4 Natural Ways to Eliminate and Prevent Fire Ants
While fire ants are beneficial to farmers by protecting crops against agricultural predators and keeping ticks away from livestock, these stinging insects can also wreak havoc on home gardens and cause significant injuries to humans and household pets. Utilizing natural remedies to eradicate fire ants can help keep your home and garden safe while eliminating the dangers of toxic pest control treatments.
One of the easiest and most natural solutions to eliminating fire ants is boiling water. Boil 3 to 4 gallons of water until scalding hot. Pour the water directly onto the fire ant mounds. Depending on the size of the mounds, you may need to repeat the process several times for optimal results. Wear protective gloves and avoid pouring the hot water directly onto the grass to prevent skin burns and yard damage.
Orange Oil and Liquid Soap
A combined treatment of orange oil and liquid dish soap is effective in eliminating fire ant mounds and preventing the ants' return for up to one month. To make your own solution, mix 1/2 ounce of orange oil with 3 ounces of liquid dish soap and 1 gallon of water. Pour the solution over the mounds, and repeat if necessary. The solution creates a barrier over the insects' exoskeletons, which in turn causes them to suffocate at a rapid pace.
Garrett Juice is an all-natural organic plant food solution that contains molasses, vinegar, manure and seaweed. When applied to fire ant mounds, the plant food safely and effectively eradicates live ants. Spray the solution directly over the mounds and into the holes. After you have successfully treated the live mounds, spray the affected areas on a regular basis to prevent new mound development.
Bucketing is a safe and efficient treatment that allows you to relocate the insects as opposed to exterminating them. Sprinkle the bottom of a large bucket with baby powder or corn starch, then use a garden shovel to remove the mound and a portion of the underlying soil. Dump the mounds and soil into the bucket and cover the top with a sheet of cardboard. Carry the bucket to a safe area, and dump the contents out onto the ground. Wear protective gloves and gardening boots to prevent bites.
Fire ants are best known for their painful stings and the damage they can cause to home gardens, crops and agricultural machinery. If you're a homeowner or farmer who is struggling with a fire ant infestation, there is hope. Try using natural pest control remedies that are environmentally friendly, yet potent enough to eliminate large fire ant populations.