All the recent, heavy rain and flooding from Hurricane Harvey has misplaced many animals and insects. But the number one insect that is floating to find a home is the fire ant. During heavy rains and flooding, these insects roll up into a ball for protection and they travel anywhere the flood water takes them. Unfortunately for all of us, they usually end up in our yards.
The fire ants that land in your yard from their recent travels will build mounds high for protection from future heavy rains, so they can be easily seen. The best way to solve this problem is to use the good old “Texas Two Step” approach. No, you are not going to dance them away but you are going to use the following two steps to reduce the populations in your yard.
Step One – treat your entire yard and around your foundation, not just mounds. Mound treatment is part of Step Two. Treat with a bait. Baits are most effective when ants are looking for food. Ants remove the bait from the soil surface and take it back to the mound. Purchase one of these baits, Amdro, Combat, ProBait, Seige, ProAscend, Varsity, Chipco, Fire Star, Distance, Spectracide Fire Ant Bait, Ellminator, Justice or Extinguish. I wanted to give you several names so if supplies are limited, you can find one of the above available. Amdro is usually the easiest bait to find. Try to apply to your yard when it is not going to rain for at least 8 hours for most effective use of the product.
Step Two – Treat the fire ant mounds with Bayer Advanced Turf Multi Insect Killer, Orthene, Sevin, Real Kill Fire Ant Killer, Spectracide for Lawns, or any product that is granular and has fire ants listed on the label.
Tell your neighbors about the Texas Two Step method of fire ant control and encourage them to treat or just have a block party where all can treat at the same time. The more adjoiningyards that treat, the more effective the control.
If you have your yard treated by a professional, they can use Fipronil which will give a longer control.
Good luck in controlling this floating nemesis!