How to Manage Fire Ants in Your Yard
Video and photo by Michaela Parker/Brian Utley
Now that the incessant rains have let up, I’ve noticed that we have fire ants everywhere in our yard.
Luckily, this is the time of year to start a good management plan that can reduce the number of beds in your yard by 80 to 90 percent. You should apply a fire ant bait to the entire yard three times a year to help maintain this level of control. You can use the holidays of Easter, July 4th, and Labor Day to remember when to apply bait. The bait and equipment are inexpensive and easy to use. All you need is a handheld spreader. Extension entomologist Blake Layton shows you How to Get a Handle on Fire Ants with bait.
Although preventive treatment with bait is the best way to manage fire ants, there is no treatment that provides 100 percent control. You’ll still have mounds pop up throughout the year. There are two ways to treat them: liquid drenches and dry powders.
Use a liquid drench on mounds that you need gone in a few hours. Maybe you’re having a cookout on the patio and notice that you have a fire ant bed right on the edge. This is when you should use a drench. Blake Layton shows you how to mix and apply a liquid drench.
If you can wait a few days for the mound to disappear, use a dry powder pesticide. These are easier to apply than a liquid drench but take a three to seven days to work. Blake Layton shows you how to use dry powder pesticides.
For more information about fire ants and management resources, visit the Extension website.
Remember, certain treatment products shouldn’t be used near food crops, pets, and livestock. Always read the product label, and check out our publications specific to your situation:
P2429 “Control Fire Ants in Your Yard”
P2494 “Control Fire Ants in Commercial Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables”
P2493 “Control Fire Ants in Pastures, Hayfields, and Barnyards”
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