People have tried a lot of tricks in hopes of getting rid of fire ants. Many people pour boiling water on the fire ant mound. It may kill a few ants that are near the top of the mound. Since the tunnels extend deep into the soil, most of the water probably soaks in without accomplishing much. Most people who try this are disappointed with the results. The boiling water injures a few people in the process.
Some people have tried pouring gasoline or diesel fuel on the mounds. This is really harmful to the grass and to the environment. It is also risky to the person pouring the gas. The ants usually move their nest a few feet and continue their activities. This treatment is REALLY not recommended.
People have also tried feeding instant grits to the fire ants. Some say the ants will eat the grits and explode. Others say the ants will eat the grits and choke. In fact, adult ants can only digest liquids so they could not eat the grits. If ants find solid food, they take it back to the nest and give it to the immature ants, called larvae. The adults need sweets for their nourishment. The larvae require protein food, so the grits might help the larvae grow into strong, healthy adult ants. People who try this treatment have been disappointed with the results too.
There have been reports that pouring club soda into the mound would suffocate the ants with carbon dioxide. Scientists do not think this will work. It would take an enormous bottle of club soda to fill all of the tunnels with carbon dioxide. Many of the ants would escape during the treatment.
To get rid of fire ants, many experts suggest combining a couple of methods. If there are mounds that are a threat to people or pets, a liquid insecticide can be used on them. The insecticide label should have directions for drenching the mounds. This will kill some of the ants. It will also cause the survivors to re-locate the nest. This can take a few minutes, so be careful the ants don’t attack during the treatment.
The other part of the treatment is to apply fire ant bait to the entire yard. In many areas, there can be hundreds of colonies per acre. The bait will even eliminate the colonies that haven’t built a mound yet.
The bait label will have direction for the amount of bait to use for every thousand square feet. Treat large yards in sections. Multiply the length by the width to find the number of square feet. Some brands of fire ant bait will be ruined if they get wet, so watch the weather. Fire ants forage for food in the grass, so put the bait in the grass away from the mound.
These treatments ill have o be re-applied periodically. The weather will break down the insecticide. When the fire ants in your neighbor’s yard try to invade, they will need a fresh bait treatment. The product labels will have directions explaining when to re-treat.