Kill Fire Ants
Summary: Learn how to kill fire ants to keep these stinging ants away from your home. The fire ants are aggressive little creatures and can be found in colonies with hundreds of other fire ants.
The fire ant was brought into the U.S. from South America by accident and it is an accident that cannot be undone. Soil from Argentina and Brazil was loaded into cargo ships, which were unloaded in Mobile, Alabama. Fire ants came along for the trip, marking their arrival in the United States.
Fire ants are known for their harsh sting. Adult fire ants use their stingers to ward off predators. Young fire ants do not have fully developed stingers so they cannot be as aggressive and choose to œplay dead when under attack. Only the female fire ant can sting.
The fire ant's nest has small holes to allow plenty of ventilation. It will build its nest in nearly any type of landscape, but it prefers wide-open grassy areas. A fire ant nest can be up to three feet in height and width, a sight homeowners hate discovering.
Fire ants can frequently be found in rotting wood or under buildings. These ants are known for causing damage to crops and plants, as well as buildings, telephone wires, and air-conditioning units. They may even venture indoors to nest having been found in crevices in concrete, near bathtubs or hot water heaters, and underneath woodwork, rocks, or stones.
If you get a fire ant sting make sure to keep the skin clean where contact was made. In a couple days a pustule will form where the sting occurred. Do not pop this as it may delay the healing process. The pustule will gradually lessen throughout the next two weeks. If you experience itching, severe swelling, develop a rash, or experience other symptoms of an allergic reaction, see your doctor or go to the hospital emergency room.
Here are some things to help you determine if you have fire ants in your yard and how to distinguish fire ants from other non-threatening ants.
- Fire ants typically build more than one mound especially when rain wipes out their nests. If you see multiple mounds on your property, chances are they are fire ant mounds.
- Fire ant mounds are usually made with loose soil to allow plenty of ventilation. If the mounds you see are not packed tightly with soil, you may be dealing with fire ants.
- Fire ants are aggressive and will sting their predators more than once. If you are stung multiple times by an ant, it may be a fire ant.
Fire ant control starts by moving firewood away from areas near your home. Keep firewood elevated off of the ground to help protect it from becoming infested.
I like using specific fire ant baits such as Ascend Fire Ant Bait or Advion Fire Ant Bait for fire ant control. Apply ant bait around the fire ants' mounds. Make sure to wait for a sunny, dry day because these are the conditions for fire ants to be most active. They will help spread the bait around and pass it to other fire ants deep in the mounds.
Applying ant bait is the most ideal treatment for fire ant mounds in obscure places such as by plants or in crevices of concrete. Advion Fire Ant Bait, and Maxforce Fire Ant Bait are two of the better products sold for fire ant control.
Liquid insecticides may be used to kill fire ants, but you must follow a proceedure. You'll need to use a broom handle or rod to probe deep into the fire ant mounds. If you survive that task and are not swarmed by angry fire ants, pour the insecticide into the hole you have created using a watering can. Make sure to label the can and never use it for anything other than insecticide.
Use about a gallon for a smaller mound and a couple of gallons for bigger mounds. Because fire ant colonies can consist of hundreds of ants, an ample amount of insecticide is necessary to eliminate them from your yard completely.
If you are really into organic fire ant control you might try pouring boiling water into the mounds.This may or may not work, so try this approach as a last resort and get ready to run like the wind. By the way, if the boiling water is poured over plants near the mounds, the plants will die. Also, do not pour boiling water over the ant mounds if you have applied fire ant bait, as this will ruin the bait. Duh!
Spread a small amount of insect bait throughout your yard using a push spreader once a year. This will help deter fire ants from returning. Prevention is the key to long term success.