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How to Get Rid of Fire Ants

March 13, 2024
Pride In Turf

If you live in Georgia or another southern state, you can count on the appearance of fire ant mounds in the year's late spring. To be such tiny little pests, ants can cause a lot of turmoil in home lawns, hayfields, and pastures. They are one of the most detested insects.

Many people are stung by fire ants every year, and their burning bites are particularly bad in southern states like Georgia. There are options on how to get rid of fire ants and fire ant control. Pride In Turf will provide you with some information to help you decide the best pest control solution for your fire ant problem.

If you want to get rid of ant mounds, prevent fire ants or are not sure how to control fire ants in your yard, you can call Pride In Turf. Our team has the expertise to take care of your fire ant problem so you can enjoy your outdoor space.

Contact Pride In Turf for Questions or a Free Quote

Understanding Fire Ants

understanding fire ants and pest control

The red imported fire ant (also known as RIFA) and the black imported fire ant (BIFA) are well-known nasty insects. The red fire ant with its reddish-brown hue is mainly found in the southern and southwestern states, so it is the main culprit in Georgia.

Red fire ants are aggressive and are the main threat to humans, animals, and crops, as their territory is much larger than the black fire ants. The red imported fire ant is the most well-known ant species in north Georgia .

Fire ants deliver a very painful, venomous sting and can leave an irritating bump for days. The bite can even be deadly if the victim is allergic to fire ant bites. They build their nests outdoors, creating mounds that can pop up very quickly.

Seasonal activity with fire ants peaks between spring and fall when soil temperatures are 60 degrees and higher.

Where to Find Fire Ants

Fire ants are often discovered after the victim has been bitten. That is when you know you must find the nest of ants and kill the colony. These pests can be found indoors and outdoors.

Indoors:

Fire ants do not build their nests inside but nest outdoors; however, they can get in your house. If you find them in your home, it probably means that something is attracting them. Typically this is food that is not covered or left on the countertop that attracts fire ants. Even dry cat and dog food can attract fire ants.

Fire ants usually look for food in the morning or late afternoon. If you observe their path and follow it, you can determine where they are nesting. Sometimes they may find a gap in a window to go in and out, and you just may find the nest outside near the window.

Outdoors:

Since fire ants build nest mounds outdoors, looking for fire ant mounds is the simplest way to find them outside. Fire ant mounds can be of all sizes, as a mound can average up to 2 feet in diameter and up to about 1.5 feet high.

Individual colonies of fire ants can be bigger or smaller, and they have no preference for soil type. They do, however, often prefer sunny locations. Keep in mind that some colonies build smaller mounds and then may dig elaborate underground tunnels. These tunnels can extend up to 25 feet away.

Methods to Get Rid of Fire Ants

Methods to Get Rid of Fire Ants Georgia

There are various ways to manage your fire ant infestation, and each way has advantages and disadvantages. The following information will give you some of the most effective ways to kill fire ants.

For targeted action, individual mound treatments are often used. Since they act within a few hours, they can eliminate the mound and its inhabitants swiftly.

Remember that it is important to wear protective clothing before beginning this process. Getting rid of fire ants involves standing close to the nest and being at risk of being stung. Also, never ignite a nest with gasoline as a method to kill fire ants. This is extremely dangerous.

Douse the Fire Ant Mount with Boiling Water

This is a free approach and an old-school method; however, it can be effective in getting rid of fire ants. You poor 2 - 3 gallons of boiling water over a fire ant mound. You should wait until the fire ants are in their mount nest, which is typically in the evening, and pour the hot water quickly.

The problem with this method is that it is not always effective and there is a slim chance of the water reaching the queen

Drench Active Mounds with Pesticide

Drenching the mound with a liquid pesticide is a quick and effective way to get rid of a fire ant problem. This method is more effective than the boiling water method because the poison penetrates deeper into the pile than the water.

Those who use this method should mix 2 - 3 gallons of solutions according to the instructions on the label. It will kill on contact and also leave a residue behind that kills other fire ants that try to enter or exit the individual mounds.

Remember to drench the mound with adequate liquid to thoroughly soak the mound. You do not want any fire ants left to go to another nearby area and start a new mound.

Remember the protective gear when using this technique. You are at risk of spilling herbicide on your body or face, so protective gear is of vital importance.

Bait Worker Ants to Kill the Ant Queen

A safer method which is reasonably effective is to place fire ant bait around a fire ant mound or areas where the fire ant mounds may be hidden. The ants will take the fire ant bait and carry it inside their nest, hopefully killing the queen.

To use this method, you can spread fire ant bait over the entire lawn with a broadcast spreader, or you can sprinkle fire ant bait on the ground around the fire ant nest. The worker ants will carry the bait back to the next where the ants will eat it, including the queen, and they will die.

The queen (and sometimes there are multiple queens) only eats what has been eaten by the workers. The smell and taste of the fire ant baits make the fire ants think it's food, and they hurry back to the colony with it.

There are some products with a built-in delay that prevents the bait from working too fast. If it works too fast, the workers die before they feed the queen, so it is not as effective.

In choosing effective fire ant baits, it is crucial to look for specific active ingredients, such as insect growth regulators, that interfere with the ant's development. If the fire ant bait does not have an insect growth regulator to prevent new ant generations you will need to repeat treatment. Other chemicals target their nervous system, leading to rapid elimination.

