Fire Ants…

If you are not from the south, you may have only heard about fire ants. These ants make a distinctive looking mound – that you don't always see in time. Here's one at the base of a big rock in my front yard.

FireAntBed-01 

If you poke the mound, thousands of tiny ants flood out. If you aren't paying attention, they climb up your leg and then they all bite you at once. It feels like fire, hence the name "fire ants". I took a stick and drew across the bed…

FireAntBed-02 

… I hope you can see the fire ants. I moved away pretty quickly.

FireAntBed-03 

Click on the picture and I think a bigger one will open for you. The little white ovals are eggs. You can see the ants better on the rock. I have at least 3 of these fire ant beds out front and I have to watch my grandkids so that they don't get into them.

13 thoughts on “Fire Ants…

  1. Hi Becky, Isn’t there some way that you could get rid of them? Or does it require an exterminator? Possibly silly questions from a northern guy who has never encountered this pest. Take care, Jay

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  2. My husband said there is a specific insecticide for fire ants. They multiply quickly so you need to get an exterminator out there. They can even form “balls” and float on top of water and spread that way. Grandkids are just too precious-protect them now.

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  3. There is a chemical (Amdro I think it is) and we have used it before and will again. But there is no way to make fire ants be gone forever. You just have to be vigilant because a mound can pop up almost overnight.

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  4. Lived in Alabama for 25 yrs.Houston 5 yrs,& remember those all too well, horrible bites! If it rains they come out of the ground….I now live near Boston, don’t miss those, lizards, or snakes, or tornados, we do get the thunderstorms up here but I will gladly shovel snow any day!

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  5. I’d get rid of them. Here in VA they are talking about the damage they could do to livestock and other things and trying to find ways to kill them off totally. I’d call an exterminator for sure!

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  6. Fire ants, oh what memories. I am from California but my father re-married and moved to Mississippi when i was grown. I went to visit and offered to mow the lawn. Thinking those mounds were gophers I just mowed over the top of them. When he saw what I was doing he freaked out. I moved to fast to get bit but learned a valuable lesson. Those mounds are not gophers.

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  7. I have been using Borax (laundry powder) for my red ants and I guess you could say the domestic ones as well. I sprinkled them on the hills and they sure don’t like it but it did the trick. Maybe it will work for yours, worth the try.
    Marcy

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  8. I’m not sure if we have fire ants but we live on North Padre Island and I believe that this Island is made up of ants! We sprinkle corn meal around the mounds and soon the ants disappear and they don’t seem to come back. I love that it is a non-toxic solution! I hope it works for you.

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  9. I am from Louisiana originally now living in Georgia. I know what you are talking about…. We have used grits to get rid of ants, seems to work. Supposely they eat them and they swell up inside of them and you can guess the rest. (Use the real thing not instant)

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  10. We lived 8 years in Houston and, as a Long Island girl, I was fascinated by the fire ants. The way they all spring into action at the least disturbance was amazing. One day, stupidly, I planted my sneaker into the middle of a mound, pulled it back quickly and watched them go crazy. Then I climbed into my car for a drive to the store. I was 3 blocks away before one little critter who had hung on to my shoe managed to crawl up my shoe, around my sock, and bite me!! (Lesson Learned!!) I agree with Becky – you can poison them, but they always manage to pop back up somewhere else. You always have to be vigilant.

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  11. I have a blog site called the fireantcontrolteam.blogspot.com where i am sharing info on fire ants. I use a fire ant trap with my business to control fire ants in residential and business yards. It keeps the pesticide contained and protects our children,pets,birds,etc from the pesticide and protects our environment from excessive amounts of pesticides. I have been studying fire ants for 9yrs. They are here to stay and we must learn to deal with them.

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  12. As much as I love nature, I still think I can do without fire ants. I always get terrified that one may bite me because I’ve known from experience that it would hurt A LOT! If you want to remove those fire ants in your yard, you can try pouring hot water on their mounds. It can effectively wipe out their colony, provided that the queen fire ant is also exterminated.

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  13. Well, Max, aside from pouring boiling water on the mound, you can also buy granular bait and put it near their colonies. Basically, fire ants would think of this bait as food, but this doesn’t literally kill them. Instead, they bring this to their nest which stops the nesting process of the queen.

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