Get even with the nasty little things. Burn them back!
Solenopsis invicta, the Imported Red Fire Ant is
a native of southern Brazil. It has now taken up residence in at least 9 southern
states. The impact on us here in Florida is at least three-fold -- their nests are
large and unsightly, when the ants are disturbed they immediately attack the intruder
(whether at the nest or yards away from it), and they are spreading like wildfire.
Fire ants are carnivores -- they are fond of meat, fats and grease.
Fire ants feed on insects and other animals unlucky enough to cross their paths as well as
grease drippings both outside (i.e. around the barbecue) and inside of buildings.
Fire ants are also no longer confined to the great outdoors as they have been known to
invade and build nests inside of structures (both residential and commercial).
Control is difficult due to the ability of ant to become immune to the poisons used to
Fire ants have become quite adept at avoiding our attempts to control
them. First the nest's architecture allows them numerous exits and dumping
insecticide on the nest usually results in their simply relocating the nest. Second,
the ants sense vibrations around their nest in enough time for the workers to bundle up
the queen and her brood and move them to a safe part of the mound away from the direction
in which the vibrations are approaching. Third, fire ant mounds now contain multiple
queens which quickly develop resistance to the current commonly used poisons. You
may kill a queen and a few thousand workers, but the rest will survive much wiser and
better prepared for the next attack.
If you have ever been stung by a fire ant you know they are
painful. Within 24 hours after a person is stung, a pustule-like
sore forms at each sting site, which usually itches intensively. Scratching the pustule
may rupture the skin, leading to secondary infection and scarring. A small proportion of
people stung are highly allergic to fire ant stings and require immediate medical
But there is an efficient and ecologically safe way to rid your yard of
these pests (and get some measure of revenge at the same time). Here is how:
Locate the nest you are interested in eradicating being careful not to
get to close to it or disturb it.
Get a number of large pots and fill them with at least three gallons of
Put the pots full of water on your stove and bring the water to a boil.
Carefully remove the pots from the stove (being
careful not to spill
the water on yourself or your pets or children) and begin dumping the water in a radius
two feet out from the nest and working your way in towards the center of the mound.
This method is successful in destroying
approximately 60 percent of the
fire ant mounds you have in your garden and prevents the mean and nasty things living in
them from relocating to a different part of your yard. BE WARNED though
that the boiling hot water will kill not only the ants, but most likely the grass and
plants that you dump it on.