Fire Ant Control

Credit for all info and links below is to Dr. Blake Layton, Jr., Extension Professor Entomology, Mississippi State University Extension Service.

P2429 “Control Fire Ants in Your Yard

  • Spread fire ant bait Easter, Independence Day, and Labor Day when dry and ground temperatures are between 70 and 90ºF. Extinguish Plus (methoprene) (0.25%) + (hydramethylnon) (0.365%) at 1.5 lb/ac (0.55 oz/1000 SSF.
  • Early spring is one of the best times to apply fire ant baits because fire ants are actively foraging for food at this time. If you are going to treat only one time per year, do it in the spring. But you can improve control by treating again in midsummer and a third time in the fall, especially if you live in a rural area where fire ants are abundant.
  • Fall treatments help reduce the number of mounds present the following spring.
  • FYI – Remember that fire ant baits are supposed to be slow-acting. The worker fire ants pick up the bait granules and carry them back to the colony. Adult fire ants can’t eat solid food; they have to feed it to the larvae, which digest and liquefy it. This liquid food, which still contains the insecticide, is then collected from the larvae by other workers and passed among the ants in the colony, eventually reaching and killing the queen.
  • It’s best to wait several days after applying baits before you treat individual mounds with contact insecticide treatments. This allows time for foraging worker ants to carry the baits into the colonies and improves your chances of killing the queen.

P2493 “Control Fire Ants in Pastures, Hayfields, and Barnyards

  • The key to success with liquid drenches is to use enough liquid to thoroughly soak the mound. Depending on the size of the mound, this ranges from one to two gallons. Begin by applying about one-fourth of the total volume to a 10- to 12-inch band around the outside of the mound. This prevents the queen from escaping through one of the underground foraging tunnels and improves control of workers. Then, apply the rest of the drench directly to the mound.
Martin’s Permethrin 10% Multi-Purpose InsecticideMix 0.5 fl oz in 3 gallons of water and apply as a drench.

P2494 “Control Fire Ants in Commercial Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables” 

Caution: Extinguish, with methoprene only, is the product that is labeled for use around edible crops. Do not use Extinguish Plus around edible crops. Extinguish Plus contains methoprene + hydramethylnon, and hydramethylnon is not approved for use around fruits and vegetables. Extinguish, with methoprene only, is usually more difficult to find and may have to be specially ordered. 

Brand nameActive ingredientUse directions
Hi-Yield Garden, Pet, and Livestock Insect Controlpermethrin (10%)Mix 1.5 fl oz (3 Tbsp) in 1 gallon of water to treat one mound.
Ferti-Lome Bore, Bagworm, Leafminer, & Tent Caterpillar Sprayspinosad (0.5%)Mix 2 fl oz (4 Tbsp) per gallon of water and use 1–2 gallons per mound.
Sevin SLcarbaryl (43%)Mix 3/4 fl oz per gallon of water and apply 1–2 gallons per mound.
Extracted from “Control Fire Ants in Commercial Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables” 

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