Why You Should Leave Fire Ant Control to Us

March 2, 2022

The most common indication of a fire ant problem is one of their signature mounds. As they create underground networks of tunnels and chambers for food storage, births, and hibernation, they displace a lot of dirt, which eventually starts to pile up above ground level.

It’s best to steer clear of these mounds. Fire ants object strenuously and directly when they’re disturbed. Their venom contains proteins and peptides that can trigger allergies in animals and humans. At a minimum, their stings are incredibly painful. If they attack in large groups, the results can range from serious to fatal.

They can even endanger our lives when they’re biting other things. Gardeners hate them because their love for sugary substances makes them a constant threat to certain plants. The real cause for concern, however, is their odd affinity for electrical currents. Their presence outdoors is bad enough, but you may find a colony snuggling up to wires and other components of electrical systems inside your home. Their activities significantly increase the risk of power surges and electrical fires.

So What Can We Do?

Unfortunately, not much. Many people swear by folk remedies that initially seem effective but rarely resolve the whole problem. The most popular is drenching a mound with boiling soapy water. Others swear by gasoline. Some confide that the secret is pushing a stick into the ground to create vertical channels that allow your liquid of choice to penetrate deeper into the earth. We’ve even heard people say that pouring uncooked grits on the mound will drive ants away, which is both ineffective and a waste of perfectly good grits. 

These methods might kill a lot of ants (well, except for the grits) but are very unlikely to wipe out the colony. That’s because their underground network generally extends five feet from the mound in every direction – the stuff of nightmares — so any ants out of range of the liquid are going to start creating a new mound before you can even walk away. (In addition to not solving your fire ant problem, pouring gasoline onto the ground will poison grass and other plants.)

The unfortunate fact is that it’s almost impossible to completely remove fire ants from a specific area without professional help. A professional lawn care company like Southern Lawns has access to specialized insecticides that work far better than any of the other methods we’ve described here. In addition, our technicians are trained to apply these chemicals in the most safe and effective ways possible. If you’ve seen any fire ant mounds on your property, we can help. Contact Southern Lawns at 334.759.3231 or sales@southernlawns.net.