Fire ants are one of the nastiest ant infestations to deal with due to their resiliency and worse yet their tendencies to sting anything that gets nears them. The sting is painful at best but to some people with severe allergies, the sting of a fire ant, or red ant, can prove to be fatal. There are steps to take to get rid of them, but please be careful or leave these nasty buggers to the professionals. If you do get stung by a fire ant, apply a topical cream such as hydrocortisone or a cream that contains aloe vera to sooth the area. Antihistamines are also effective in treating symptoms, but I'll say again, those people who experience very severe reactions should seek immediate medical attention. You've been warned!
So how you get rid of red fire ants? Texas A&M University developed a method to handle this pest called the "Texas Two Step." It is a long term ant control mechanism that I will outline for you here that doesn't make use of any harmful chemicals. Note that this is an outdoor only process, so keep that in mind.
Step one of this process is to "broadcast" a non-toxic bait insecticide. The fire ant killing bait should be liberally applied to the areas that are infested by the fire ants. The ants will do the dirty work for you and transport the bait back into the nest. Once the queen eats the bait, she will become infertile and/or die. The net result is an ant population that stops growing. Now you need to deal with the ants that weren't killed y phase one of this attack. In step two you apply another non-toxic chemical, organic liquid insecitide, to each and every mound to kill the remainder of ants. DONE! Sound easy? It is, but the key is to make sure to apply the non-toxic chemicals thoroughly across all infected areas. It does you no good to kill six nests when you have seven. The one remaining will just grow and multiply and you're back to square one.
If your home has been infested by fire ants, there are chemical treatments that are specifically for indoor use, so make sure to read the label carefully.
Prevent fire ants from coming indoors by following these simple steps. Pest control comes down to two things: remove the food source and remove accessibility. Food should be properly sealed in airtight plastic containers. Ants are attracted to sugars so, keep that in mind and keep those cookies and other baked goods sealed tightly. Clean your home regularly. When dealing with ants an effective deterrent is to use an abrasive cleaning chemical on your countertops, such as bleach. If you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and drop some on the counter, clean it up thoroughly as this is prime ant food.
Remove accessibility by ensuring that your home is properly sealed. Make sure there are no cracks or gaps in doors or windows. If so apply weather stripping or other means of sealant. As a temporary fix you can spread baby powder as a deterrent near these openings. If there are any cracks or holes in your foundation, it is imperative that these get repaired as well by use of caulk. By properly implementing these prevention techniques, you will not worry about getting rid of ants because they won't be there in the first place!