How To Get Rid Of Fire Ants Quickly & Easily
One of the biggest drawbacks of having a garden is that we’ll have to put up with a significant number of pests every year. While many of these can be quite aggressive, they’ll often limit damage to your property. Though this is an issue for the majority of us, at least they don’t pose much of a threat to us or our pets.
However, this isn’t the case with fire ants. In contrast, these can often pose a danger to many of our pets. Though small colonies should pose too much of a threat, this can get much larger quite quickly, as fire ant infestations can grow much faster than you might have thought.
Alongside this, they can get into your home quite quickly and start causing damage to various areas. This means that you should remove them as fast as you can. However, many of us might not know how to get rid of fire ants.
There are good news and bad news in this regard. The good news is that you’ll be able to get rid of them quite quickly and easily. However, you’ll have to spend a certain amount of money on this, as there’s a large chance that you’ll need to buy specialized products for this.
While this can be much more affordable than you might think, it’s still a cost that many of us would want to avoid. However, these will be a necessity, as there might not be any other ways to get rid of them.
What You’ll Need To Get Rid Of Fire Ants
Naturally, you’ll want to get rid of fire ants as soon as possible. When you’re trying to get rid of them, there are a few things that you’ll need. Unlike many other pests, you shouldn’t need too much to get rid of them, although this will depend on which approach you decide to take.
There are two main ways that you’ll be able to get rid of fire ants, although these will need different materials. As such, you should consider which approach you’re going to take and then picking up everything you need. Typically, you’ll have to get:
- Fire Ant Killer or Insecticide: Naturally, you may want to kill the fire ants before they become too much of a problem. In the majority of cases, you’ll be able to use an insecticide or fire ant killer to do so. There is quite a large number of products that you’ll be able to choose for this, so it’s worth considering a few of them. In the majority of cases, the only large difference will be in how much of an area you can treat with them.
- Caulk or Other Materials: In many cases, you’ll need to seal up your home to prevent fire ants or another pest from getting in. This should be quite easy, as you’ll be able to use caulk or similar materials to seal up these holes. When you’re doing so, you should make sure you get as many of them as possible, as fire ants will be able to get through even the smallest of cracks.
- Pest Control Sprays: Similar to insecticide, there is a variety of pest control sprays that you’ll be able to use to get rid of fire ants. These should be quite affordable, although you’ll need to make sure that they’re effective against fire ants. While some might be great at getting rid of other pests, they might not work as much against fire ants. As a result, you should make sure that you pick up the right product.
- Fire Ant Bait: This has become an increasingly popular way of getting rid of fire ants. The main reason for this is that it doesn’t require much time or effort. Typically, you’ll have to place this at the right them and the bait should take care of the rest of the process.
- Shovel and Wheelbarrow: If you plan on mound drenching, then you may need a shovel or something similar to coat the mound with insecticide. You’ll want to avoid physical contact with the insecticide as much as possible, so which means that a small shovel should be what you use to apply it. Depending on how large of an area you need to spread it across, a wheelbarrow could be recommended. This is mainly because it will avoid the need for carrying a relatively heavy bag around the garden.
- A Bucket of Water or Hose: Using a mound drenching approach typically means soaking a fire ant mound with insecticide. However, since many of these come in a granular form, you’ll need to use water with it. As such, you should have a small bucket filled with water for each mount that you find in your garden. If you’ve got a relatively small garden or large hose, you could use this instead, as long as you can reach the mound with the hose. However, an insecticide spray may be effective, although you might need to use much more of this than you may have thought.
- Fertilizer: Depending on how much damage the fire ants have done to your garden, you may need to replace some of the grass. This should be quite easy to do, although you’ll need to pick up a bag of fertilizer to do so. With this, it’s just a matter of letting your grass grow back over time.
Depending on which approach you to take to get rid of the fire ants – either baiting or mound drenching – you might not need all of the above. For example, using fire ant bait should mean that you might not need to use the fire ant killer or insecticide. This is mainly because the bait will poison the colony and you should be able to avoid needing each of the other steps.
However, it’s still recommended that you take any preventative measures in protecting your garden.
