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The red imported fire ant: Controlling ants in the yard

April 7, 2017 at midnight

Are you planning any backyard barbecues this summer? Will your barefoot children be having a pool party? Protect their tender feet from painful stings, and ensure a pest-free environment for your backyard festivities this year. The venomous red imported fire ant is considered one of the most annoying yard pests. Their stings are painful and itchy, and may even cause severe allergic reactions in a small percentage of the population. Fire ants are also very defensive of their nests and will sting anything or anyone who disturbs the mound. Nests can, therefore, be difficult to remove from yards and remain a danger to children and pets.

Fire ant nests can easily be recognized as large mounds of soil. The mounds will have no visible entrances because the worker ants will enter and exit through tunnels that extend far from the actual mound. There are many strategies on the internet to remove fire ant colonies from residential yards, but most of them are ineffective. The most effective three-step method is outlined below.

Step 1: Identification

Proper identification is critical in controlling ants. Once the identification is confirmed then you can begin to form a treatment plan. Ants are known to be social insect with a division of labor. Each type of ant has specific requirement to maintain a working colony. Each caste has role that must be carried out to ensure colony survival. Many resources are available online to aid in the proper identification.

Step 2: Treatment

Treatment for fire ants can be done by a qualified pest control professional you may wish to do it yourself. Pest control professionals have access to chemicals and baits not on the consumer market. The methods they use can provide effective control for 30 days up to 1 year depending on the treatment type. As for the do it yourself chemicals, many baits available on the consumer market can help to provide control for around 30 days. Treatment should only be made for the targeted insect as specified on the label by the manufacturer of the chemical in accordance with EPA mandates.

Step 3: Maintenance

Unfortunately, a common way people detect fire ants is by the burning sensation the sting causes. By taking a little time and inspecting your yard for fire ant mounds you might be able to reduce the encounters. Periodic application of baits or chemicals maybe need to provide a more fire ant free yard. Contacting a qualified pest control professional for advice or service can help determine the most effective treatment with the lowest impact on the environment.

If you are sensitive to stings or bites, unable to move quickly in case of ant retaliation, or unwilling to perform repeat treatments in case the queen evades the initial treatment, don't hesitate to call a professional exterminator. Qualified pest control professionals have more effective treatments and the experience to make sure the colony is thoroughly eradicated, ensuring the safety of your family, pets, and property.



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