Fire ants are one of the most common and difficult pests to deal with, as they’re aggressive and efficient in their search for food. Their spread is also dependent on the availability of water and food. Unlike pavement ants, these ants flock to pet food, tree branches, potted plants, exterior walls and even in the cracks of your stone wall pavement.
So how do you get rid of fire ants inside your stone wall pavement? Some methods you can use to get rid of fire ants are through baits, physical treatments such as hot water and excavation, and pesticides. The most crucial step to having a successful ant colony extermination in your stone wall pavement is to target the queen ant of the fire ant colony. To get fast and stress-free results, it’s best to seek help from a pest management professional.
How to Kill Fire Ants Nested Inside My Garden Wall Pavement?
To get rid of fire ants nested inside your garden pavement, a surefire way is to eliminate the queen of the fire ant colony.
Since fire ants draw towards mounds, your treatment should also accommodate that. Fire ants have a preference for open and sunny areas such as meadows, pastures, parks, playgrounds, lawns, golf courses and garden stone wall pavement. They’re social insects who leave an ant trail behind. They search for access to food so try following a trail of ants to track them.
These types of ants can be picky in their food preferences but prefer to usually hide in foundation walls and pavement cracks. Most fire ant mounds grow in rotting logs, around stumps and trees and under buildings. If the weather is extremely scorching, then fire ants will retreat towards the underground and will only leave if they have to search for food.
1) Inspect the garden for signs of fire ants
For the first step, you have to trace where these fire ants have come. You’ll also have to check where the mound of the fire ants are from.
Fire ant mounds have a height of 1 to 1.5 feet (30 to 40 cm) high and in diameter, they measure 1 to 1.5 feet (30 to 40 cm) high. In color, ant mounts are dark brown. Their entrance holes are visible when they swarm and rebuild their mounds after it rains.
Inside fire ant mounds, there are worker female ants who are capable of stinging. In search of food, fire ants enter homes and will eat anything that’s considered a source of protein. This also includes dead carcasses, dead insects and immobile animals, rotten coconut and other food sources.
If there’s a fire ant mound that has grown inside your garden stone wall pavement, then it’s a sign there are food sources and water sources nearby. Inside the mound usually is an entire colony.
2) Eliminate the ants
Once you have located the mounds and the locations of the fire ants, you can now start to eliminate the fire ants in your area. How you can eliminate the fire ants in the area also depends on the number of mounds that are in the area, as this will set the tone for the severity of the method you’ll use to eliminate the fire ants.
Here are some effective methods to get rid of fire ants:
- Baits – Ant baits are more effective when it comes to getting rid of fire ants because worker ants can carry it towards their colony. A slow but effective ant bait can help eliminate a fire ant colony and its queen. There are also gel baits available.
- Physical treatments – If the weather is warm and the mound of fire ants are outdoors and closer to the surface of the mount, then you can opt to use physical treatments for eliminating fire ants.
- Hot water – The temperature of the water you will use to get rid of the ants must be scalding and at a temperature of 190ºF to 212ºF. Pour your 3 gallons of hot water slowly towards the mound; try not to get burned. To kill the colony and queen fire ant, it will require more than one treatment. The hot water may hurt and injure any plants that are nearby, so keep that in consideration if you want to do this treatment on a fire ant mound.
- Excavation – To excavate a fire ant mound and colony, you must dig the whole mount and go even deeper by a foot so that you’ll catch all of it. After you have dug up the mount and more of it, dump them into a large bucket. You can either drown the ants into water or dump them somewhere else.
- Mound drench – Mound drenches, according to various websites, are a quick and fast fix to a fire ant mound infestation. You can toss a potent insecticide on a mound properly and in a few hours, the fire ants will be killed. It’s good to note that this method is effective but it can be time-consuming because you’ll have to prepare a mixture and apply it.
Other Methods of Eliminating Fire Ants
If the fire ant infestation in your area only has one or two mounds, then you can use more pesticide and apply the pesticide on the mounds individually. However, this method can be time-consuming.
