Effective Treatments For Fire Ants in Your Yard

by Wendy Mills 0 Comments

ant moundOf all the bugs that are actually advantageous to your yard and garden, fire ants are certainly not one of them! And they can be a challenge to get rid of. Just like you have to pull a weed out by the roots to prevent it from returning, you have to get to the queen in an ant bed to fully eradicate the invasion. 

Additionally, just like with weed killers, there are both preventative and follow-up measure to be taken, to ensure you’ve done a thorough job. As always, TLC Landscapes, LLC is here to help with your lawn care routine. Click here for an online estimate. 

So what are your options? Are you more comfortable trusting the tried-and-true products available at the store? Or would you rather use something more natural, and potentially cheaper? 

Let’s explore some techniques we’ve found to be trustworthy.

Effective Baits and Sprays

Products like Telstart and Biffin IT are a great place to start when it comes to spraying your yard. Sprays like these create a barrier that prevents invasive bugs from spreading through your lawn. For this reason, they’re considered effective preventative measures.

There are also many different brands of  bait, such as Advion Ant Gel and Orthene Fire Ant Killer. These products include a mix of pesticides and organic matter, which the ants mistake as food.

Once the product is taken back to the mound, it is shared with other ants, including the queen. They will either kill or sterilize the queen, sentencing the colony to eventual demise.

While baits are effective, they do take some time to work. You want to give the treatment several weeks to fully kill off the ant colony.   

Here are some helpful hints for effective baiting: 

  • Baits are most effective during the warmer seasons, as this is when the worker ants are most active in their foraging. 
  • Apply the bait to grass that is completely dry. 
  • If you have a hand-held seed spreader, this is a great way to evenly distribute granulated bait. 
  • Place the bait at a time when you’ve noticed that the ants are actively seeking food.

Home Remedies for Tackling the Mound

In addition to preventative sprays and ant-killing bait, destroying the mound itself is an effective way to address a fire ant invasion. But if you’ve ever been bitten by one, you know how painful that can be! Before taking any of the following steps, make sure you’re wearing adequate clothing and a pair of gloves to protect yourself. 

  • Dish soap spray does a good job of killing ants directly at the source. Simply fill a spray bottle with a mix of water and dish soap, and spray it directly onto the mound. 
  • Boiling water is another great method, but again- be extra careful! 
  • Mixing borax with honey or molasses works similarly to granulated bait. It will kill the ants who get a hold of it, but not too quickly for them to bring it back to the mound to share with the rest of the colony. 
  • Diatomaceous earth may be the most garden-friendly option on the list. It’s harmless to plants and soil, but it will break down the exoskeleton of ants or any other insects who come into contact with it. 

antsAgain, all of these methods require care when applying them, in order to avoid accidental injury. (E.G.- while harmless, diatomaceous earth can irritate your skin if you don’t use gloves and fail to wash your hands afterward). 

Conclusion

Fire ants are pesky, invasive, and annoyingly resilient. But they can be beat! With all the remedies we’ve listed, just be sure you take the appropriate precautions and allow them the time they need to work.

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