Fire ants damage crops every year and sting painfully. It is vital to remove fire ants quickly. This is where you can seek help from an Austin pest control for help.
A queen oversees and populates most fire ant colonies. Female fire ants start new colonies. The new queen will lay four-stage eggs.
Most eggs produce tiny, wingless female workers. These workers defend the nest, provide food for the queen, and help build it. Foraging is a major part of their day, as they need to provide for the queen, the other workers, and the growing reproductives. Fire ants devour insects, plants, and even small mammals and birds. Fire ants have a life cycle. The colony is eliminated by killing the queen.
- Mound watering
Homeowners pour boiling water on fire ant mounds. Slowly pour two to three liters of hot water over the nest without getting splashed. Texas A&M University reports 60% success using hot water on a nest.
Boiling water is risky. Splashing boiling water burns. Fire ants will panic and attack, stinging the treatment provider. Finally, the queen and the workers are probably safe from death by boiling water. Survivors will create another mound nearby. Since the queen is buried deep within the mound, a pot of boiling water would probably never reach her.
- Pesticide spraying
Pesticide kills fire ant mounds better than boiling water. The mound gets 2–3 liters of pesticide. Compared to boiling water, the pesticide has a greater chance of killing the queen bee since it travels deeper into the soil. Pesticides will injure employees leaving the mound.
Insecticide works better on fire ant mounds, but a specialist should apply it. Again, approaching the nest may provoke ants. Pesticides are dangerous and can injure the skin, eyes, and mouth.
- Baitworker ants
Employee baiting to eradicate fire ants from the yard is effective but time-consuming—baited nest. The bait attracts hungry workers. After killing the colony, they return it to the queen and the workers. This method collapses colonies in two weeks.
Bait, such as chicken feed or seeds, is broadcast together with the pesticide to attract pests. This works best on large yards with multiple fire ant mounds.
Since neither hazardous chemicals nor boiling water needs to be applied, this method is preferable to eliminating fire ant mounds by dousing them with either. Broadcast sprays are best for returning pesticides to the queen and baiting yard fire ants. It is disadvantageous as broadcast treatments kill fire ants in two weeks because they return the bait to the colony. Light-sensitive granules in broadcast treatments may lose potency under the Texas sun. Runoff from the rain after spraying may reduce efficacy.