Fire ant infestations are a serious problem in many parts of the world. Not only are they dangerous to humans and pets, but they can nest in indoor and outdoor locations.
Fire ants can cause havoc for anyone caring for their garden as the fire ant is attracted to the rich organic soils and the wide variety of foods available in the average garden. We will be looking at some of the best fire ant killers for yards that you can buy on the market today.
Interesting Facts about Fire Ants
Fire ants are very aggressive and will sting if provoked. The fire ants bite leaves tender and itchy white pustules on the skin that can last for several days and if not properly treated can lead to infection.
Fire ants are very protective of their territory and are known to attack anything that intrudes on their nests, be it animals or people. Fire ant infestations can be devastating as they damage buildings, plants, air conditioning and electrical wires. For some reason which is not understood, fire ants are attracted to electrical currents and they can cause serious damage by nesting in such places as electrical boxes.
Fire ant workers in a single queen colony are territorial and will only forage for food within their own territory, whereas fire ant workers in multi-queen colonies move freely from the mound to mound, this results in an increase in the amount of fire ant mounds per acre of land.
Red imported fire ants build their mounds in almost any kind of soil available but prefer to nest in areas such as parks, lawns, pastures, and meadows. Fire ant colonies also like to nest in or under buildings.
What do Fire Ants Eat?
Imported fire ants are omnivorous, they eat plants and animals in order to satisfy their nutritional needs. They forage for sugars, fats, and protein. As the ant cannot ingest solid food they prefer to feed n liquids. Another source of foods are oily materials, in the garden, this includes seeds, seed pods, and insects.
Fire Ants in the House
Many factors affect whether the fire ants will enter your home, this could be due to weather conditions, or if after a heavy downpour the fire ant colony mound has been damaged.
Try to establish where they are coming into the house and seal off the area if possible. If you cannot find the source of the ants (the mound) it is advisable to use ant bait indoors. The ant bait is a slow-acting poison which the worker ants will take back to the colony where the poison will spread within the colony. The bait poison method can take up to two weeks or so to kill the fire ant queen.
Fire Ants on the Lawn
If you have found a fire ant mound on your lawn, it is time to take action immediately. Treating the mound will show results in a matter of days. Here are some of the ways you can treat the fire ant mound;
The insecticide is injected directly into the mound, an effective way to kill the fire ants, but may not always reach the queen. Remember, the queen is the main target.
Pouring a toxic liquid all over the mound. The poison kills any it comes into contact with. On the downside, it may not penetrate deep enough to target the queen and the other fire ants.
- Surface granules
Poisonous granules or fine powders are applied to the surface of the mound and surroundings areas. This method is capable of doing serious damage to the mount and reaching the queen.
There are some home remedies, some more extreme than others, but generally, the most common home remedies for killing the fire ant colonies are;
Pouring boiling hot water over the fire ant mound.
Not really recommended but some people drench the mound with gasoline and then set the mound alight.
A third option is combining a mixture of hot soapy water with citric acid then pouring the mixture onto the fire ant mound.
Home remedies can be regarded as a safer way of battling a fire ant colony, but they will never be as effective as a commercially available ant killer.
Best Fire Ant Killers for Yards
We will now look at some of the best fire ants killers on the market. Some of the products available on the market offer both short term and long term solutions, ultimately, the choice is yours depending on the severity of the fire ant infestation and whether you need to target indoors or outdoors.
Ortho Orthene Fire Ant Killer
Ortho fire ant killer is a surface treatment whereby you put the granules on and around the fire ant mound. When treating the mound with ortho, try not to disturb the mound. The formula begins to kill the fire ants within a few hours and approximately three days after the queen is killed.
You can spread the granules around the lawn and plants, including flowers shrubs and trees as a preventative measure. Ortho is one of the best fire ant killing product for lawns and has been proven to have bothshort-term and long-term results.
- Kills the fire ant queen and destroys the colony and mound
- No need to water the product into the mound
- Use as a treatment for mounds, lawns, and plants
- You can treat new mounds as they appear
- Long lasting formula up to six months
- A fast-acting fire ant insecticide
- No need to dilute the granules in water before use
- Has to be poured directly onto the mount
- Granules are highly toxic and may endanger other animals
Scotts Snap Pac Fire Ant Killer
Scotts fire ant killer comes in a granule form and is spread over the lawn to prevent infestation of fire ants and other bugs. Most effective when applied in either spring or summer to control infestations, otherwise, apply the Scotts granules at the first sign of fire ants.
The contents of the package can cover 2000 square feet of ground and is a good solid all-round bug killing product.
- One application can kill fire ants for up to four months
- The product kills foraging fire ants
- Kills any queens that fly into the area
- To be used with the Scotts snap spreader
- The Scotts formula is long lasting, up to four months
- A very versatile product that kills fire ants, other pests and weeds
- Will see the results within twelve hours of application
- Needs to have the Scotts spreader in order to apply the product on the lawn
- May not be ideal for heavy fire ant infestations
Martin’s Surrender Fire Ant Killer
Martin’s fire ant killer is a very powerful product in a powder form that is shaken over the fire ant mound. The active ingredient, acephate, is a highly potent insecticide that will kill a fire ant only within days. Surrender is an excellent product and has long-term and consistently good results.
Surrender fire ant killer is for outdoor use as a fire ant mound treatment and is ideal to be used in residential, commercial and industrial areas. Surrender can also be mixed with water to become a fire ant mound drencher.
- Can be sprinkled on the fire ant mound or mixed with water to become a drench
- Controls a wide variety of ants and other pests
- Can treat up to 108 fire ant mounds
- fast acting formula
Surrender is a very powerful insecticide
Kills a wide variety of bugs and other pests
Needs the minimum of applications before the infestation problem is solved permanently
The product has a long shelf like
Can be a little too good at killing
The smell of the product can be a little off-putting
Dangerous around pets and children
Advion Fire Ant Bait
Advion is well known for their pest-killing products and their fire ant bait is no exception. This fire ant bait combines an effective formula to be fast acting and will ensure that the fire ant colony id destroyed within three days.
The advion fire ant bait can be spread around the lawn or deposited directly on the fire ant mount, a combination of both is recommended.
- Effective fast acting and alluring formula
- 24-72 hour destruction of fire ant colony
- Cab be used as a broadcast or mound treatment
- Effective against all life stages
- Can be used in recreation areas as well as institutional or private areas
- Highly effective and proven formula
- Very fast acting, 24 to 72 hours
- Kills a wide variety of unwanted pests
- Can be considered expensive compared to other similar products
- May require a spreader to cover the lawn
Having an infestation of any kind is unwanted, but the dangers posed by a fire ant colony infestation cannot be underestimated, particularly if pets or children are to be considered. Fire ants can be very aggressive, territorial and destructive, and will not hesitate to attack anything they consider to be a threat. Once you have identified a possible fire ant mound, it is wise to take immediate action.
Hopefully, some of the information and products listed above will help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing the ideal fire ant poison bait to combat your fire ant invasion.