Steps To Getting Rid Of Fire Ants
There are a few notable steps to take when you’re getting rid of fire ants. While you might expect that getting the materials needed to treat the infestation may be the first of these, there could be a few things that you’ll have to do before this.
These will typically focus on determining whether or not you actually have fire ants, which should be the first step that you take. Alongside this, protecting your home and a few other steps might need to be taken.
Alongside this, there are a few ways that you’ll be able to get rid of fire ants. You’ll need to choose between these before you buy any materials, as you’ll need specific products for each of the approaches. Once this has been done, then you’ll be able to start.
Despite this, the overall process will be much simpler than you might have initially thought. As such, you should find that you’ll be able to get through the majority of steps relatively quickly while still be effective.
With that in mind, there are a few specific steps that you’ll be able to take to get rid of the fire ants.
1 . Determining Whether Or Not You Have Fire Ants
With how many types of ants can infest a garden, you’ll need to make sure that you know what’s in your garden before treating it. While many pest and bug killers might work on the majority of insects, occasionally, you might find ones that aren’t effective against fire ants.
Identifying the fire ants will then allow you to pick the best strategy for getting rid of them. Typically, you’ll be able to identify them by the mound that they create, which should be made out of loose soil and have holes at the top.
There should also be quite a few worker ants going in and out of these holes. You should be careful when you’re trying to identify them, as fire ants can be quite aggressive. Should they get on you, then they’ll keep biting until you get them off.
This is one of the main reasons that you should aim to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Not only will they pose a danger to you, but they can be much more harmful to any pets or farm-life that you might have. Coupled with this is the extensive damage that they can do to your home.
Once you’ve identified the fire ants, it’s time to get all of the materials that you’ll need. You’ll also have to determine which approach to getting rid of them you want to take advantage of, as this will affect what materials you’ll need to buy.
Alongside this, you might wonder when the best time to get rid of fire ants is. While you should be able to do this at any point, it’s recommended that you avoid rainy or hot days. There are a few reasons for this, with the most notable being that the rain or heat could make any insecticides or baits ineffective.
This applies to both the sprays and granular versions, so these may not have the same impact as you might have thought. As such, you should aim to get rid of fire ants on a cool, dry day. This will make sure that you’re able to use any materials effectively.
2. Fixing Any Damage To Your Home
While the majority of damage that fire ants will do to your property will be limited to your garden, they can also affect the inside of your house. The main way to avoid this is by repairing any cracks or holes in your home’s exterior, which should stop the fire ants from getting into your home.
While this is relatively simple to do, you’ll need to spend a large amount of time finding each of these holes. Give how small fire ants can be, you should make sure that even the smallest holes are filled up. In the majority of cases, you’ll be able to use caulk to do so, although this can vary depending on how large the hole is.
In some cases, you may need to use wood, concrete, other materials, which should then be used with a sealant to make sure that no insects can get in through it. As simple as this is, it could take much more time than you might have thought.
Alongside this, you might want to leave some of the repairs until after you’ve gotten rid of the fire ants. This will be especially true if they’re nesting in or under your home. If this is the case, then it’s recommended that you get rid of the fire ants first and then make any repairs.
3. Getting Rid Of Them
Now that you’ve identified whether or not you have a fire ant infestation, you’ll be able to act accordingly. Should you have one, then there are two main approaches that you can take; Baiting and Mound Drenching.
Both of these have a variety of pros and cons. Alongside this, one may be more effective in certain areas than the other is. As such, you’ll need to spend a certain amount of time debating which one you should choose.
In the majority of cases, mound drenching will be much more effective at killing fire ants over large areas. The main reason for this is that you’ll be able to destroy each individual mound relatively quickly. While there still may be a few stragglers left, you should be able to get rid of these quite fast too.
However, this does have the drawback of being somewhat more expensive to do. This should be expected, though, given that you’ll be treating a much larger area. If you’ve got a smaller garden and a relatively small infestation, then baiting may be the better-recommended option.
This will take much less time and effort to do, although it also has the drawback of being quite limited in how many fire ants it can kill. As a result, you could end up seeing yourself repeating the process several times before you’re able to get rid of the fire ants completely.
