4 Ways to Limit the Spread of Fire Ants
Fire ants are a major nuisance in Florida. These invasive insects damage crops and wildlife and cause painful stings. They’re extending their range in the United States, and they must be controlled. Fortunately, there are many options available for fire ant control. Here are four of these options, explained by the experts at Apex.
- Biological Control
Red imported fire ants are native to South America. The populations of these ants are much lower in their native habitat than they are in the United States. This is probably because the ants have natural enemies in South America that help control their numbers. These enemies aren’t found in the United States.
To try to control fire ants, researchers have imported natural enemies of fire ants, like parasitic flies from South America. The flies have been successful in areas where they’ve been introduced. Since it requires special knowledge to handle these flies, they’re not commercially available.
- Home Remedies
There are many home remedies that people claim will kill fire ants. Some remedies, like applying club soda, instant grits, or molasses to ant mounds, don’t work. Tests have shown they’re ineffective, so don’t bother trying any of these remedies.
One remedy that’s more effective is pouring boiling water on the mounds. When about three gallons of boiling water is used, the method is about 60 percent effective. Unfortunately, this method will kill surrounding vegetation. It’s also very dangerous since you could burn yourself or get stung by angry ants (or both).
- Organic Products
If you’re interested in organic control of fire ants, there are a few products available. Some of these products contain d-limonene, an extract from citrus oil. This ingredient is toxic to fire ants.
Spinosad baits are another organic option. They contain a chemical complex that’s produced by a soil microbe, Saccharopolyspora spinose.
- Chemical Control
Insecticides can also be used to kill fire ants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the use of insecticides for fire ant control. To check if a product is approved for fire ant control, read the label. Avoid using unapproved products.
Read the first aid instructions on the product label before you start the application. Carefully follow the label directions to ensure you’re using the product safely. If you’re unsure, leave the insecticide use for professionals.
To stop fire ants from spreading, widespread management is needed. If you have fire ants on your property, these four methods can be used to keep them under control. When in doubt, call the Orlando pest removal experts at Apex.
Apex Pest Control is one of the most trusted Orlando pest removal companies in the state. We’re proud of the work we do to help keep the homes, landscape, and businesses in our community free from harmful plants, insects, and animals, while also striving to maintain a balance with the ecosystem as a whole. Check out our blog or contact us today to learn more!