Fire Ants – Why So Many Lately?
Between the recent rains, the mosquitos and the fire ants, Florida has hardly been the paradise it’s cracked up to be! I can barely walk to my car without getting stung by a fire ant and backyard play for my little ones is nearly impossible.
Why so many fire ants all of the sudden?
Ninety percent of fire ants live under ground and we never see them. Occasionally a mound might appear but can quickly be taken care of with an insecticide or bait application. However, when heavy rains raise our water table levels, fire ants are forced above ground to keep from drowning.
More rain=more ants above ground =more mounds= more stings
Two-Step Fire Ant Control
For fire ant infestations, a two-step method of control is recommended.
Step 1: A “contact kill” liquid insecticide application.
Step 2: Application of a fire ant bait that is taken into the nest and distributed to the entire colony. For quick results, step 1 is the best. For lasting results, it’s necessary to do both steps. Unfortunately, step 2 is ineffective during heavy rains.
Home remedies and biological control (releasing a natural enemy to kill the ants for us) are ineffective and unavailable respectively. However, there are organic products for fire ant control. Just make sure you check the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) to determine if the product is 100% organic. Please remember, “organic” products are not necessarily safer or less toxic than conventional insecticides and should always be used as directed and with care.
CUSTOMERS: We’ve been applying “step 1” at all of your regular visits. If this rain has caused a fire an problem in your yard.
After a fire ant bite…
I was born in Venice, Florida. I’ve been bitten countless times. My go-to method of treatment is actually, glass cleaner. The ammonia in glass cleaner seems to eliminate the sting fast. Plus, it’s easily accessible at home, quick to apply and cheaper than topical itch creams. Unless you are severely allergic to fire ant stings, the initial burning will be the worst part. After a pustule forms, be careful not to break open the skin. An infection may occur as a result.