If there are multiple fire ant mounds in your home, then you can apply broadcast pesticide as a preventive action for ants that are moving into the area while the chemical is active. The broadcast pesticide used for multiple fire ant mounds tend to be granular products that are applied with a push-type spreader. After the application of pesticide, you can proceed to water the mounds.
- Least toxic pesticides – The ingredients found in least toxic pesticides for fire ants are hydramethylnon, avermectin and sulfluramid. The former intercepts fire ants from converting the food into energy and kills them, while avermectin works similarly to an insect growth regulator. Sulfluramid is a slow but deadly and potent solution for fire ants.
- Organic pesticides – There are plenty of organic pesticides on the market. Some of the available organic pesticides on the market have amounts of boric acid or diatomaceous earth, which can kill ants but are not as reliable when it comes to killing whole fire ant economies. If you want to use organic pesticides for eliminating fire ants, check if the product is approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute.
In a worst-case scenario, you can call a pest control professional. A pest control professional can help execute the fire ants and control them. They can also handle professional grade insecticides.
What If I Get Bitten Trying to Get Rid of Fire Ants in My Home?
If you do get bitten while trying to get rid of fire ants, it will definitely sting. The level of pain will also depend on the number of bites you have received. If the amount of fire ant bites go past a tolerable level, there’s a possibility that you go into anaphylactic shock, which requires serious medical attention.
How your body reacts to the bite can vary as different people react differently to ant bites. It’s normal to have a tiny and itchy lump in the area where you were bitten. The lump will heal within 30 to 60 minutes. 8 to 24 hours after healing, your lump will then become a blister filled with a fluid that resembles a puss. This is actually dead tissue.
Fire ant bites heal on their own, but it’s a different story if severe swelling and itchiness occurs. If the area where a fire ant bit you swells, you may have to take remedies to help alleviate the swelling. Here are a few remedies that can help alleviate swelling:
- Apply a cold compress. You can use an ice pack or wrap the ice behind a towel aside from using a cold compress. Refrain from applying ice directly on the area as it might sting even more. Stay away from applying heat on the area where the fire ant bit you. If you apply heat on the area, it will get much worse. It is recommended to apply the cold compress for 15 minutes on then 15 minutes off.
- Raise the part of your body where you were bitten. If you raise the part of your body where the fire ant bit you, you have to make sure that the swollen limb is a bit higher than your heart. By raising your swollen limb above the heart, the fluid will then move closer to the heart for circulation to the body. Raise the limb where you were bitten for minutes of every hour, as this reducing swelling.
- Apply hydrocortisone cream. Hydrocortisone cream treats swelling, itchiness and other skin problems. You can apply a small amount to the area where the fire ant/s bit you. Please also make sure that when you apply the cream to your skin, the application will be even. Check as well if you’re allergic to hydrocortisone cream before applying it for relief.
- Take antihistamine. Antihistamine treats allergy symptoms and can also alleviate swelling symptoms. Some brands of antihistamines can cause sleepiness, while other brands of antihistamine work for a different range for 4 to 6 hours. Before taking antihistamine for the swelling, check if you’re allergic to it. If you have diabetes, epilepsy and glaucoma, you may want to avoid taking antihistamine and opt for another alternative instead. When you’re taking antihistamine medicine for your swelling, refrain from taking alcohol as this may cause issues.
If your symptoms escalate and trigger chest pain, nausea, severe sweating, loss of breath, serious swelling, slurred speech, hives, diarrhea, swelling in tongue or throat, or dizziness, call a doctor right away as these may be the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.
Long-Term Ant Infestation Extermination Solutions at Midway Pest Management
The task of eliminating fire ants in particular is a difficult and tricky one, especially since fire ants spread to any type of soil. Without the opinion and assistance of professional pest control, it will become even harder to deal with fire ant infestation. Professional pest management can alleviate your problem but also help you prevent any more future ant infestations in the future!
Midway Pest Management offers pest management tailored to your business and home needs. We have high standards for pest management, making sure we use the right tools and methods to deal with your home or business infestation and give you exceptional customer service. For any type of pest and insect infestations, contact us today and get a free quote.
Learn More: The Difference Between an Argentine Ant and a Pavement Ant