Have you started seeing fire ants in your yard? Have you gotten a few bites on your feet? When these irritating ants get into South Carolina yards, they can be extremely frustrating to deal with. But, for some people, the threat is greater. Fire ants can present a serious danger to anyone who has an allergy. The sting of a fire ant can lead to anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction that requires emergency medical treatment. Nothing can ruin an outdoor event faster than having to rush someone to the hospital by ambulance. Fire ants also present a threat to babies because they are unable to get away from these stinging pests. When fire ants find a way inside a home, they can threaten seniors and anyone who is infirm. No matter how great a threat fire ants present to you or your family, it is best to use effective methods and products to get rid of them, or you could find yourself adding to your misery. These ants can be extremely difficult to exterminate. They have an uncanny ability to disperse and recolonize. Here's what works to effectively control the spread of fire ants.
Why What Doesn't Work Doesn't Work
Before we explain what works to get rid of fire ants, it is important to understand why fire ant control often fails. Why? Because you might be tempted to think that there is a better (and cheaper) solution than the one we're going to provide.
Boiling Water. There are few things as cheap as pouring boiling water on fire ant mounds. But fire ant tunnels can be deep and complex. It is highly unlikely that you will eliminate all the ants in a colony by dumping boiling water on it. The likely outcome is that you'll burn yourself with the water and cause the fire ants within the colony to spread out and create multiple nests in your yard.
Sprays. There are many cheap (and not so cheap) products that you can spray on fire ants. Some people use vinegar. Some use soapy water. There are many products that have the ability to kill fire ants that are sprayed. The problem is, this approach is topical. It does nothing to eliminate all of the ants hiding in the ground. It also has the ability to cause a nest to split into more than one nest.
Corn grits. It doesn't cost too much to pour corn grits on an ant mound. But, if you're expecting fire ant workers to eat the grits and blow up, don't hold your breath. Workers are unable to ingest solid foods. They only drink liquids. If you think your corn grits are working, it is only because of mound disturbance and recolonization. Fire ants don't like to have their mounds disturbed.
We could give many more examples, but these three touch on the key issues involved in attempting cheap, DIY ant control. They don't get all the ants and they produce results that can make you think you're winning the battle. We assure you, you're not.
What Works Really Works
The longstanding solution for fire ants is the use of bait. Bait can be used for large areas or for targeting specific mounds. The baits used must be appropriately selected and appropriately placed for effective control. Bait works because it is taken and shared with the colony. When the colony dies, the fire ants are no longer able to spread around the yard and continue to colonize.
If you live in our South Carolina service area, contact Aiken Pest Control for fire ant control. The methods we use are field-tested. Our licensed pest professionals know what products work and how to administer them to achieve the results you're looking for. It will cost you more than a pan full of boiling water, but you won't get burned.
Fire ants can present a serious threat to you and everyone who visits your property. Meet this threat with trusted pest control. Reach out to us today to schedule an inspection of your property. We'll help you figure out what you're up against, and what will work best to address your specific pest control needs.