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How to Get Rid of Fire Ants in Two Steps

Home Depot
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Fire ants

Fire ants usually attack en masse when their mound is disturbed by latching on and biting victims more than once. The painful bites swell up and sting like fire. 

Fire ants make your outdoor space unsafe, especially for children and pets. Being bit by fire ants can be toxic to people and pets who experience severe allergic reaction.


Fire Ants and nest

Prevent fire ants from gaining ground by treating the mound and your yard. This two-step process can reduce mounds by up to 90 percent. 

Some believe that treating mounds with boiling water works well. However, this method never truly penetrates the entire nest and the remaining ants rebuild.


Ortho Orthene Fire ant treatment

Take back your yard from fire ants in 2 Steps:

  1. Put on rubber gloves and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Ortho Orthene fire ant treatment directly on the mound. Use in early morning or evening when fire ants are feeding and most active. Try not to disturb the mound before treating. This product penetrates deeply into the nest and also kills the queen. There is no need to dilute the product with water.
  2. Next, using a fertilizer spreader, spread Ortho Max Fire Ant Killer Broadcast Granules in your entire outdoor space. You’ll want to use about 1 to 2 1/2 pounds per acre. Thoroughly water when finished.


Fire ants and mound

Fire ants make a series of tunnels under the mounds and sometimes dig deeper into the ground. After initial treatment, wait six months and then treat again. 

Tips for Success:

  • Apply mound treatment when soil is more dry, not immediately after rain.
  • Treat areas when temperatures are between 65 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • During hot and dry periods, treat in late afternoon.
  • Be cautious when placing bait near well water systems. Ask your local Home Depot Garden Center associate for guidance on how to treat in this case.
  • Keep pets inside while treating your space.
  • After treatment, consider using a temporary fence around ant mounds for several weeks to protect people and pets from disturbing nests.
  • Apply treatment in spring and again in fall to suppress ant populations.

Find out about other fire ant treatment options. Read more information about home pest control, see our guide on controlling insects.

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