Finding fire ant mounds on your property can be alarming and you want the problem dealt with swiftly. After all, while fire ants create a risk for anyone walking around the property, you might be particularly concerned about your kids and pets who could become unknowing victims.
Since these pests are a relatively common problem here in Memphis, TN and Northern MS, you’re probably familiar with a number of different DIY fire ant killer approaches. There are not only various products sold in big box stores, but there are different “homemade solutions” for fire ant control.
While you might be pondering going this route, there are some reasons why DIY fire ant control may not be the best idea. Here’s what you ought to know.
There’s a reason we put this point first. We want you to understand the risk that can be associated with DIY fire ant killer tactics. Fire ants are an aggressive species that will attack when they feel threatened. Most people don’t realize that fire ants have both jaws and a stinger, so they typically bite and sting. Their stingers contain venom which is highly irritating to humans and can cause red bumps and white pustules. Even worse, a number of people are actually allergic to fire ant venom (but don’t know until they’re stung). If you experience a fire ant sting reaction that includes sweating, nausea, excessive itching, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention immediately.
When you disturb a fire ant nest, it could result in an attack of hundreds if not thousands of ants. You should be aware that a colony may contain as many as 100,000 to 500,000 ants!
Besides the risk from the fire ants themselves, some DIY methods also come with risks of their own. One of the methods we see circulated a lot is to dump boiling water on an ant mound. But we’ve also heard of homeowners coming away with burns while trying to pour out the boiling water. You should also know that researchers estimate this method is only about 60 percent effective. The remaining 40 percent of the colony will simply relocate somewhere else on your property.
Some DIY ideas even suggest pouring gas or diesel fuel on fire ant mounds. This can be extremely dangerous. Not only are these products dangerous to handle but they are now creating a flammable environment in your backyard. At the very least, you should be aware that it’s going to kill grass and any vegetation around the area.
Besides being risky, you should also know that many DIY approaches simply don’t work that well. We already mentioned that the boiling water method is only partially effective and the surviving ants will likely just rebuild their mound somewhere else in your yard. But other methods also tend to be subpar.
The problem with most DIY approaches is that you must kill the queen in order to effectively treat the mounds. Since the queen is hidden deep inside the mound, it can be very difficult to eliminate her with a DIY approach. On top of that, it’s not uncommon for colonies to have more than one queen, so they can even recover if one or two of the queens have been killed.
Beyond home remedies and concoctions, even some of the control products sold at big box stores are not going to be as potent as what a professional can use. But when it comes to how to get rid of fire ants, you want something that you know will work. You don’t want to waste more time trying different methods and letting ants continue to thrive and take over your backyard in the meantime. You want to take back your yard as quickly as possible.
In fact, the more time that it takes with ineffective methods, the more trouble the ants may be causing. Any time that you attempt an unsuccessful (or only partially successful) approach, you run the risk of the fire ant colony splitting up and starting new ones around your property. Now, you’ve got multiple colonies to address!
In the end, you want to make sure that you implement a solution that truly works while not putting yourself (or your family) at risk in the process.
This is where a professional can help.
At Master Lawn, we use a professional fire ant control program that includes bait brought back to the colony. Targeting fire ants deep underground, where they are hiding, is the most effective approach. Our program can keep fire ants at bay for approximately 4 to 6 months. Because it’s a serious threat, it’s the type of program that’s important to keep up with on an ongoing basis.
We offer fire ant control services as an add-on service for existing lawn care clients.Typically, we perform 2 visits sometime from spring through fall, spaced about 4 months apart. The price is based on your lawn’s size and starts at around $40/treatment.
We understand that fire ants are a serious concern and one that you want to take care of in an effective and safe way. Fortunately, by implementing the right approach, you can take back control of your yard. That means no more worries that your family or your pet could get stung by these nasty pests.
Instead, you can get back to enjoying time outside as the master of your lawn.
Ready to get rid of fire ant worries at your Tennessee or Northern Mississippi home? Talk to a lawn care expert about adding fire ant control to one of our 3 lawn care program options, and become the master of your lawn.