Depending on which approach you decide to take, there will be specific steps that you’ll have to take. Because of that, it’s worth taking a look at how to do both so that you can get rid of any size infestation with ease.
However, it’s worth noting that you should aim to get rid of them as quickly as possible. This will make sure that you’re able to prevent them from spreading. This should mean that you’ll be able to avoid a lot of extra hassle and effort in the future. As such, this means that you should pick a method and use it as quickly as possible.
In the majority of cases, you should repair any damage to your home once you’ve applied either of these techniques. However, this could depend on personal preference. We recommend, however, that you seal up your house first so that any stray fire ants can’t get into it.
Baiting has long been one of the more popular ways of getting rid of fire ants, as it’s quite effective and easy to do. However, it does have the drawback of taking longer to get rid of an infestation than you might have thought. There are a variety of baits that you can choose from, each of which will offer differing results.
While some will include insecticide, others might also have an insect growth regulator, which will prevent the infestation from growing while you’re trying to treat it. Regardless of which option you choose, the process of baiting the fire ants will still be the same.
In the majority of cases, fire ant baits will come in either a spray or granular form. You’ll need to place either of these around the area where the fire ant mounds are and then leave them alone for several days.
During this time, the worker ants should bring the bait back to the colony. Once enough of them have done so, the insecticide that’s used in the bait should start killing them off. When you’re putting these down, you should follow a few tips.
Perhaps the most notable of these is that you shouldn’t apply them to wet ground. You should also make sure that there isn’t any rain or planned to water to take place in the next 48 hours, as this could destroy the bait and render it ineffective.
This is a great option if you’re looking to get rid of fire ants quickly. However, this has the small drawback of requiring you to get close to the mound. While this means that you’ll need to take a certain amount of care when mound drenching, it should still be quite effective.
To start, you’ll need to mix your mound drenching application in a bucket. When doing so, you should make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Next, you should poke a hole in the fire ant mound before you start pouring.
You’ll need to be quick when poking the hole so that you don’t agitate the fire ants. It’s recommended that you use a broom or something similar to do so. When you’re pouring the mound drenching solution, however, you should take your time and ensure that it’s not spreading into other areas.
You should then move away from the treated area as quickly as you can.
6. Re-Do Your Lawn
Depending on how large of an area the fire ants had covered, and how many mounds there were, you might need to re-do your lawn. This will mainly be because they can do a certain amount of damage to the upper layer of soil, which could mean that grass might not grow as effectively as it might before.
However, fixing this issue is much simpler than you might have thought, and you’ll just have to place fertilizer on the patches that were damaged. However, this is best left until you know you’ve gotten rid of all the fire ants, as you shouldn’t want to repeat any of the steps above.
How much time and fertilizer you need for this can vary drastically from garden to garden, with some of us being lucky enough not to need it. However, if you’ve had a large fire ant infestation across your garden, you might have to take advantage of it.
Despite this, it’s not a complicated process. Instead, you’ll just need to apply the fertilizer across your garden and wait for the grass to start growing again. In some cases, you might need to get grass seeds to replace the destroyed grass.
If this is the case, then you should water the seeds as often as possible to make sure that they grow quickly and healthily.
Getting rid of fire ants doesn’t need to be as time-consuming as you might have thought, as they’re much easier to remove than the majority of other pests. The main reason for this is that you shouldn’t have to catch and remove them. Instead, you’ll just have to treat the area where they’re nesting.
However, you’ll need to spend a large amount of time determining which approach you want to take. Both will have their pros and cons, which you’ll need to spend a significant amount of time considering. Though mound drenching might take more time and need more of a cost-investment, it can be much more effective.
Alongside this, when you’re applying the insecticide, you should consider spreading it across your garden. This will ensure that you’re able to remove any fire ant colonies that you might not have seen. Alongside this, it should make sure that any other pests that may be around your garden are gone.
If you’ve managed to catch the infestation early, however, you could choose to bait them. As mentioned above, this will mean that you’ll simply need to apply the bait and wait for the worker ants to do the rest. This is quite an easy way to get rid of smaller infestations, so it shouldn’t be used if you find them spread across your garden.