If you’ve ever felt the sting of a fire ant, you know they’re more than just pesky little pests. The residual pain from a fire ant sting can last for weeks. But unless you’re in the business of pest control, like Bob Jenkins Pest and Lawn Services, eliminating them isn’t always such a simple task. There seems to be no shortage of methods for ridding an area of troublesome fire ants, but how effective are they? While chemicals can be purchased from any home store, there are some home remedies that can be used in smaller instances of fire ant infestations.

What Methods Do Not Work?

There is a theory that dry rice applied to a fire ant mound will make the ants die once they eat the rice and drink some water, as the water causes the rice to expand to a size larger than the ant’s own body. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work because fire ant workers only consume liquids and will not be tempted by solid food.

It has also been said that combining two separate fire ant colonies together will cause the worker ants to fight each other and do the dirty work for you. While it’s true that if each of the two fire ant colonies only has one queen, the workers will fight, the worker ants usually stop fighting before an entire colony can be killed off. If the colonies each have multiple queens, they simply come together to build one larger colony.

What Methods Do Work?

Hot water is one of the more successful treatments that can be used to kill off fire ants. Simply heat three to four gallons of water to scalding hot, but not quite boiling. Pour the water into the colony and repeat three to four times as necessary. The downside of this method is that the hot water can kill plants in the area where the fire ants are located and cause burns.

There is a process known as bucketing that works well to remove ants from a specific location if there are only a couple of colonies present. First, dig up the fire ant mound and a foot of soil beneath it, and then place the dirt into a bucket that has first been coated with baby powder or corn starch. The coating of powder keeps the fire ants from crawling out of the bucket. Now, you can either drown the ants in the bucket with a mixture of water and dish soap or move the ants to a new area.

While these two methods can be effective, they’re not the most ideal, especially if the fire ant infestation is large. In instances where the infestation is too great to deal with on your own, the expert exterminators at Bob Jenkins Pest and Lawn Services can help. With over twenty years of experience in pest control, our exterminators are trained to handle fire ant infestations safely and efficiently. With Bob Jenkins Pest and Lawn Services, you can be sure-fire ants will be eliminated.