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The term ‘fire ant’ refers to a variety of species of ants in the genus Solenopsis. They are characterized by their reddish brown color and are common household pests. Most of these species are not invasive, although they have stingers they can use to attack when provoked. The usual effect of their stings is mild pain, itchiness, and reddening of the area that was bitten. For those who are allergic to these stings, immediate hospitalization is required.
Households with fire ant infestation problem would be wise to consult with pest control experts. If the problem area is primarily your garden, you may want to try the following methods first and see if they get rid of the ants.
As the name suggests, a bucket is the main tool used in this method. It involves finding out where the mounds are and what time of the day majority of the colony are in the mound. Since summer is here, the ants are usually there in the early morning. Use a large shovel to transfer the soil and the ants to the bucket. Coating the bucket with cornstarch or baby powder before doing this will prevent the ants from climbing out of it.
When you think you’ve scooped up the totality of the mound, you can drown the ants by filling the bucket with water. Add dish soap to kill them faster; the dish soap lessens the surface tension in the bucket which normally help when the ants try to outrun the water. A less macabre way of getting rid of the ants is to transfer them to another location where they can’t bother you.
Take note that you must be wearing thick pants tucked into high cut shoes to prevent wayward ants from entering your clothing and stinging you.
Like bucketing, this method is one of the most environment friendly ways to eradicate the pesky ants from your garden as it does not use any sort of chemical. By pouring hot water on and into the mound, you effectively kill a significant amount of the colony in it. Doing this once is usually not enough; pouring boiling or hot water in the mound 3-4 times is recommended to kill an entire colony. Be warned: you might get hurt if you’re not properly protected while applying the hot water. Do this with caution.
It might seem like getting rid of those pesky fire ants in your garden would drain you of your energy and take up a lot of your time, but this just goes to show that there are simple and effective ways you can eradicate them without damaging the environment. You should also learn how to prevent ant infestations in the first place. If things don’t go as planned, pest control services are still a viable option.