Many products available for treating fire ants

fire ants

Treat fire ant mounds with baits for long lasting control.

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Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM.

Recent rains have increased fire ant activity in the region. While there is no way to rid a location of fire ants permanently, there are many products available for managing them. Options include drenches, granules and baits. Drenches and granules give the quickest results, but baits provide the most effective control in the long run. 

Ant control products

Drench, granule, and bait fire ant control products are available with organic as well as synthetic active ingredients, though products containing organic ingredients are more difficult to find. Most fire ant control products are labeled to use in lawns, with fewer products labeled for vegetable gardens. Check product labeling before use to make sure the product you have can be applied where you need it and for safety information regarding people, pets, and wildlife.

Drenches are mixed with water and poured onto a mound. They provide quick knock down of the mound but rarely kill all of the ants and new mounds usually pop up in the treated area within a few days. Drenches are useful when a mound needs to be quickly neutralized, but not for treating a large area. Most drench products contain synthetic insecticides like bifenthrin or permethrin. The Safer brand of products offers an organic drench with the active ingredient D-limonene, but this may be difficult to find locally. 

Granules are sprinkled around a mound or broadcast over the yard. Ants are killed when they come in contact with the pesticide. Granules usually do a better job of killing more ants than drenches but rarely get them all. Most granular products contain either bifenthrin, permethrin, or a similar synthetic insecticide.

Baits are best

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