Tips on using fire ant baits successfully
- Only use baits that are specifically labeled for fire ants.
- Read the label twice, once before you buy and again before you treat.
- Apply fire ant baits by broadcasting them over the entire yard.
- Don’t apply too much. The rate for most baits is only one to two pounds per acre.
- Use a spreader specifically designed for fire ant bait.
- Avoid irrigating for at least two days after applying baits.
- Try to avoid applying baits just before rainfall.
- Treat again if rainfall occurs within 12 hours after a bait application.
- Use fresh bait. Ants don’t like old bait that has gone rancid.
- Be patient. Baits are slow-acting.
- Apply fire ant baits preventively. Don’t wait till you see large mounds.
- Apply baits one to three times per year, depending on location.
- Use the holidays, Easter, Independence Day, and Labor Day as reminders.
- Use individual mound treatments to eliminate mounds the baits miss.
Dr. Blake Layton, Extension Entomology Specialist
Department of Entomology, Mississippi State University
Phone: (662) 325-2085
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Southern farmers may never win the battle against imported fire ants, but aggressive tactics can slow the pests’ invasion, reduce damage and prevent further spread across the United States.
Jane Parish is an Extension/research professor with the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. She said cattle and hay producers have learned to live with and work around the troublesome ants since the pests arrived in the state almost a century ago.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- People have many misconceptions on how to eliminate fire ant mounds and prevent them from coming back, and these erroneous beliefs hinder efforts to keep the harmful pest from spreading.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Fire ants can be more than unwelcome guests in the home lawn; their stings can be dangerous for children and pets who share play areas with the pests.
Fire ant stings are characterized by sharp localized pain, swelling and intense itchiness that is just a short-lived nuisance for most. A raised red bump appears soon after the sting and soon turns into a sterile pustule that resembles a pimple. However, the ants’ venom can cause severe allergic reactions in some people and pets.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Tell Mississippians that fire ants have completely invaded the state, and they’ll probably shrug and say they already know that. Tell them the pain actually comes from a sting rather than a bite, and they’ll say it still hurts. But tell them how to get rid of the nasty critters, and they’re all ears.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is organizing efforts to help residents Bite Back against fire ants. The solution is a simple two-part attack, but success comes in the long-term follow-through.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Fire ants are more than aptly named, given the reddish-orange color of their bodies and the painful, burning sting they can give.
Fire ants were unintentionally introduced to the United States from South America. The first documented release of fire ants occurred near Mobile, Alabama around 1918, and by the late 1930s, most of Mississippi had them.
Fire ants are very small and aggressive. When disturbed, they swarm, bite and sting, producing a painful or itchy pustule within hours.