How To Keep Ants Away (5 Expert Ideas For 2022)

Warnings

  • Keep pets well away from fire ant mounds.

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  • Read the instructions and safety warnings of all treatments before you use them. Ensure that they are safe for children or pets if necessary.

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How to Get Rid of Fire Ants Bites

Getting rid of fire ants normally takes some time, so it’s suggested to be ready for their stings. Fire ants attack in groups and cause an intense burning sensation in their victims.

While the pain doesn’t last for long, it causes severe itching that you’ll want to get rid of immediately.

Below are some of the most effective natural remedies for dealing with fire ants bites.

1. Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is capable of neutralizing fire ants acid which makes it an excellent combatant of fire ants’ venom. As it is applied on a bite of a fire ant, it relieves itching and inflammation immediately.

  1. Prepare the paste by mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with sufficient amount of water.
  2. Mix them together well and a paste will form. If too dry, add more water into the mixture.
  3. Apply the paste on the bites.
  4. Let it sit for 15 minutes and proceed to rinse with cold water.

Repeat the process after an hour if the effects of bites persist.

2. Oatmeal Paste

Oatmeal is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-irritating agent that offers instant benefits when used for treating fire ants bites. It is also rich in soothing properties and helps alleviate itching caused by the bites.

To prepare an oatmeal paste, grind oatmeal and add sufficient amount of lemon and honey. Apply this mixture on your bites and wait for at least 20 minutes before washing it off.

3. Honey

Often used in numerous home remedies, honey presents an effective solution for dealing with fire ants bites. It is rich in moisturizing and soothing properties.

It is also a natural anti-inflammatory agent that reduces swelling and itching caused by ants’ venom.

  • Apply raw honey on the areas affected by the bites.
  • Leave it on for at least 30 minutes.
  • Rinse it off using cold water.

As the honey is able to draw toxins from the wounds, you might consider reapplying it if the bites’ symptoms persist.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

If you’re still wondering how to get rid of fire ants bites, apple cider vinegar (ACV) might be the answer. ACV neutralizes the fire ants’ poison and relieves the bites from itching.

It is also an antiseptic agent capable of preventing infections resulting from the bites.

  1. Spread raw, unfiltered ACV on and around the bites using clean finger or a cotton ball. If your skin is very sensitive, you can dilute it by adding more water.
  2. Wait for half an hour and then rinse the bites with cold water.
  3. Pat dry the wet areas and apply mild moisturizer to prevent excessive skin dryness.

5. Cold Compress

Another effective home remedy that reduces itching caused by fire ants bites is cold compress. The cold numbs the affected area and brings down the swelling.

  1. Wrap some ice cubes in a thin cloth or towel. Don’t use ice directly on your skin as it may cause frostbite.
  2. Place the compress on the affected areas for no longer than 5 minutes.
  3. Take a 2-minute break before adding the compress on the bitten area again.
  4. Repeat the process as necessary.

If you also experience vomiting, diarrhea, hives, difficulty breathing or nausea, seek medical attention right away. Bites and stings of fire ants can be dangerous for those who are sensitive if the allergic reaction is not treated.

How to Prevent Fire Ants From Invading Your House

The best thing you can do is to avoid having a fire ant infestation in the first place. Yes, this may sound easy when we talk about it but it really is. Here are a few tips that will help you to avoid having fire ants inside your home or around it:

  • Keep your home and its surroundings clean, because fire ants are attracted to garbage and leftover foods.
  • If you have pets, regularly clean after them and try to avoid leaving any pet food around in the open.
  • If you have a compost bin, try keeping it sealed, to avoid fire ants infesting it.
  • Keep your food supplies well protected because ants will infest your home if they find a food source.
  • If that is not enough for you, you should call a professional service at the beginning of the season to check your home and propose means for deterring ants.

Fire Ant Control Products: Active Ingredients

The scientists distinguish two types of fire ants chemical killing: treatment of the mound and treatment of the surrounding territory, including your house in case the ants managed to get inside.

The experts advise treating the mound with liquid insecticide products, as according to them, they are extremely effective when it’s hot and dry. They can be poured into the mound with the help of a special tube or straight inside. Such methods are effective enough, but they won’t help you kill the queen and thus destroy the entire colony.

