You should be aware about organic, pest-eradication methods when planning to kill fire ants. Using a chemical/synthetic pesticidal spray seems like the most obvious solution but such chemicals can prove to be very harmful. Chemical spraying offers short-term effectivity wherein repeated spraying becomes mandatory. This results in deposition of chemical residue along the sprayed sites. Chemical residues in the garden can damage the nutrition absorption capability of the plants. In the domestic space, the chemical residue can cause allergic reactions and can permanently, stain the walls.
Understanding Fire Ant Infestation
Fire ants are generally considered more invasive and aggressive than other ant species. They are more common in homes with a garden space which serves as their breeding ground. They tend to invade the interiors of the house in search for food. As a result, fire ant infestation in the kitchen is more common. Though not known for causing serious injuries, they have a painful bite. This makes them a serious threat for children and pets. If crushed, they leave a hard-to-remove, red-colored stain. The fire ant or the Solenopsis invicta can quickly spread in the garden, building huge nests, called ant mounds. Some fire ant mounds can grow up to 1-feet tall. Fire ants feed upon young roots, developing fruits and seedlings that can ruin the garden. If fire ants aren't immediately eradicated, they established deep-seated colonies within the garden soil. In such a scenario, digging-up the entire garden or replacing the turfgrass is the only solution. Fire ant colonies can even ruin compost piles. Invasive, chronic fire ant infestations can even damage the deep-earthed electrical wires.
Understanding Organic, Fire Ant Eradication
This is essentially a two-fold strategy wherein bait application is followed by spraying the ant colonies with an organic pesticide. Fire ants cannot be killed by liquid spraying only. The ant mound has a hard, outer crust that is impermeable to liquid sprays — a major reason why chemical sprays are rendered ineffective. Application of bait ensures that the bait is carried deep inside the ant’s nest, up to the egg-laying ant queen. This is critical to ensure complete eradication of an ant colony. Spraying with organic pesticides is essentially a back-up for the bait application. This ensures than any remaining ants that didn’t feed upon the bait are also killed. Garden supply stores sell many kinds of organic insecticides. However, the packaging can be misleading. Don’t opt for pesticides using the phrase ‘organic contents’. This doesn't guarantee that all the contents are organic. You should choose organic pesticides that specify the use of 100% organic contents or have certifications of credible, government-backed organizations. Read the following section to understand, comprehensive and safe eradication of fire ants through organic measures.
Step 1 – Bait Application
Retailed, organic bait is sold with two application methods — broadcasted application or mound-based application. For permanently eradicating the fire ants, use both the application techniques. The best time to do this is during the dry, summer season.
Broadcast application is particularly useful if ants can be regularly seen, inside the house. Take handfuls of the organic bait and crush it to create a uniform powder. Spread the powdered bait around the areas where ant infestation is evident. Search for any gaps around the windowsills or doors that could be used as entry-points by the ants. Partially fill these gaps with the powdered bait. Similarly, spread the bait around the borders of the garden since ants try to escape through these routes. Follow this with mound application wherein you need to sprinkle the bait, directly over the mound and around it, in a circle.
Step 2 – Insecticide/Pesticide Application
Bait application doesn't ensure that ants, dwelling in the garden, won't invade your home again. Therefore, you need to spray the ant mounds with the organic pesticide. Dilute the organic pesticide solution according to packaged instructions. Fill the spray bottle with the pesticidal mix. You should spray the mound after the results of the bait application become evident. Spraying too soon can hamper the intake of bait by the ants. You can also substitute pesticide spraying with hot-water application. However, this substitution is recommended only when the ant infestation is still in its initial stage and the mound hasn’t gained a substantial size. Here, you need to pour boiling water over the baited ant mounds. It is better to follow this with pouring hot water around the perimeter of the house to kill the escaping ants that have burrowed in the lose soil.