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Sunday, February 21, 2010

How to Combat Fire Ants

Fire ants are among the most resilient and hard to eliminate pests that plague the south.  Unfortunately, the creatures have also moved into many other parts of the country as well.  Eliminating the creatures can be much harder than it seems, and often requires a number of steps.  Today we will take a look at both indoor and outdoor fire ant infestations in order to help you learn how to get rid of the pests as well as how to prevent them.

When fire ants have invaded your home, it can be remarkably frustrating.  The ants can come in through a variety of spaces, many of which are too small to even be seen.  One way to help stop this is to spray the foundation of your home with pesticides, but when the ants are already in your home, they must be killed.  Using fire ant bait or traps can help to eliminate the problem, but you will also want to take steps to make your home less appealing to the creatures.  This means never leaving food or dishes out for longer than necessary and taking the time to fully clean up any spills.  Taking out trash regularly when food contents are in the bin can also help to prevent infestations.

If you are trying to combat outdoor fire ants, you will want to spread any bait anywhere that you have seen ant mounds or hills.  Make certain not to employ the bait before a rain storm, however, as it will be washed away.  Taking this action during the fall can help keep spring infestations down to a minimum.  Simply spread the granules throughout the area you are trying to protect and you will help to prevent the ants from spreading into the area.

Once the bait has done its job, you are ready to eliminate individual ant hills.  The number of mounds and the number of ants should be significantly lower than usual if the bait was properly used.  In order to get rid of remaining ants, you can use dust insecticides or use a drenching solution that is intended to get rid of ants.  A cheaper and more environmentally friendly solution is to pour boiling water into the mound.  This will kill the ants living inside and will help to stop your problems.  Keep in mind, however, that the process will need to be repeated as new ants come into the area.

Fire ants are highly invasive and there is no trick to permanently eliminating them.  You will need to take the time to periodically spray or to drench each hill as it appears.  Taking the time to periodically spray the foundation of your home is another important part of keeping fire ant infestations at a minimum.  Always ensure that your windows and doors form a proper seal as well.  Fire ants can be bothersome and their bites are rather painful, but with the right precautions and a bit of work you can safely eliminate them from your property.

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