Treating the territory surrounding the mound implies spraying liquid insecticides and spreading insecticide granules, dusts & poison gel bait.

To understand the operation of the above mentioned product types, you also need to be aware of how certain synthetic chemicals affect fire ants:

  • Indoxacarb is a contact poison which is permitted for household use, but “for only urban areas or non-food producting lands” as it is toxic. It is a typical active ingredient of fire ant gel bait.
  • Pyrethroids incluing bifenthrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin are also used against ants. According to the Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project scientists, pyrethroids should be “Used as directed to suppress foragers, but they may not kill the colony. Multiple applications may be necessary.  Uses lot of insecticide so that the populations of other beneficial insects may be affected”. Insecticide dusts, granules and liquid insecticides are based on pyrethroids. This is a rare chemical which can be used indoors as well.
  • Fipronil is less toxic than indoxacarb. It is a strong contact poison with long residual action. It is known to also be effective against the pyrethroid-resistant insects. Liquid insecticidal concentrates and gel bait usually contain fipronil.
  • Borax (or boric acid) is one of the few organic insecticides able to kill fire ants.

How to keep fire ants away from your home

Protective barrier

Some insecticides can be used around your home’s outdoor perimeter to create a protective barrier that keeps fire ants outside.

Caulking

Prevent fire ants from sneaking in through cracks and crevices by caulking any small openings.

Apply insecticides regularly

Ant populations can return with full force within one year of the last bait treatment, so make sure to apply bait-formulated insecticides once or twice per year to the entire yard.

How to Keep Fire Ants Away – A Natural Approach

Though they are the least effective, people insist on using natural means even though they ideally fit repelling ants. Peppermint is among the known solution that keeps fire ants away from your home. Lemon juice and vinegar are likewise standard homemade fire ant solutions. Cinnamon is known for killing fire ants. The scent is strong such that when ants inhale it, they suffocate and die. The product is versatile and also provides a solution on how to kill red ants.

Related Post:

How to Kill Fire Ants: Fire Ant Treatments

There are two different ways to fight fire ants: in your home and in the open space. Methods for fighting fire ants in these situations are completely different, so we will explain and discuss both of them.

Method 1: Getting Rid of the Fire Ants Inside of Your Home

If you are having problems with fire ants in your home the best way to deal with them is using liquid insecticides or sprays. If you decide to go with this option, be sure to read the instructions on the product because you should be using the correct dosage. Liquid insecticides have proved to be a good choice because they kill fire ants instantly, but the bad side of using them is that with them you are not going to get rid of the whole colony.

Ant killer sprays are enough to kill every fire ant that you see, but after some time new ants will take their place as the colony outside or somewhere close is still alive. This is why we suggest doing the following method as well.

Method 2: Getting Rid of the Fire Ant Colonies (Outside)

If you want to destroy the fire ant colony you will need to use ant baits in the form of granules. Ant killer baits have been proven to be the best choice in suppressing ant colonies. The only downside is that you will need to be patient and wait for the results.

How does it work? You place the ant killer granules in locations infested with fire ants and wait for them to carry the bait back to the colony. After the bait arrives in the colony other fire ants, including the fire ant queen will eat it and after that, the queen will die. This results in a complete collapse of their colony. With the queen disposed of, the colony will fall apart.

Insecticide granules are the same as the ant baits, administer them all over your yard or directly on to the mound and wait for fire ants to carry them inside of the colony. The result, in the end, will be the same as with the baits.

Naturally Remedies

Many natural remedies have been tried before and worked. To ensure your pets and children are safe, it pays to learn how to get rid of ants naturally. Pouring hot water into a mound, for instance, is an old remedy that has been used to control fire ants. Not only does it eliminate the queen, but every other ant in the mound.

It is considered to be about 60 percent effective, but can also be dangerous to the applicator and the surrounding vegetation. To get to the bottom of the reproductive areas of the mound, about three gallons of water should be used. Bucketing is also highly effective. This is where rapid digging up of mounds is involved, then the scooped soil is quickly filled into a bucket and stashed away.

How Can You Identify Fire Ants?

