Fire ants are a nuisance and a force to be reckoned with. When fire ants colonize your yard, this becomes a challenge for any home owner. The key to winning the war against fire ants is to eliminate the queen. How do you kill the queen? This question can be answered by exploring which is the best fire ant killer for lawns.
This process is a tested and proven approach to combating these invading army ants by taking a preventative approach and a reactionary follow up.
The First Step: Using Baits and Sprays
Spraying your yard is an easy way to combat fire ants, as well as many invading ant species. Products such as Talstar insecticide sprays are good all purpose preventatives and treatments. Sprays tend to create barrier that prevents exploring ants and insects.
Fire ant baits consist of pesticides on organic matter that fire ants consume and take back the mound. Products like Advion Ant Gel, offers a sweet gel for the worker ants take the bait back to the colony, and is shared with the queen or queens. Granules baits like, Orthene Fire Ant Killer works the same by being consumed by the queen and dies or becomes sterile and cannot breed any more workers.
Using baits are slow acting and require weeks to months to achieve control. Bait products treat large areas effectively, and they contain extremely low amounts of toxins. For best results:
- Apply baits when the ground and grass is dry, thus no rain or lawn watering and sprinklers for the next 24 to 48 hours.
- Dispense when worker ants are actively looking for food. Ideal times are usually in late afternoon or in the evening. Handheld seed spreaders are ideal to distribute bait throughout the entire yard.
- Baits can be applied anytime during the warm season when ants are still foraging for food.
- Apply baits once or twice a year.
Second Step: Attacking the Mounds
Attacking the mound can be tricky and very painful if you are not careful to avoid the fire ant’s bites. There are a few methods to attacking the home of invading fire ants. These methods are generally safe, but does risk damage to surrounding plants.
- Boiling Water – Pouring a gallon or more of boiling water down a fire ant colony works about 60 to 70 percent of the time.
- Dish Soap Spray – A mixture of dish soap and water may cause a decline in ant populations. You must get close to the ant mound and spray these for this method to work effectively.
- Diatomaceous Earth – Diatomaceous earth is the best fire ant killer when making a homemade solution. This is a substance that deserves a place in every home because it can be used to kill hundreds of insects and pests.
- Borax – When the ant eats the borax, it interferes with its digestive system to kill them gradually. Meanwhile, the affected ant has enough time to bring the bait back to the colony. Should be mixed with molasses or honey.
- Orange Oil Mixture -When mixed with the right ingredients, it can help as a fire ant control. You’ll need to have the following ingredients to make this mixture: Compost tea, liquid molasses, orange oil. Now, add one part of each ingredient into a 4-ounce container. Add 1 gallon of water into a bucket and pour the mixture into the bucket and stir. Dump the entire bucket onto the ant mound.
Fire ants are a resilient species of ants and may take some back and forth to win the war for your lawn. Keep in mind that this is a war of attrition and may take several months to a year to liberate your lawn from these invaders.