Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Killing Fire Ants

Killing fire ants
Fire ants are very aggressive and repeatedly sting anything that disturbs them. The sting causes intense burning and itch which typically subsides within an hour. In the next 2 hours, a swelling occurs at the site of the sting. A white abscess comes out in a day or so.
On exceptional occasions, anaphylaxis, or a generalized, systemic allergic reaction to the fire ant stings, can occur. This usually occurs in persons who have been previously stung by fire ants. Symptoms include flushing, swelling of the face, eyes or throat, nausea, severe sweating. 
Fire ants enter wood through cracks, crevices, or between flooring and dig tunnels to form living quarters. Especially vulnerable are porches, roofing, and areas near kitchens and bathrooms where water from leakage may be trapped or absorbed by wood.
The road to how to kill fire ants: There are quite a few methods on how to kill fire ants; some take a few hours, others a few weeks or months. While dealing with fire ants you have to be very patient. And be sure you treat or remove all the mounds because even if you miss out on one mound, you will lose the war
Firstly take an inspection around the house; it is likely you will get a dirt mound up against the foundation of the house. The next thing is that if you have children playing in the yard and facing problems with fire ants, identify the place and flag it. Now you are prepared to fight fire ants.
In the following paragraphs you will get some suggestions about the methods to control fire ants.
Killing fire ants with Dry Ice
Take a 3' piece of 5/8" re-bar. With it make a hole to the bottom of the mound. Insert a piece of dry ice into the hole and push it to the bottom with the re-bar. The queen will be killed, along with most of the ants. If the queen dies, the ants die too. 
Killing fire ants with Boiling Water
Pouring boiling water on a colony is a non-chemical solution to get rid of fire ants. But if it does not kill the queen, it will not eliminate the colony.
To use boiling water as a method, start with a sunny, cool day when the ants are most active. For more information on how to kill fire ants with water click here

Killing fire ants with Dry Ice

Take a 3' piece of 5/8" re-bar. With it make a hole to the bottom of the mound. Insert a piece of dry ice into the hole and push it to the bottom with the re-bar. The queen will be killed, along with most of the ants. If the queen dies, the ants die too.

Killing fire ants with Boiling Water

Pouring boiling water on a colony is a non-chemical solution to get rid of fire ants. But if it does not kill the queen, it will not eliminate the colony.
To use boiling water as a method, start with a sunny, cool day when the ants are most active. Pour about 3 gallons (US) of truly boiling water slowly over the mound. Some fire ants can survive up to some days underwater, so the key word here is boiling. The fire ants die from being scorched, not drowned. .

Remove Their Scent Trails

Just before a rain, or in the early evening before the ants have gone underground for the night, dig up and scatter them. Fling them as far as you can, DOWNWIND. Their scent trails will be washed out by the rain or dew. Most of them will not find their way back. This may need to be repeated several times.

Killing fire ants by letting them Fight It out Themselves

 Fire ants from different colonies do not get along well. You can try putting this to your advantage by mixing up fire ants from different mounds. Colonies can be eliminated, or at least, weakened, using this method. It should work, as long as the area you live in does not have multi-queen colonies. Territorial and

Using a shovel to kill fire ants, take a full from mound one and set it aside. Take a shovel full from mound two and place it where you removed the ants from mound one. Then take the ants you put aside and put them into mound two. If you have three colonies, you can do a three way mix. Watch what happens. You should see piles of dead ants in a few days
Remember these methods for killing fire ants can be tricky, so if your in doubt please call a professional exterminator.
John

7 comments:

Richard McLaughlin said...

Fire ants were a problem in Arizona when I was based there. I once had this marching exercise where I had to stand still and give commands to a group of 100 Marines who marched around an area the size of a football field. If I moved, I lost points and this was part of a school. The 10 minute exercise began and 30 seconds later I was being bit.

Hell.

10 minutes later I stopped, got the sign that I cold move and instantly stripped naked. Horribly painful experience.

I went back that night with a gallon of gas and an e-tool. No, not an electronic tool, but an entrenching tool. The folding shovel that the Corps loves so well. Dug them suckers up as best as I could, covered as much as I cold with the gas and made an ant BQ.

John said...

good for you Richard, seems like you won in the long run on your battle with killing fire ants

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Davet Covillon said...

Fire ants are one of the worst pests imaginable. Thank you for sharing some practical methods of taking them out yourself. I know of those thought who have had to call on pest control in houston in order to be rid of the problem completely.

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