Feel the BURN!
Fire ants are a painful fact of life in Southwest Florida.
These stinging pests can leave burning red welts, that turn into blisters and become very itchy. Children are especially susceptible to the stings and can experience major swelling if bitten.
Fortunately, you can get fire ant control and stop them from taking over your yard and your life!
Extension agents from Texas A&M University have developed a two-part approach to treating fire ants that they call the Texas Two-Step.
The first step is to use bait that contains a toxin that targets fire ants. You’ll use a method called broadcast baiting—spreading the bait around rather than targeting specific mounds.
Make sure to spread the bait at the ideal time when the ants are most active:
- temperatures are warm and dry
- no rain in the forecast
- ground and grass are not damp
Do not disturb any of the mounds before broadcast application and always use fresh bait, preferably from an unopened container. Ants will collect the granules and carry them back to the colony. Within a few weeks, the colony will die off.
Seven to ten days after the initial broadcast application, you will need to do a mound-specific treatment. You can use the bait again or one of a variety of contact insecticides, such as dusts, liquids, or aerosols, that will need to come into contact with the ant to be effective.
Fire ants are one of the most stubborn pests found in Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral and across Southwest Florida, so to permanently eliminate ants from your yard, you may need to call lawn care professionals who handle fire ant control.
Larue’s Lawn Care Program includes fire ant control with an annual treatment using Top Choice from Bayer.