Fire ants can be a real problem in home lawns. While they do not directly affect the grass, they can cause damage to mowers and other maintenance equipment. They also sting people and pets, making the lawn an uninhabitable area.
It’s important not to disturb mounds before you begin treatment. It’s human nature to want to kick the top of mound to watch those little guys die. However, damaging the mound causes worker ants to rush the queen even deeper below ground.
Best Control: Do the Two-Step
One of the best means of control is to:
1. Broadcast fire ant bait (click for sources). This controls small mounds you can’t see.
2. Follow in twenty-four hours with a mound treatment with acephate (click for sources) or liquid lawn insecticides (click for sources) or poison granules (click for sources). This controls the large mounds.
Remember to follow all label precautions carefully. More is not necessarily better.
1. Spread a bait containing the organic bacterial insecticide spinosad fire ant bait (click for sources).
Follow the label directions for all products.
Don’t do this:
Gasoline does not work and is NOT RECOMMENDED. This is extremely dangerous to use and will kill the turf grass and can sterilize the soil.
Grits and some of the other home-made remedies you have heard about “over the fence” are totally INEFFECTIVE and repeated research has proven them to be so.
Putting club soda in the mound does not work!