Fire ant control
The key identification for Fire Ants is their dome shaped mounds that can be found in the yard, around sidewalks, electrical utility boxes, potted plants, landscape timbers and many other places. Fire ants are quite small (2-6mm) and come in a variety of sizes within one nest. Their heads and bodies are coppery-brown; two segmented nodes, uneven thorax and their abdomens are darker with a stinger. They are aggressive, particularly near the nest, and can inflict painful stings.
Individual mound treatment with bait is the fastest way to eliminate the Fire Ant colonies on small properties when mounds can be seen. But it takes more product and labor looking for, finding and baiting each mound. You may also miss colonies nesting under sidewalks, rocks and stumps. Bait should be applied around the mound and not on it. Be sure not to contaminate the bait with another insecticide. Depending on the bait used, elimination could take 3-14 days with mound treatment. Never apply bait if ground is wet from dew or rain is expected within 6hrs. Homeowner should not irrigate for 24hrs after application. These baits may be re-applied within 7 days.
Broadcast bait and insecticide treatments
Broadcasting bait on the entire property/yard should be performed for continuous protection for fire ants. It also helps in eliminating Fire Ants that may enter the structure and nesting in areas that can't be seen. When treating the entire yard, it's crucial that you know the square footage being treated to apply the correct amount of product. Baits should be applied with a hand spreader due to low volume of product needed and can be re-applied every 12-14 weeks.
Long residual contact insecticide *TopChoice (Restricted Use Pesticide)
This type of application is the most expensive and provides longer control than baiting. Applying TopChoice is very slow acting and take up to 60 days for elimination and will continue to control Fire Ants for 1 year in the areas treated. Topchoice will not control ants if coverage area was missed during treatment. Bait will need to be used to eliminate ants in these areas. Treatment area needs to be watered or irrigated after application. Any product on sidewalks, patios, driveways, decks, etc.… must be swept off.
This method of application should only be used if immediate knock down needs to take place or if the mound is against the foundation of the home. Treatment products mostly used for drenching are liquid pyrethroids/permethrin and granules that are watered into the mound. Ants are killed only if the insecticide contacts them, so proper application is essential. These treatments are most effective when ants are nesting close to the mound surface. The nest should not be disturbed prior to treatment. Treating fire ants by this method may or may not eliminate all of the ants in the nest.
Fire Ant infestations inside the structure can usually be controlled by treating the exterior.
There are times when treating the exterior may not eliminate the ants quickly and inside treatment is needed.
The following aerosol products can be used as a crack/crevice or spot treatment for Fire Ants on the interior: PT Alpine Pressurized Insecticide, PT 221L and Temprid Ready Spray.
Remember to always READ the label and be familiar with the product's treatment procedures.
Several products exclude Fire Ants on the label.