Did you know that fire ants occur in practically every home lawn across the United States? Even for those who manage to achieve a completely fire ant free yard, it usually doesn’t last long because newly mated fire ant queens will quickly make their way to colonize it. Plus, new fire ant colonies are able to thrive better in areas where they don’t have other colonies to compete with.
In the South, controlling fire ants in your yard can seem like a never-ending battle. But, there are steps homeowner’s can take to keep their lawn practically free of those pesky fire ants.
Baits are the easiest, cheapest, and most effective step a homeowner can take to controlling fire ants. You should apply them as broadcast treatments instead of trying to treat individual mounds. Broadcast bait treatment works by targeting all of the fire ant colonies in your yard, not just the big mounds. When you treat just the big mounds, it allows the smaller colonies the opportunity to thrive due to having less competition.
Early springs is a great time to start applying fire ant baits in your lawn. If you can treat your lawn again during midsummer and fall it will help keep the issue controlled. Try to apply the bait during a time when it is not supposed to rain for a few days. This will allow time for the ants to pick up the bait and take it back to their mound before the rain washes it away.
Do you have a large mound forming by your back patio that you can’t wait 4 weeks for a bait treatment to control? Try using an individual mound treatment. Individual mound treatments contain contact insecticides which provide a quicker control than bait treatments. Mound treatments are great to use when you want to quickly eliminate a large fire ant mound.
Dry mound treatments that contain acephate as the active ingredient are the most effective. However, the odor may linger in the area you treat for weeks. So, people typically tend to use treatments that contain the active ingredients deltamethrin or cyfluthrin.
Broadcast Insecticide Treatments
Broadcast insecticide treatments are applied across the entire lawn. These treatments are usually more expensive and time-consuming than baits. The usage of broadcast insecticide treatments is most common in highly managed areas, like athletic fields and golf courses.
Most broadcast treatments used for controlling fire ants also help with other pests including: chinch bugs, white grubs, and mole crickets. So, if you have multiple pests problems using broadcast treatments may be the most useful. It’s important to read over the label prior to purchasing to make sure the treatment will help with the group of pests you need to control.
If you are willing to go the extra mile in your efforts of controlling fire ants, you can combine the methods. Some homeowner’s use broadcast insecticide treatments on areas where there is high traffic, like the patio. Then, they will use baits throughout the rest of the yard. Want to learn more about fire ants? Read more by clicking here.
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