The local lawn service pro’s explain how Emmaus homeowners can get rid of fire ants.

Fir? ?nt?, also kn?wn ?? ginger ants or red ?nt?, ?r? a t??? ?f ?tinging ?nt that can be found nesting in th? ??il n??r m?i?t ?r??? such ?? rivers, ponds, ?nd watered lawns. Whil? many ants ??n ??u?? irritation by spraying ??id, they also inject alkaloid v?n?m with th?ir ?ting. They bite in ?rd?r t? g?t a gri? ?? that th?? can then u?? th?ir v?n?m-inj??ting ?ting against th?ir ?r??. Th? v?n?m is toxic, and ??n ?v?n b? f?t?l for particularly ??n?itiv? ????l? or th??? with allergies. A? with m?n? allergies, th? venom ??n cause ?n??h?l?xi?, whi?h r??uir?? immediate, ?m?rg?n?? tr??tm?nt. Other ??m?t?m? of the toxic v?n?m are l???liz?d t? the ?it? of th? sting ?nd in?lud? ??inful swelling, r?d bum??, and pustules whi?h can become infected.

Ant? d?n’t r??ll? h?v? any n?g?tiv? effects ?n your gr???, but th?? ??n b???m? a nuisance to th? h?m??wn?r. They build ?nt hills in th? ??rd, th?? ???m t? ?lw??? b? ?r?und wh?n you want to relax und?r some ?h?d? tr??, and ??m? can even ?ffli?t a ??inful sting (?u?h ?? fir? ants).

Fir? ?nt? ?r? m?r? commonly f?und in th? ??uth?rn ??rt ?f th? ??untr?. If ??u d? find ??ur??lf having fir? ?nt?, I’d recommend th?t ??u t?k? m???ur?? t? rid ??ur??lf of th? ???t. S?, h?w can you t?ll if ??u h?v? fir? ?nt?? Unf?rtun?t?l? it ??n b? ??m?wh?t difficult because th?? l??k mu?h lik? ?rdin?r? ?nt?. They’re anywhere from 1/8 to 1/4 in?h?? l?ng ?nd r?ddi?h br?wn t? bl??k in ??l?r. Ag?in, ??und? like your ?rdin?r?, b??i?, ?nt. Wh?r? th?? ?t?nd out i? th?ir ?ggr???iv? b?h?vi?r ?nd characteristic mound-shaped nests (whi?h are usually 12 in?h?? or m?r? in di?m?t?r ?nd height).

Wh?t t? Look F?r

Fir? ?nt? n??t in th? soil. T??i??ll?, their colonies u?? dirt to build l?rg? mounds. Usually, th? n??t will b? hidd?n und?r ?bj??t? ?u?h ?? logs, stumps, r??k?, ?r bri?k?. If th?r? is n? cover, the ?nt? will ??n?tru?t a dome-shaped m?und. G?n?r?ll?, th??? domes ?r? f?und in ???n areas ?u?h ?? fields, ??rk?, ?nd lawns, wh?r? it i? n?t possible t? build a ??v?r for th? m?und. They ??n also n??t ind??r?, sometimes inside ?l??tri??l ??ui?m?nt ?nd utilit? h?u?ing?, ??u?ing ?h?rt circuits. If ?nd wh?n a nest is di?turb?d, fir? ?nt? will run ?ut ?nd attack.

Tr??tm?nt O?ti?n?:

Several species exist in th? Unit?d States. E??h b?h?v?? slightly differently ?nd responds t? diff?r?nt tr??tm?nt.

  • Eur????n Fire Ant? are testy, attacking ?n?thing th?t di?turb? their n??t. Th?ir ?ting? ??u?? w?lt? th?t ??n b???m? r?d ?nd uncomfortable. The best treatment i? t? bait th?m using b?ri? ??id. Studi?? h?v? found th?t b?ri? acid damages th? ?nt?’ int??tin??. It ??n b? ?ur?h???d at l???l gr???r? ?t?r?? ?nd h?rdw?r? ?t?r??. T? make thi? bait, ?im?l? mix 1/8 t??. ?f 1% boric ??id, ?nd 1 tb??. of corn syrup. Th? ??rn ??ru? attracts the ants to th? b?it. Th?n combine 1 ??rt mixture: 2 ??rt? w?t?r. Put th? b?it mixture in ??nt?in?r? n??r th? n??t?, ?nd in ?n? shady, m?i?t areas th?t you wi?h t? gu?rd against th??? pests. B?it every thr?? m?nth?.
  • The R?d Im??rt?d Fir? Ant, or RIFA, ??n wreak havoc ?n landscaping, ?r???, ?nd livestock. Th?? ?r? one ?f the most d?v??t?ting and destructive ????i??. Thi? inv??iv? species was first ???id?nt?ll? introduced int? th? U.S. in th? 1930’s. Th? FDA estimates that over five billi?n dollars is ???nt ???h ???r ?n tr??ting d?m?g? and ??ntr?lling RIFA ???ul?ti?n?. Th? b??t tr??tm?nt i? to b?it th? ?ntir? yard, rather th?n an individu?l m?und. Th? best baits, ?u?h ?? Extingui?h Plu? and Amdr? Fir? Strik?, ??nt?in b?th slow-acting ?nd f??t-??ting ingredients. Aft?r th? ?ntir? ??rd h?? been tr??t?d, look f?r m?und? that ??? up ?nd treat th?m individu?ll? as n??d?d. Repeat thi? ?r???dur? ?t l???t tw? tim??, annually.
  • Southern Fir? Ant? are l??? ?ggr???iv? th?n RIFA, but if th?? f??l thr??t?n?d, th?? will ?trik?. These ?nt? work in l?rg?, efficient ??l?ni??, so ?n? tr??tm?nt ??n take ??v?r?l weeks t? w?rk. U?? b?it? with h?dr?m?th?ln?n ?nd fi?r?nil ?nd ?l??? throughout th? wh?l? yard or ?ff??t?d ?r??. Tr??t individu?l m?und? with th? same ingredients, but k??? in mind that giv?n th? ??rv??iv?n??? of th? colonies, it m?? be best t? bait th? l?rg?r ?r??. Gr?nul?r baits with a ?l?w-??ting f?rmul? are the m??t ?ff??tiv? b???u?? th?? k??? th? ants fr?m d?ing before returning t? their n??t.

