Your garden is your pride and joy. You’ve invested so much effort and so many hours into making it look the way it does, and it does look stunning. Then one day, you stare out of your window to admire the exquisite view once again, and what do you see?
Fire ants. In their thousands. Running a destructive trail through your masterpiece.
No doubt, this is a really frustrating position to be in. But the good news is, with a few simple steps, you can rid your garden of these destructive elements before they can wreak any havoc. Read on to find out how to keep fire ants out of your garden.
4 Ways To Keep Fire Ants Out Of Your Garden
Apply Hot Water
Fire ants are incredibly persistent: they will keep coming back unless they’re totally nipped in the bud. The best way to do this is to attack their mound itself when you discover it. A few buckets of scalding water will do nicely.
Be sure to wear clothing that offers adequate protection from hot water and retaliatory stings from irate ants before venturing out on this task. For maximum effectiveness, you may have to pour up to three or four buckets into the mound, because any ant that escapes can potentially restart another colony.
Use Ant Bait
Immediately you spot fire ants in your garden, that’s the time to spring into action before they spread and become too difficult to curtail.
You can curb their spread by strategically stashing baits that contain the ingredients spinosad and pyriproxyfen around their mound. Spinosad immobilizes the ants, while pyriproxyfen prevents them from producing more eggs and spawning more workers.
Apply the bait when you notice the fire ants out foraging, to ensure that they pick them up. These baits are safe; they will not harm your crops. If you choose to use ant bait, you may have to exercise a little patience as it may take some time before you start seeing the effects.
Fire ants are immensely destructive, and in order to eradicate them, you may have to bring out the big guns. Pesticides are the easiest and most effective way to get rid of vermin that assail your garden and crops. But be careful when using them, because some insecticides have adverse effects on your plants.
Avoid insecticides that contain acephate. Acephate can be absorbed by plant roots. Further, other beneficial organisms such as honey bees may inadvertently fall prey to your chemical onslaught. Opt for insecticides that are not too toxic.
If you’re unwilling to go the chemical route, another organic way to combat fire ants is by bucketing. Bucketing involves digging out the ant mound with a shovel, placing it in a bucket and transporting it somewhere else, preferably far away from your garden.
The best time to do this is when every single member of the colony is in or around the mound, to make sure you get all of them at once. You should also endeavour to dig up at least a foot of soil along with the mound, to prevent a riot.
If you would like help taking control of the fire ants in your garden, feel free to contact us for a quote.