It is not a treat every time fire ants start biting your feet. The sting is always painful and the bump it does to your skin is very unsightly and itchy. You can ask advice from gardeners to know how to manage fire ants. Although there are many tactics on getting rid of fire ants, what you need to know is which method is most effective. Below are ways on how to manage fire ants effectively.
Opt For Broadcast Baiting
Broadcast baiting is the first secret to fire ant control. The bait should have Hydramethylnon, and it’s important for it to contain a fire ant killer. You can treat a specific area with a hand-held scoop. Focus on areas where fire ant mounds form. You know that there are fire ants in an area if there are granules spreading on the ground.
Do this late in the afternoon to early evening, and as often as once or twice a season. Broadcast baiting during the fall will lead to the reduction of fire ant population during the spring. If you do not know a brand, you can try the popular MaxForce for outdoor use, but make sure that you do not use this before it rains.
Turn To Drenching
Drenching is the next step after broadcast baiting and it should last for three to six weeks. If you are not familiar with this process, it refers to the treatment of each mound after it is made sure that fire ant activity is lessened. Drenching can be done in several ways. You can pour hot or boiling water on the mounds. You can apply a dust product like Precise or Orthene, as these contain a chemical called Acephate which is important in controlling fire ants. Dust insecticides are helpful when it comes to treating fire ant mounds. You can also use a liquid drenching solution manufactured for fire ants.
Try Bait Products
You will also need to deal with fire ants that you find indoors. In this case, you will need MaxForce and other fire ant baits. Manufacturers usually produce fire ant baits for indoors, but you can also purchase broadcast baits that provide you with instructions. Just remember that you need to keep any of the mentioned products away from food, pets and especially your children. Always check the label before you pay for the product, because some of the fire ant baits are not for indoor use.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Silica have little crystals that scratch the cuticles of the fire ants, which dehydrate and eventually kill them. It follows, then, that if you take a whole colony of ants, put them in a bag of diatomaceous earth and shake them up, almost half of the colony will die. You can use diatomaceous earth by spreading some of it all over the areas where you see them, but do not expect that all of them will get killed. Shaking them in a bag is always more effective because if not, the fire ants will find ways to avoid the diatomaceous earth.
Two colonies cannot be mixed if you are planning to take care of fire ants, but since you want to get rid of them, you need to mixed different colonies for them to kill each other. Two different colonies fight to death. Workers from two different colonies with a single queen will fight when mixed. Then again, it seldom results in one or two colonies being killed. The trick here is to mix multiple queen colonies with fire ant colonies.
Heat Them Up With Hot Water
If you want a more environmentally-friendly way of getting rid of fire ants, you can pour hot water on the fire ant mounds. The only problem here is that you will have to do it for three or four times before you completely kill the colony. If water is not scalding hot, then this method would not be that effective. You do not need to have the water boiling before you pour it on the mound either. Each application or session will require you three to four gallons of water. Before you consider this method, make sure that you don’t apply it on shrubbery or grass because hot water can kill them.
Fire Ants Prevention
Before you even find ways to get rid of fire ants, you can do a lot of things to prevent them from getting inside your house.
- All food items must be secured in the right containers and storage spaces. Prioritize the sweets, because fire ants love anything sweet.
- Clean your house on a regular basis. Use bleach to get rid of all the residual foods on the floor.
- Vacuum regularly to make sure that all residual foods between the spaces of your carpets and upholstery fabrics are wiped up.
- Always make sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed. Check on them every now and then. Don’t forget to check your window screens as well.
- Consider weather stripping. Weather stripping refers to a process where you cover the openings in trunks, windows and doors. Usually, weather stripping is done to prevent water from entering the house, especially when it is raining. Weather stripping is about creating a form of blockage, which you can use to also block the ants from getting inside the house.
- Aside from weather stripping, you can also caulk holes and cracks outside your house or in your foundations.
- Ask for professional help. You can contact companies that offer pest control services handling the infestation of fire ants. If not, then seek help from your local government officials. The officials can recommend who you should get in touch with when it comes to handling this problem. They know what pest control service can help you in the best way possible.
If you get rid of ants, you get rid of pests that destroy your walk in the park or in the garden for that matter. You get rid of the sting and the itchiness on your skin. There is simply no reason why you should not get rid of fire ants, so follow the tips and manage fire ants really well.
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