Although m??t ?nt ????i?? ?r? n?utr?l or even beneficial, thi? one can ruin a g?rd?n in n? tim? by devouring g?rmin?ting ???d?, tunn?ling int? ??t?t??? and t?m?t???, ?nd girdling ??ung fruit tr??? — ?nd they’ll bite and ?ting ??u, too. Dr?ught m?k?? th??? ?nt? ?v?n m?r? v?r??i?u?, as it ?r?m?t? them to turn t? g?rd?n ?r??? for moisture.

If ??u h?v? ju?t ?n? or two fir? ?nt mounds in ??ur g?rd?n ?r l?nd????? and n?t a widespread ?r?bl?m, ??u ??n d? a couple ?f thing?. Th? ?im?l??t i? t? ??ur 3 g?ll?n? ?f v?r? hot water dir??tl? onto th? ant mound. This method ??hi?v?? only ?b?ut 60 percent control, so ??u’ll likely have t? repeat applications often. B? ??r?ful not to splash th? ?urr?unding plants ?r yourself.

F?r an even m?r? effective way t? g?t rid of fir? ants, dr?n?h th? m?und? with a ?itru? oil ?nd ???? ??luti?n, a ??mbin?ti?n th?t’? r????t?dl? ?r?v?d effective. In ??ntr?ll?d ?tudi?? ??ndu?t?d by Texas A&M University entomologists, fir? ?nt m?und? still ?h?w?d no activity nearly a m?nth ?ft?r th? r????r?h?r? h?d dr?n?h?d th? mounds with a mixture ?f 1 1/2 ?un??? of Medina Or?ng? Oil, 3 ounces of D?wn liquid ???? ?nd 1 gallon ?f water. A ??m??und in citrus ?il, d-limonene, breaks d?wn th? ?nt?’ ?x??k?l?t?n? ?nd ??u??? th?m t? ?uff???t?. The commercial product Or?ng? Gu?rd Fir? Ant Kill?r — approved f?r use in ?rg?ni? agriculture b? th? Org?ni? M?t?ri?l? Review In?titut? (OMRI) — ?l?? ??nt?in? orange oil. (For ?th?r approved ?r?du?t?, ?h??k the OMRI w?b?it?.)

If ??ur fire ?nt ?r?bl?m i? m?r? ?xt?n?iv? than a m?und ?r tw?, step u? your response with the “T?x?? Tw?-St??” method recommended by T?x?? A&M Univ?r?it? extension specialists f?r fire ?nt control in h?m? v?g?t?bl? g?rd?n? ?nd landscapes.

C?ntr?lling Fire Ant?

St?? 1: On?? ?r twice a ???r, br??d???t a fire ?nt b?it ?r?du?t th?t ??nt?in? ??in???d — a natural m?t?b?lit? ?r?du??d b? a ??il mi?r??rg?ni?m — ?? it? ??tiv? ingr?di?nt. F?r?ging ants will carry th? ??in???d gr?nul?? b??k t? their nest, and the gr?nul?? will kill the colony within a f?w d??? to a f?w w??k?. F?r b??t results, ???l? fr??h granules wh?n ants ?r? active (when th? ??il t?m??r?tur? i? between 70 ?nd 95 degrees F?hr?nh?it) ?nd r?in is n?t in th? forecast. C?n??rv? Fire Ant Bait is a ??in???d ?r?du?t approved f?r ?rg?ni? u?? b? OMRI.

Step 2: If ??u ???t new fire ?nt activity in ??ur g?rd?n or a surrounding ?r?? b?tw??n ???li??ti?n? ?f St?? 1, tr??t individu?l m?und? with ?ith?r more of th? spinosad gr?nul??, th? Medina Or?ng? Oil/???? ??luti?n, Or?ng? Gu?rd, ?r v?r? h?t water.

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