How to Kill Fire Ants

By
Real Estate Agent with KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY CLEAR LAKE NASA 599921

Fire ant mound in landscaping borderMost of us are familiar with a nasty type of ant called Fire Ants!  And in Texas, many things ARE bigger–and fire ants love our climate.  They mound up in the yards and are very tough to kill.  A fire ant sting is not only painful, but for those that are sensitive or allergic it can mean a trip to the emergency room, or worse.  I stepped in a mound wearing flip-flops a couple of years ago and I will not soon forget it!  I’m not allergic, but in addition to the pain, the venom of the stings caused dizziness and mild nausea.

 

Fire ants can mound anywhere but are most likely to choose areas that are hidden beneath landscaping timbers, rocks, and border trim.  In general, they like places that are moist with loose soil.  If they mound in the open the beds are clearly defined and dome-shaped.

 

How to Kill Fire Ants

 

I learned something new recently about how to rid my yard of fire ants.  While talking with a termite inspector, he told me that “a good amount of dish soap mixed with some hot water, poured directly on the mound, will kill them.”

 

I wasted no time giving this a try!  I had two mounds building in my yard.  I mixed about one tablespoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid with a half gallon of hot water, and applied it directly to the mounds, a full one-half gallon to each bed to ensure that the soil was well saturated.  By the next morning, the fire ants were all dead!  They’re STILL dead a week later!

 

Fire ants burrow deep into the soil and build new mounds when they are treated, but if they pop up in another spot in MY yard this summer, they will experience Death by DAWN!  Don’t spend money on expensive fire ant killers for your lawn, just more JOY!  (Couldn’t resist the puns – use your favorite household dish soap.)  It’s non-toxic and inexpensive.

 

If you are stung and sensitive to fire ant stings, seek medical treatment as this can be a serious health threat.  When I’m stung I quickly rinse the area with cold water for several minutes and then apply a liberal amount of Benadryl cream.  It relieves the burning and helps neutralizes the venom.  I have also quickly snapped off a frond of aloe vera and applied it to the stings. (Now I'm going to have to do a post of the benefits of keeping aloe vera in the garden!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kate McQueen, SRS, REALTOR®

18050 Saturn Lane, Ste. 100 - Houston, TX  77058

832-340-5036 * 281-335-0335 

Kate.McQueen@kw.com

    Keller Williams Realty Clear Lake

 

 

 

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Rainer
40,388
Accurate Realty Group Washington
THE FORCE REALTY - Seattle, WA

Hi Kate,

Good information! I have been stung or bitten by fire ants many times over the years. It is good to know that a dowsing of my favorite Dawn dish soap not only cleans oil slick residue off birds and wildlife, it also safely gets rid of pesky fire ants!

Thanks for sharing.

Mar 29, 2011 06:21 PM #1
Rainmaker
250,466
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

Didn't know that!  Grew up with them down in Alabama.  Hate those suckers! 

Mar 29, 2011 06:22 PM #2
Rainer
405,885
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Love it....anything to eliminate those painful little varmits is worth listening too. Thanks Kate!

Mar 29, 2011 06:25 PM #3
Rainmaker
171,337
Kate McQueen, SRS
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY CLEAR LAKE NASA - League City, TX
Houston Bay Area Real Estate

Thanks for your comments! I was very appreciative to have this information shared with me.  I saw the mounds building in my yard but hadn't had time to get to Home Depot to buy the ant treatment.  This is much better -- cheap and it WORKS!  The mound pictured here is one that has been coming up in that same spot for three years.

Mar 29, 2011 06:29 PM #4
Rainer
80,126
Amy Law
Alliance Properties - Crosby, TX

Great post Kate! I'm going to try this too! A couple of things you left out, they wait until they are all over you, and collectively sting you at the same time. It is rare to get only ONE fire ant bite. Also, they LOVE to build nests in cracks of sidewalks and driveways. You are often completely unaware you are standing in a nest like that...OH, and they LOVE to get into electronic items such as a/c fans, and ruin the wiring. They will kill a baby calf or other small animals, and eat them to the bone. They have even killed babies here in the Houston area. They are a SERIOUS problem for farmers and ranchers.

Mar 29, 2011 08:49 PM #5
Rainmaker
171,337
Kate McQueen, SRS
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY CLEAR LAKE NASA - League City, TX
Houston Bay Area Real Estate

Amy,

To quote a line from a great movie, Master and Commander, "We must KILL them!  They are BOMBING us!"  I have seen small creatures being consumed by them within a few hours.  The Texas Nature Conservancy has had them on their "Most Wanted List" for quite some time.

Mar 29, 2011 09:05 PM #6
Rainer
86,151
Torgie Madison
Quicksilver Real Estate Solutions, LLC - Portland, OR
Websites and Contact Management

Oh man, I'm so glad I don't live in a state where we have those! They sound like a nightmare!!! We have the basic sugar ants, carpenter ants, etc. This story just goes to show that Realtors have to truly be a jack-of-all-trades!

Mar 30, 2011 12:09 AM #7
Rainmaker
171,337
Kate McQueen, SRS
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY CLEAR LAKE NASA - League City, TX
Houston Bay Area Real Estate

Torgie, you would love Texas.  Fire ants are a minor nuisance.  However, I am sure I would love Vancouver.  It's all about accepting and loving what you've got!

Mar 30, 2011 03:02 AM #8
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Norma Toering
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A. CA

Kate - I love, love, love my aloe vera plant--best treatment for a burn ever! 

Mar 30, 2011 07:35 PM #9
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Kate McQueen, SRS

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