, share some pictures of Lean and Della.
Lena and Della got some peanut butter and some green beans from my garden. Out of all the things they could have, those 2 are fan favorites lol. If you want Bevis, go to the Pictures section, I just posted some new photos of my girls being crazy in our back yard.

As far as the ants go, so we did determine that they were some type of fire ant, but that the likelihood of them establishing a population would be severely low due to the climate. Word to the wise, try not to use imported mulch. I am serious, I've spent two weekends cleaning out things like this (see attachments)...Needless to say, all the mulch has been removed, and all areas have been treated. I must've dug up about 200 spores from these things with all kinds of nasty creepy crawlies I've never seen! All I know is my yard looks much nicer without nasty bugs and things that look like male anatomy all in my yard
Attached Thumbnails
I think my dogs saved my house...-stinkhorn2.jpg   I think my dogs saved my house...-stinkhorn041002.jpg  

Last edited by Girl_Loves_Hydraulics; 09-08-2014 at 04:32 PM.
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