Fire ants arrived in Mississippi in the 1930s and are a common problem in the state. Once established, these colonies can easily contain tens to hundreds of thousands of ants. Although the ants may vary in size (and color), they are all capable of stinging. Fire ant stings can leave itchy welts all over your legs. If you want your children or pets to play safely in your yard, the fire ants need to go. In this article, we’ll walk you through a few tips to eliminate fire ants for good! Should any of these options not work for you, you may need to reach out to a local ant exterminator to help.
Dig the Fire Ants Out
If you can see one or two, above-ground mounds, you can physically remove them from your lawn with a shovel and a bucket. Keep in mind that a visible fire ant mound means there are likely smaller colonies rapidly growing without a mound yet formed. These may eventually show up after you have tackled the visible ones.
- Wear gloves, shoes, and clothing that you can easily knock ants off, to avoid getting stung by thousands of fire ants.
- Once you’ve donned the right apparel for the job, you’ll want to do your digging around mid-day, when most of the ant colony is in the mound.
- Make sure you dig the entire mound out and about a foot more below it.
- Dump the ants and their mound into a bucket large enough to hold them, and then you can decide whether to drown them in soapy water or dump them somewhere off your property.
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Scalding Water to Kill Fire Ants
Wait until midday so that most of the ants will be in their mound and then pour three to four gallons of scalding hot water onto the mound. Keep in mind that hot water will also kill the grass and shrubbery around the mound. Be prepared to dig the dead mound out, replace it with new soil, and add seed to grow in new grass.
Mild Chemical Treatments for Fire Ants
Baking soda and vinegar work as a safe and effective method of treating fire ants. First, pour a generous amount of baking soda over the mound. If it’s a large mound, use a stick to poke a few holes into the mound and fill these with baking soda. Once you have the nest covered, pour a liberal amount of vinegar over it. These two ingredients together will kill the mound and won’t cause any harm to you or your family. You will still most likely have to use some seed and/or fertilizer to get healthy grass to grow again, and you may still need to dig the mound out and refill it with new soil.
Call the Experts to Get Rid of Fire Ants
Fire ants have the potential to be aggressive and swarm in large numbers when agitated. Stings can be painful and even dangerous if you or someone you love has an allergic reaction. Mississippi is a haven for fire ants as they love the warm climate and can extend deep into the ground. Removing fire ants can be incredibly difficult and may not be worth the risk to your safety. If you need treatment for fire ants, please call Southern Pest Control today for a free control estimate. Our team can work to eliminate your problem and will provide continued ant control appointments with prevention tips to avoid future outbreaks.Back to Ant Exterminators – Control – Removal