The quickest way to identify fire ants is by the painful sting they leave on your skin. They can also be distinguished from others by their dull red coloration, which can range from reddish black to brown. Their abdomens are darker, and their body and heads coppery brown. In sunny areas, these ants are known to form soil mounds. The mounds can grow up to 61 cm wide and 18 cm tall, often dome-shaped.

The mounds are quickly noticeable in open places i

The mounds are quickly noticeable in open places in your compound, as opposed to under shades and bushes. When the anthill stays uninterrupted, the colony tends to grow very fast, and the queens can spread in your compound to form new mounds. Once you shovel into the soil, you should see what appears as white objects. These are the eggs, pupae, and larvae of the developing ants. Fire ants feed on dead animals and living insects.

FIRE ANTS FACTS

When in your house, they are mostly looking for sw

When in your house, they are mostly looking for sweet bites and fats. Only the venom of fire ants can leave the stung part of your body, forming a blister a day after the bite.

  • Worker ants bite and sting aggressively.

Fire ants are just about ¼ inch long and have a variation in size, unlike most other ants, which have a uniform size.

When an anthill is disturbed, the ants swarm out and move on vertical surfaces to sting.

How To​ Kill Fire Ants at Home

So, you want to know how to get rid of fire ants in your house? During periods of hot and dry weather fire ants may venture into your home. Even in the case of destruction of their mounds, in order to find shelter, they run into the closest home they can find.

  • The first thing to do is to find their entry point and to seal it off before the army gets bigger.
  • Baiting is a good method in case you don’t know the location of the mound. The worker ants carry the poison back to the nest, and the whole colony along with the queen is infected and ultimately dies. This prevents further infestation.
  • Insecticide sprays work wonders, but you may need numerous applications to kill off all of the ants.
  • Traps and baits are the best options you have if they are there in your house.

In Case of Lawn Invasions

Mound treatments can be applied if they have invaded your lawn. The good thing about mound treatment is that it has an immediate effect and gets rid of re-infestation.  Methods such as mound drenching, mound injection, surface dust or surface granules and baiting can be applied.

How to Get Rid of Fire Ant Mound: Do Natural Tricks Really Work?

There is plenty of traditional treatment of fire ants, and perhaps you’ve heard about some of them from your neighbors or read about them online. Certain people recommend pouring boiled water, vinegar, bleach or even urine over the anthill, others claim that the oats sipped onto the mound helped them get rid of the fire ants. Do all these tricks work? Below we’ve tried to find an answer to this question together with the scientists.

Is it real to get rid of fire ant mound using boiling water?

Fire ants’ nests are small and you can simply dig them out. This isn’t an easy job though, and it doesn’t guarantee you anything. The scientists have found that the queen can flee deeper into the ground through the passages that were dug earlier. In this case the mound will be back where it used to be in a couple of weeks. So use liquid nitrogen and boiling water. The former is not easy to buy, though, and the latter may not reach the queen. According to the National Park Service web site, 3 gallons of  boiling water exterminate 60% of the colonies. This is satisfactory, but not fantastic as 40% will still be left.

Boiling the mound is the only more or less efficient traditional treatment methods (although, there are certain peculiarities to be taken into account). Other traditional tips, such as using vinegar and oats and others are USELESS. The most effect you’ll have is that the colony will flee elsewhere (perhaps it will relocate merely somewhere else at your place) or inside your house in search of a new place to nest in. Even DE is ineffective here! The Arkansas scientists not that there the orange peels cause “some repellent effect” which is still a poor consolation.

Boiled water can be indeed effective, but, as per the Florida University scientists, it is harmful for the environment as the hot water can burn the plants surrounding the mound and the ants can sting if in case they manage to crawl out. It is only recommended to use this method if you cannot for some reason use insecticides (we’ll talk about them later). However, it is still a temporary measure as it won’t help you kill the queen who will create a new nest with the surviving workers.

INTERESTING FACTS: Don’t pour cold water over the mound in an attempt to drown them. According to the University of Arkansas specialists, they don’t drown. Even when they find themselves in lots of water, they gather, form a sort of a raft and float to the next location.

The scientists claim that fire ants don’t take the cold well. The Florida specialists state that a fortnight at a temperature below 10° F will be enough “for the substantial number of ants to die” as they need moisture and warmth! For that very reason the invasions in the Northern states with harsh climate conditions are far less frequent than in the Southern ones.

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