When Summer is in full swing, the best place to be is out on the lawn. Enjoying cookouts with your family and friends can be quickly interrupted by unwelcome ants on your lawn. Anyone who has stepped too close to an active mound knows the wrath of a fire ant bite. To protect your family, and pets, it’s important to know how to get rid of fire ants on your lawn quickly when they show up.
How to Identify Fire Ants & Mounds
Fire ants are typically active in the late spring, summer, and early fall. Their optimal weather is usually between 72 degrees and 96 degrees. In the southernmost states that have warmer-yearlong weather, these pests can be active year-round. However, they stay underground once temperatures reach 96 degrees. Here in the Atlanta area, fire ants are most common from May-October. You can identify a fire ant mound in two separate ways. The ant mound can either be flat within the turf or dome-shaped, and neither has a center opening at the top.
How to Get Rid of Fire Ants in Your Lawn
The best course of action when it comes to getting rid of existing fire ants is to apply a fire ant control bait. It is not suggested for fire ant control bait to be applied directly to the fire ant mounds. The ants believe bait to be food, so they go out to gather food and bring it back to the colony. For best results, the bait should be applied a few feet from the mounds or throughout the lawn. Ant killer products can be found at your local home improvement store but it’s likely that the problem won’t be solved after one application. Some lawn care providers offer fire ant control, as well. Check on what’s included in your current lawn treatment program.
Home Remedies for Ants
There are various DIY remedies to help with fire ants. One way to get rid of fire ants is by pouring hot/boiling water directly onto the mound. This is effective for a one-time treatment, but not a long-lasting solution. Another home remedy would be to pour some grits on the mound. If the ants do eat the grits, the moisture in their body will cause the grits to expand causing pressure within the ants and killing them. Unfortunately, this will not necessarily be effective each time. The last DIY solution would be to drench the mounds with a combination of citrus oil, hot water, and dish soap. This mixture can break down the exoskeleton of the fire ants and cause them to suffocate.
While all of these remedies can help, they will not 100% eradicate fire ants, as neither will any commercial-grade bait. Fire ants are a pest that can and will still occur. The best recommendation for fire ant treatment on your Atlanta lawn is continued monitoring and treatment. All Turf Lawn Care offers a monthly lawn care program that includes fire ant control at no additional cost. Contact us today to get a free lawn care estimate.