Fire ants are serious business. They’re not native to our lands, but they’ve sure taken a liking to them. They’re well known for the piercing, burning, painful stings they can inflict, and if they inflict them in great enough number, these stings can lead to hallucinations, shock, and in severe and rare cases, even death. These are not insects to mess with, but they also aren’t insects that you can allow to remain on your property. As their nest lingers, it grows bigger and produces winged queens that spread the infestation even farther beyond your property. As these pests are an invasive species, you must take action.
Do Stay Away From Fire Ants
It may be tempting to take a shovel to the nest or shove a garden hose down into it, but these are aggressive little buggers whose lairs span far beyond the little mound you can see. If you disturb the nest in any way, the ants near the disturbance will release alert chemicals into the air that will turn the whole colony to attack mode. Firstly, warn your children and family not to go near the mound. Then, keep pets indoors or away from the mound. Finally, let your neighbors know to be on the lookout if their property is close to yours.
Do Not Pour Anything Down the Hole
As mentioned, any threat to the nest will set the colony into attack mode. This includes boiling water, oil, dish soap, and whatever else you may pour down. More than that, it only expands the problem. Fire ants that survive will simply abandon their dead and relocate, meaning you have to wait to find where the problem is now. One thing you should definitely not pour down the hole is gasoline – Some people are crazy enough to pour gas down the hole and light it on fire. Not only is this enormously dangerous, but it also leaches harmful chemicals into the soil, and it won’t even kill all the ants.
Do Sweep Your Property
Fire ants don’t stop at one little hill. As they conquer one part of your yard and drain it of the resources they find there, they begin to expand. One hill becomes three, three becomes ten, and the problem only expands the longer you let it last. If you find one hill, look for more. Wear boots, and be sure to watch the ground as you walk to avoid stepping on any nests or ants. Consider marking the nests with yard flags or sticks, being sure not to plant them too close to any active mounds.
Do Not Rely on Folk Methods
There are people that swear by hundreds of things for getting rid of fire ants. Mint leaves, uncooked rice, oats, grits, diatomaceous earth. Even if these remedies stop an ant on the surface from moving around freely (which is a big if in its own right!), it misses the more outstanding issue. Fire ants are a highly industrious species that will dig under obstructions. Messing with the nest in any way will encourage the colony to attack or relocate, potentially bringing them closer to your home.
Do Get Professional Help With Fire Ants
A fire ant infestation is a ticking time bomb. If they get established in your home, you run a serious health and safety risk just occupying your own space. They can destroy lawns, mess up gardens, and their stings are not to be scoffed at. Pets and children are especially at risk when it comes to fire ants, and if you want to have any confidence at all that your yard is safe to occupy, you need a professional to remove the problem completely. A pest control expert is the only way to be sure the colony is completely dead and won’t be bothering you anymore. If you have a fire ant problem, don’t hesitate to call us.