How Can I Tell If I Have Fire Ants in My Yard?
Fire ants are not a native species to this area. They were brought in through the Port of Mobile in Alabama in the early 1900s and spread rapidly. They’ve invaded all along the Gulf Coast and have moved North, East, and West.
We see their mounds everywhere we go. Fire ant mounds are more of a pyramid shape and are especially visible after a fresh rain. Fire ants are aggressive, and they will sting. They can be dangerous too, especially if people are allergic to them, and if you have quite a few stings or attacks on an individual, all at one time. They can be controlled really by just a good regular, quarterly pest control service.
Our services include fire ant control within about 10 feet of the foundation of the house, and some spot control. For example, if there is something in the back part of the yard, up by the mailbox in the front, and we see it, or the homeowner asks us to treat it, we will do that.
Are Fire Ants Dangerous?
Fire ants are aggressive, and they will sting. They can be dangerous too, especially if people are allergic to them, and if you have quite a few stings or attacks on an individual, all at one time. They can be controlled with good regular, quarterly pest control service.
Fire ants breathe air like we do, and after a good rain, they will be up near the surface and not necessarily way down deep in the ground. If you disturb a mound or even stand in one spot near a mound for too long, they can start attacking you.
Can I Control Fire Ants Myself?
For a DIY method to control fire ants, there are some over the counter baits, such as Amdro and Max Force that do work well. However, if you put them out right before a rain, they can be less effective. And if you do decide to bait a mound, do not kick or destroy the mound. Simply sprinkle the bait around the mound and they will forage and go and find it, and then they will consume it. The bait will eventually kill off that colony.
If you do decide to kick the mound, the workers and other ants in the caste system and their colony system will simply take the queen and move her to a different location because they think they’re under attack. Their whole purpose in life is to protect and serve the queen (or queens). That’s why you’ll see another ant bed pop up here or there. If you’re using a baiting process, do not disturb the mound.
If you are using a liquid or a granule insecticide and you do disturb the mound, that’s okay. You just need to have the equipment to push a rod down deep into the mound and create a hole. Some of these ant colonies can go over six feet deep.
Really and truly, it’s going to be a process involving multiple treatments throughout the year in order to control the areas you want to control.
Sometimes our clients ask us to treat their entire yard, which is not cheap. We can offer that, but we usually talk to people and just say, “What areas do you want to be treated and protected?” Usually it’s just a perimeter area around their home.
What Treatment Do You Recommend?
Fire ants can be controlled really by just a good regular, quarterly pest control service. Our services include treatment and control for a myriad of pests. We treat for fire ants within about 10 feet of the foundation of the house, and some spot control.