The Q&A Archives: Is There Anyway To Actually Get Rid Of FireAnts Once and For All?

Question: I mean, I've had trouble with fireants ever since I moved to Texas, but this year is insane! I swear to you I found a mound underneath one of my shrubs that was over a foot tall and more than a foot in diameter. It was the scariest thing you've ever seen! I'd estimate that probably a 1/6th of lawn - both front and back - has been taken over. And I have used so many different products on these little boogers that I honestly believe I have created a Super Race of FireAnts that have mutated to the point of becoming chemically resistant. I know because I can almost hear them laughing at me as I spread the latest and greatest insecticide. The last thing I've tried was boiling water and although it did give me great satisfaction watching as they seemingly melted before my eyes, they're still out there - watching me - just waiting... LOL Seriously, we've had a ton of rain in Texas and rain always brings out the ants. I've yet to hire

Answer: Michelle,

First of all I must say I like your style! Great e-mail address and sense of humor....gasoline and blow torch! I better help you quick before you do something drastic or nuclear up there in the land of nutgrass and fire ants!

If you hire a professional who knows what they are doing they can suppress the fire ant problem with periodic treatment. We never eradicate them as even if you kill every one of them more will move in over time.

You can also do it yourself. The best approach is called the Texas Two Step. In a nutshell it is to begin with a bait treatment to get most of them and then follow with a mount treatment to kill the escapes. Mound treatments alone don't work because there are growing colonies you don't see to treat and so you are always behind the curve. In a rainy year like this their mounds are built especially high.

The following web sites will provide a wealth of research based information on managing fire ant problems.

I also will refer you to an Extension Agent in your area who specializes in these pests. Her name and contact info is:

Kim Engler
Extension Program Specialist-Urban IPM
17360 Coit Road
Dallas, TX 75252
Phone: 972.952.9221
Fax: 972.952.9227

Good luck and please put down the gasoline and grenades and go grab a glass of iced tea to sit back an relax a while.

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