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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.

Contact information for Dr. Blake Layton.

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A closeup of a fire ant mound.
Filed Under: Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns, Turfgrass and Lawn Management April 6, 2021

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Close-up of a fire ant mound
Filed Under: Fire Ants, Lawn and Garden, Insects-Home Lawns September 4, 2020

If you want fewer fire ant beds in your yard, the best way to achieve that goal is to maintain a consistent management plan throughout the year.

Liquid drench is poured from a watering can on a fire ant bed.
Filed Under: Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns May 21, 2020

This is the time of year to start a good fire ant management plan that can reduce the number of beds in your yard by 80 to 90 percent.

A person holds a canister of dry powder pesticide and a measuring spoon of powder over a fire ant mound.
Filed Under: Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management September 11, 2018

Even if you preventatively treat your yard periodically through the year for fire ants, you’ll still see mounds pop up.

There are two ways to treat these mounds: liquid drenches and dry powders. (File photo by MSU Extension Service.)

A close-up of gloved hands pouring a liquid drench pesticide into a measuring cup.
Filed Under: Fire Ants, Insects-Home Lawns, Insects-Pests, Turfgrass and Lawn Management August 28, 2018

Fire ant mounds always pop up right where you don’t need them – in the flower bed you planned to weed tomorrow, next to the mailbox that needs to be reset, and near the patio where you are throwing a party tonight. (Photo by Brian Utley/Cindy Callahan)


Fire Ant Control - MSU Extension Service
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Fire Ant Control

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 1:45pm

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Portrait of Dr. Blake Layton, Jr.
Extension Professor
Entomology; extension insect identification; fire ants; termites; insect pests in the home, lawn and