Fire ant control for your yard and home
on Monday, June 17, 2013 by Terminix
As a homeowner who uses your yard for a myriad of activities, fire ant control should be a priority. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, playing soccer with your kids or playing with your pets, you want to ensure fire ants don’t put a serious damper on your outdoor enjoyment.
Fire ants aren't shy about making their presence known; their mounds are unsightly, large and in some cases hard enough to damage farm equipment. They emerge from their mounds ready to defend their colonies aggressively by biting and stinging. And people aren’t their only targets; fire ants also may sting your pets.
An infestation of fire ants is driven by their insatiable quest to find a food source. Here are some of the reasons why fire ants target areas in and around your home:
- Fire ants are attracted to aphids and scale insects for the “honeydew” those insects secrete
- Swimming pools attract swarming winged fire ants by the thousands
- Spilled and poorly stored food, this includes pet food and unsecured food and waste inside and outside, attracts fire ants, especially sweets, proteins and fats
- Fire ants are attracted to damp areas, so leaking faucets and plumbing can encourage them to nest where they normally would not, such as wall voids
Risks of do-it-yourself fire ant control
Fire ants can be difficult to eliminate completely because they can reinvade from neighboring properties. Still, many people seek the best fire ant killer and try “home remedies” for fire ant control. Such methods include:
- Hot water: Hot water poured over mounds kills a significant number of ants, but survivors simply rebuild mounds nearby
- Grits: There’s a myth that if you pour grits into a mound, the ants will eat it, swell in size and eventually explode, but the truth is, grits have no effect on colony health
- Non-toxic options: Club soda, vinegar, baking soda, molasses, aspartame and plaster of Paris are non-toxic, but ineffective
- Caustic chemicals and flammable liquids: It should be obvious why dumping chlorine bleach, ammonia, gasoline, or oil onto mounds is not realistic for fire ant treatment. These substances pose a threat to people, pets, livestock and wildlife; it also may be illegal to use them for this purpose.
The Terminix® solution for fire ant control
Terminix® has more than 85 years of experience in providing long-term solutions for termites and pests, including fire ants. Certain pest solutions, including fire ants, are available in select areas only and may require an additional inspection. For more information on fire ant control, visit Terminix.com or call 1.866.766.7628 today.
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