Spread Broadcast Insecticide Treatment

If you have fire ants that have taken over a large portion of your yard, another method is to throw out handfuls of granules as if you are feeding the chickens. The worker ants gather the granules and bring the granules home to their nests outdoors.

With this method, the homeowner does not have to engage with the nest, so it is safer than the other methods mentioned. The downside of this method is that some granules are light-sensitive and lose their potency before the fire ants feed on them

If you have a large yard, a broadcast spreader is a more effective way to treat it. Broadcast insecticides will remain potent for up to six months and help deter fire ants that are looking for a new place to start a nest. This can also help serve as a preventative for fire ants as well as fire ant killers.

Be sure to use recommended and effective baits since the queen eats only what is eaten by the worker ants. Fire ant colonies revolve around keeping their queen or queens productive, well-fed, and protected.

Some of the longest lasting fire ant treatments are broadcast granular insecticides that contain the active ingredient fipronil. Because of restrictive use of this product, it is not directly available to homeowners.

Due to the cost of these products, many homeowners will use them in places such as the area immediately around a patio or deck, play yards, and other sensitive areas and use fire ant baits on the lawn.

The Best Treatment Option: Call Pride In Turf

The best option is to call Pride In Turf. With our professional team of qualified staff, we can take care of all your lawn needs, including getting rid of pests such as fire ants. We have access to the best, most potent, insecticides (whether liquid insecticide or granular insecticide) that the homeowner does not have access to.

Our team understands that these pesty fire ants operate. We know how to control fire ants, how to locate underground tunnels, take care of individual mound treatment or troublesome mounds, use the best fire ant baits, and understand what bait kills the fire ants.

Our team with Pride In Turf are professionals and use the proper equipment to treat your whole yard. We can analyze your lawn needs and ensure that we provide the right products to effectively treat your lawn safely.

Call Pride In Turf to take care of your fire ants, manage fire ant control in your yard, and any other lawn needs you have.

Other Tips on Fire Ant Control

Other Tips on Fire Ant Control Georgia

If attempting to rid your lawn of fire ants on your own, a general rule of thumb if your area is one acre or less, fire ant baits are not recommended. Ant re-infestation is more likely from colonies outside of the yard when baits are used.

If your lawn is less than an acre, it is best to use a registered insecticide in a liquid solution. Follow label instructions carefully for the correct application per acre.

Eliminating Fire Ants or Controlling Them

There is a difference between eliminating fire ants and controlling fire ants. Baits do not eliminate fire ants, because there is no residual control. New colonies of ants can still come in, as they are not affected by bait laid down before their arrival.

You do not want to put out the fire ant bait on extremely hot and rainy days due to not having as much activity on those days for the ants to source the bait.

If you want to eliminate mounds completely, baits should be applied every six months. In the meantime, you will still have fire ants, just to enough to create a new mound.

Realistic Expectations

It is important to have realistic expectations with fire ant control. If you are focusing on mound treatments, you could end up chasing mounds around the yard. Keep in mind that by the time mounds are visible, worker ants have been hard at work for months.

To kill the entire colony, it is necessary to kill the egg-laying queens. Most home remedies are not able to eliminate the colony of fire ants. You will eventually have more ants creating more fire ant mounds, leading to more mound treatments.

Dealing with Individual Mounds

When you spot a fire ant mound, swift action is the key. Whether you are opting for bait application or mound treatments, addressing the issue promptly prevents the colony from spreading further. Even a single mound can house thousands of ants, so do not delay in seeking treatment.

Considerations for Pets and the Environment

It is essential to eradicate fire ants from your yard; however, it is also important to consider the safety of pets and the environment, as many insecticides are harmful. Pride In Turf prioritizes products that are pet-friendly and environmentally conscious so that our outdoor space remains safe for all.

Pride In Turf Promise

Pride In Turf Promise Georgia

With the right approach and products, you can reclaim your lawn from fire ant invaders. Pride In Turf gives our customers a promise of effective mound treatments and we are committed to providing tailored solutions for your fire ant woes.

We ensure that your outdoor space remains a haven for you and your loved ones to enjoy. By incorporating strategies for your fire ant control regimen, you can enjoy a lush, fire ant-free lawn for years to come.

Getting Rid of Fire Ants in Georgia

Getting Rid of Fire Ants in Georgia

Fire ants are a definite problem in Georgia and other southern states and are much more aggressive than other ants. Fire ants will show up in larger numbers in areas where they have abundant food sources, especially sweet food like grapes or cantaloupes.

These pests cannot be ignored, as they are too risky to humans, pets, and crops. Homeowners need to take steps to eradicate the aggressive ants and keep them from setting up shop at your home.

Call Pride In Turf for a free consultation. Our promise to our customers is an exceptional job done right. We can take care of any lawn care or pest control job for you!

You can rest assured that any problem you have with any fire ant species, including the red imported fire ant, or other insects will be eliminated. You can enjoy your beautiful outdoor space without ugly ant mounds and the fear of annoying and painful bites.

Enjoy your yard and let us take care of it for you! We will work out an affordable rate for you and do an excellent job guaranteed!

Call Pride In Turf Today

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