How Pest Control Services Effectively Eliminate Fire Ants

Fire ants are harmful pests that you won't want to ignore. Not only do they cause painful bites, but each fire ant is aggressive and can sting multiple times. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology reports that fire ant bites can even lead to anaphylaxis within 30 to 40 minutes, which is deadly if not treated immediately. It is not recommended that you try and treat these insects on your own, but rather take advantage of professional pest control services instead. They know exactly how to eliminate the problem to keep your family and pets safe.

Identify the Problem

The first step is confirming that you do indeed have a fire ant infestation. According to the U.S. Cooperative Extension System, fire ants can be identified by their red bodies with black abdomens, small size (1/16 to 1/4-inch long), and large mounds that lack an opening. Fire ants don't seem to have a preference as to where they build their mounds, so you'll find them just as often in open fields as you will next to the foundation of your home. Pest control services will include an investigation of your property to determine if it is plagued with these venomous creatures. 

Treating the Entire Affected Area

Most pest control services incorporate a two-step method for getting rid of fire ants. The first step is to treat the entire area that is affected by the fire ants. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension reports that this step involves the disbursement of a bait that is laced with a pesticide. The fire ants will take the bait down into their colonies to feed their queen. Successfully eradicating the queen is the key to gaining control over the fire ants. The extension points out that the bait is best used on dry grass in the late afternoon. Use the baits twice a year thereafter to keep from having a new infestation to deal with.

Treating Individual Mounds

The final step your pest control services expert will implement is to treat the individual mounds. North Carolina State University's Department of Entomology College of Agriculture and Life Sciences suggest performing this task when temperatures are between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The professional exterminator will perform a controlled drench treatment that gets the chemical pesticide deep into the colony to reach any fire ants that remain after the bait was used. The university warns that pets and children should be kept away from the treatment area until the treatment area where the chemical was used has completely dried out.