Debunking Fire Ant Control Home Remedies
Everyone loves a good myth buster, and we have a very timely one for you! Fire ant beds in your yard can be such a headache to deal with. Many people have used home remedies to control ants. But are those quick fixes really getting rid of the ants in your yard? Let’s take a look at some commonly used home remedies and whether or not they work!
- Uncooked grits – Don’t fall for this one! The logic behind this method is the ants would die after they eat the grits. Fire ants do eat grits, but they don’t swell up and explode after doing so! It’s best to leave the grits in the kitchen cabinet.
- Club soda – Many people think that pouring club soda on the ant bed will kill them. Many people think the CO2 in the soda will kill them, but it’s not an effective method of diminishing the mound.
- Boiling hot water – This one has the same logic behind it as the club soda myth. The scolding hot water will instantly kill the fire ants. There is some truth behind this one! The trick to this remedy is to use enough water that is hot enough. Two to three gallons of water is needed per mound. If you’re going to do this, try it out in the spring when the mounds are sitting high off the ground.
Other home remedies to avoid are baking soda, vinegar, molasses, and plaster of Paris. So, if these remedies don’t work, then what does? Our experts recommend applying a granular bait treatment over the entire property three times a year. Granular baits contain slow-acting active ingredients like hydramethylnon, methoprene or indoxacarb. Use the holidays Easter, Fourth of July, and Labor Day to help you remember when to apply the treatment. If you notice any mounds pop up throughout the year, use a dry mound treatment on them.
Acephate, deltamethrin, and cyfluthrin are all common ingredients in dry mound treatments. All have pros and cons to them. Acephate works fastest and is most effective but has a strong odor. Deltamethrin and cyfluthrin generally work slower and are less effective, but don’t smell bad. Extension Publication 2429, “Control Fire Ants in Your Yard” is a handy resource that can be helpful as you battle pesky fire ants.
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