According to Texas AM University, The impact of the red imported fire ants in the state of Texas is estimated to be $1.2 billion annually. If you need fire ant control read on. The Red imported fire ant is a pest of urban, agricultural and wildlife areas and can pose a serious health threat to plants and animals. Click to see really good pictures of Fire Ants.
Red imported fire ants, or Solenopsis invicta, are medium-sized red and black colored ants that build mounds of soft soil. Mounds are rarely larger than 18″ in diameter. In cold, dry areas such as the High Plains of Texas, fire ants mounds are usually much smaller and harder to detect. When disturbed, fire ants emerge aggressively, crawling up vertical surfaces, biting and stinging “all at once”. Fire ants sting usually leaves a white pustule on the skin. Worker fire ants vary in size from small (1/16 inch) to large (almost ¼ inch) in length. Many native ant species have worker ants that are uniform in size and may vary in body color. Other small to medium-sized ants that build small nests in soil often have central nest openings through which the ants enter and leave whereas fire ants mounds have no central openings.
Fifty years ago, invading Fire Ants from Brazil found their way to Florida. Thriving on sunshine and dug-up soil, the imported Fire Ant is now found in every Florida county, much of the Southeast United States, and is now marching on to western states (David Williams, Ph.D., Research Entomologist, United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology)….
Best Fire Ant Control Uses Granular Fire Ant Bait
This Fire Ant Control method can effectively control heavy fire ant infestations when conducted at least twice yearly. The first step is to broadcast a bait formulated insecticide over the entire yard on a semiannual basis (spring and fall). The second step occurs seven to ten days later with the individual treatment of problem mounds with approved insecticidal dusts, liquid drenches, baits, granules, aerosols or a non-chemical treatment, such as pouring hot water on the mound.
The first product we’ll talk about is Fire Ant Extinguish-Plus. This bait is highly recommended by Texas AM Fire Ant Control Study. EXTINGUISH® PLUS is for use on lawns, landscaped areas, golf courses, and other non-cropland areas such as airports, roadsides, cemeteries, commercial grounds, parks, kennels, school grounds, picnic grounds, athletic fields, campgrounds, and other recreational areas, as well as on grounds surrounding poultry houses (excluding runs and ranges), or corrals and other animal holding areas. Avoid direct exposure of animals to EXTINGUISH® PLUS. Do not graze or feed treated lawn or grass clippings to livestock.
Mound Treatment with EXTINGUISH-PLUS
Distribute fire ant bait uniformly around the mound. Do not disturb the mound. Do not apply more than 2 lb/acre. I may use a plastic or paper cup, just make sure you throw it away or destroy it after use. Use a new one on your next application. Do not contaminate kitchen utensils.
Here is one more Fire Ant Product recommended by Texas AM University.
Maxforce FC Fire Ants Bait
BROADCAST APPLICATIONS: Make broadcast applications of this product to turf grass to control existing active imported fire ant populations. Apply when the fire ant colony is actively looking for food; this is typically in the morning or evening. Do not apply Maxforce FC Fire Ant Bait immediately before or after irrigation or rain. Fire ants will begin to die from a proper treatment in about 14 days. Do not reapply for 3-6 weeks. Do not exceed 4 applications per year.
MOUND APPLICATIONS: Shake the granules uniformly around the mound, but do not disturb the mound. Broadcast the granules in a circle about 4 or 5 feet in diameter with the mound being the center of the circle. Apply when ants are actively looking for food; this is typically in the morning or evening. Do not apply Maxforce FC Fire Ant Control Bait immediately before or after irrigation or rain. Fire ants will begin to die from a proper treatment in about 14 days. Do not re-apply for 3-6 weeks. Do not exceed 4 applications per year.