People who find fire ants in their yards want them eliminated FAST. They also hope that after the treatment the ants will never return. So the ideal fire ant killer would be fast acting and it would also be long lasting. In order to accomplish both objectives, most people find they have to combine treatment methods.
Liquid treatment Many insecticides can be applied directly to a fire ant mound. The insecticide label will have directions for drenching fire ant mounds. This will kill many ants, so it will provide immediate relief for mounds that are threats to people and pets. It will usually cause the surviving ants to relocate to a new nest site. Be sure to follow label directions for mixing and applying insecticide. Be careful — do not allow the ants to attack while doing this treatment!
Bait application This treatment should be made to the entire yard. In areas where fire ants are common, there can be hundreds of colonies per acre. This treatment will also eliminate the colonies that have not built mounds. Follow the label directions for bait application.
Fire ants forage for food near sunset and in the early morning. They do not look for food on the mound, so apply the bait in the grass away from the mound. Avoid applying bait when it is going to rain – the rain will spoil many types of ant bait. Bait that contains an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) will have a very long-lasting effect.
Many ant bait labels specify how much bait to use for every thousand square feet. Treat large yards in sections. Multiply length times width o find the square feet. Always follow the label directions.
Perimeter application If fire ants have made mounds next to the foundation, the workers might start coming inside to find food. The liquid insecticide label should have directions for a perimeter application. This can help discourage the ants from getting close to the house. Treat the foundation and a small band of soil next to the foundation. Follow the label directions.
Unfortunately, no insecticide treatment lasts forever. Sunshine and rain cause insecticides to breakdown. New ant colonies ill try top invade from the neighbor’s yard. The insecticide labels will have directions for re-applications.