Is Fire Ant Control a Long Process?

Is Fire Ant Control a Long Process?

Is Fire Ant Control a Long Process?

Insects like fire ants are invasive species that can bring a toll on people. These pesky creatures can bite painfully, injuring domestic animals and humans and even occasionally causing death. Even though they are tiny, the damage they bring can be outrageous. So outrageous that every year, millions of dollars are spent trying to prevent the infestation of these ants.  

Hence it is important to bring this issue under control. But how can you do it without breaking your wallet? In this article, we will be talking about how you can use methods that can help to control or even prevent fire ants which are simple yet effective and cost-efficient too. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

How to Identify a Fire Ant

Red and black imported fire ants are scientifically known as Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri. They produce large mounds (as many as 300 per acre) and often damage mowers and other equipment. These ants also team up and infest buildings, where they eat wire insulation, damaging the electrical equipment. So you can first identify their existence by looking for a mound as it’s their primary base for attacking.

Fire ants will construct their mounds anywhere they can get to—in the open or around trees, buildings, electrical boxes, or under the pavement. A fire ant mound usually doesn’t have a central opening, but when the mound is disrupted, fire ants emerge and begin biting and stinging. They will even run up vertical surfaces like trees—or legs. 

Another way of identifying worker ants is by seeing their distinct color. Worker fire ants are dark reddish-brown with shiny black abdomens and measure 1/16 inch. However, fire ants can look similar to most variants of ants so make sure you’re seeing the right breed before going to work on getting rid of them. 

The Two-step Method of Controlling Fire Ants

Now that we hit the target on identifying the correct breed, let’s talk about how we can control them from causing serious damage. Ideally, two methods that give the best results.

Baiting

Baits are one of the most efficient methods to clear fire ants. It’s simply the prey trapping itself to the predator. There is a variety of bait available for this purpose. Some of them are chemically based baits like hydramethylnon, indoxacarb, and metaflumizone but if you want to approach a safer one you can use food-based ones too. These baits are plant-based and have an oil coating to protect their quality. 

The worker ants think of the bait as their food source and bring it to their colony to share with the queen. Baits that are currently available are Siege, Logic, Award, Ascend, and Raid Fire Ant Killer. 

These baits work slowly but provide a maximum effect on the prevention. Its time frame varies from three weeks to a few months. It acts as a slow kill that builds up over time. It is easy and effective if you have a high amount of mounds flooding around your house. 

Use the bait in the following way to ensure maximum effect:

Use fresh bait.

Apply the bait when the ground is dry. 

Baits work best when worker ants are actively looking for food. Test it in the soil a day before the real test by applying a tiny sample and seeing if the ants discover it. 

Use spreaders to apply the bait and make sure to not mix it with fertilizers.

These baits can be applied any time of the year. Make sure to apply them once or twice a year for the best results. 

If all of this seems tedious, you can reach out to a professional, one of which is findapestpro.com, who can do all the work for you and share more tips and tricks that can enhance the process. Sometimes, it’s okay to let the pros handle things. 

Treating Mounds

Dust products can help to treat mounds without the use of water. It is fairly easy to apply as well. The downside of its application is that it can leave a residue that can be hard to remove. Using liquid products can eliminate mounds in a few hours but would require a tedious application. Applying granules to the mound can be helpful as it is fast-working but it would need water to distribute it without disturbing the mound itself.

Types of Control

Now that we covered two methods of controlling the fire ants, let’s go over some more efficient ways to use them. After all, two is never enough!

Home Remedies

One of the cost-efficient methods of getting rid of ant mounds is using home remedies. Pouring hot boiling water can kill almost all of them. It is a time-consuming process that comes with safety precautions as it can cause burns. 

Some popular home remedies, including rubbing ant mounds using club soda and molasses, do not work at all; that’s just giving them more to feed on. And pouring fuels and chemicals like chlorine or diesel should not be encouraged. They are inflammable and corrosive, causing damage to plants and creating pollution.

Organic Products

When it comes to organic products, only a few are certified. Some of them are citrus oil complexes containing the ingredient d-limonene and spinosad, which is a chemical complex formed by small microbes.

Biological Control

Some biological creatures, such as parasitic decapitating flies from South America, have been raised to be employed as a biological control over these ants after extensive research by several specialists. These natural enemies have been successful in areas where they have been released, but they are not available to the general public. 

However, ongoing release programs in all infested states are making decapitating flies more prevalent in the environment. Biological control agents available on the retail market, such as parasitic nematodes, do not sustain themselves or spread on their own once they are released.

Chemical Control

In recent years, chemical control has been used to deal with fire ants. As chemicals contain toxins that can be fatal if not handled with caution, certain guidelines need to be followed. Make sure to read the label carefully and follow the instructions. 

See if you have the correct location to use it (e.g. a garden). One thing to note is that there might be specific products used for specific locations like electrical sites or water sites, and some might only be available to professionals.

Conclusion

Here you have it: the blueprint to deal with these fiery beings. Now you can simply use all of these tips and methods above to control the fire ants and say goodbye to the painful days for good. Take safety precautions before handling them and contact paramedics if something bad occurs. Thank you for reading!

Click here to read our past blog, Is the Arizona Bark Scorpion Deadly?