Best Fire Ant Killers: 3 Homemade & 4 Commercial to Get Rid of Them
Fire ants hurt when they bite. Step on a fire ant or walk too close to their mound, and the next thing you know, you’ll be bitten for your transgression by one of the worst bites you can get. In terms of levels, fire ants fall in the level 1 pain scale, which is less than a honey bee sting.
Bullet ants hurt the most, and the pain is so bad, it sends people to the emergency room.
Even on the lower-end of the pain scale, fire ants can cause havoc and hurt badly. If you have fire ants in your yard, it’s time to get rid of them once and for all.
Table of Contents
- Quick Characteristics to Identify Fire Ants
- 3 Ways to Make Your Own Homemade Fire Ant Killer
- 4 Top-rated Commercial Products (2017) and Fire Ant Poisons
Quick Characteristics to Identify Fire Ants
Fire ants are a reddish-brown color, and this is the easiest way to identify them. The size of these ants is 1/8” to 1/4” long. When their mound is disturbed, these ants go on the aggressive and will come to the surface to attack.
The feeling of a bite is like being burned, and white fluid blisters form at the site in a few days.
Worker fire ants will bite repeatedly using their mandible and will sting using their stingers. There are red imported fire ants, too, which are 1.6 – 5 mm in length and are red and black in color.
3 Ways to Make Your Own Homemade Fire Ant Killer
A natural fire ant killer is often a person’s first attempt to get rid of these insects. Homemade methods are cheaper, and in some cases, work very well. We’re going to be discussing homemade options first before talking about commercial bait and poisons, which work to kill ants quickly.
1. Dish Soap Spray
A mixture of dish soap and water may cause a decline in ant populations. The issue is that you’ll need to get close to the ant mount and spray these little buggers for this method to work effectively.
- A spray bottle
- Dish soap
Fill the bottle with water and add a few drops of dish soap into it – the more, the better.
Now, simply go on a spraying spree and see what happens. When sprayed, the chemicals in the soap can cause the exoskeleton to degrade, leading to the ant dehydrating and dying.
2. Orange Oil Mixture
Orange oil is potent, and when mixed with the right ingredients, it can help as a fire ant control. You’ll need to have the following ingredients to make this mixture:
- Compost tea
- Liquid molasses
- Orange oil
Now, add one part of each ingredient into a 4-ounce container. Add 1 gallon of water into a bucket and pour the mixture into the bucket and stir. Now, ensure that you’re properly covered and dump the entire bucket onto the ant mound.
You need to be careful and ensure you’re not going to get attacked by the very angry worker ants.
Repeat this process several times, or double or triple the mixture as needed.
Fire ant queens can live underground, and if you have any hope of killing an ant mound, the queen must die.
3. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is the best fire ant killer when making a homemade solution. This is a substance that deserves a place in every home because it can be used to kill hundreds of insects and pests.
This is fossilized algae, and it’s non-toxic to humans and animals.
Ants and most insects are very small, so a small, sharp crystal-like substance can rip through the ant’s exoskeleton. When ants see this substance, they’ll give it a try and bring it back to their mound to share with others.
Ants live in an orderly fashion, and their behaviors are predictable.
You’ll find this substance in garden centers and home improvement stores. The best part is that you can use it as-is without any alterations to it.
The only word of caution is to use diatomaceous earth when it’s dry outside.
Simply sprinkle it over the mound and repeat daily. If you have an indoor infestation, this can be used indoors, too, and with great efficiency. The only downside is that this method takes slightly longer than a robust poison, and you’ll need to reapply often just in case it rains or the wind blows it away.
The DE will rip through the ant’s exoskeleton, allowing it to be exposed and eventually die of dehydration.
Note: There are people that state pouring boiling water on the mound is effective.
Boiling water will work to kill some ants, but there is the risk that the water will hit your skin, which will result in burns. The queen, which lives deeper inside or underneath the mound, may not be reached by the water, so this method would be ineffective if the queen isn’t reached.
Keep in mind that the queen is the sole reason for a population’s growth.
If the queen is killed, a new queen will need to be found. The entire ant civilization revolves around the queen as the reproducer. In some cases, a mound may have more than one queen, and additional queens need to be killed to ensure the eradication of the mound.
Queen ants are much larger than their counterparts, which is the distinguishing characteristic of the queen from her subjects.
4 Top-rated Commercial Products (2017) and Fire Ant Poisons
1. Advion Ant Gel Insecticide
Advion fire ant bait is one of the best in the world. This is a four pack, and it works as an attractant that lures in all types of ants. Since ants love sweets, this is a sweet feeder that is odorless.
The goal is to place the gel in an area where the ants will take the bait and bring it back to their colony.
DuPont Professional Products offers a plunger with this product, and it is simple to use:
- Place bait in key areas where the ants traverse
You can use the plunger to get into tough cracks and crevices, too.
The rest is up to the ants. These little insects will feed on the gel, bring it back to share, and kill their entire colony.
Ants flock to the bait, and it’s a lot more potent than borax.
When using this product, try to not kill any ants for a few weeks, as it takes time to get into the colony and kill all ants. If possible, place the bait next to the colony to draw out ants and lead to a mass killing.
Click here to buy Advion Ant gel insecticide.
2. Ortho MAX Fire Ant Killer
Ortho fire ant killer is one of the most potent products on the market. This product is provided in 11.5 pound bags, and it’s only available in select states because it’s so effective. Ortho guarantees this product will work, and it can treat up to 5,000 sq. ft.
This product will keep mounds from forming for six months, and it kills the queen, too.
You can apply this killer easily:
- Sprinkle one tablespoon on the mound
- Apply the granules across the lawn
- Add water
So, the first step is to place the granules on the mound, and then spread it across the lawn and add water.
Following both steps will kill fire ants and keep them from forming new mounds for up to six months.
Click here to purchase Ortho MAX fire ant killer.
3. Amdro Fire Ant Bait
Amdro offers fire ant bait granules, too, in a two-pound container. This is a fast-acting bait, and the active ingredient is hydramethylnon. What’s great about this product is that it kills the queen and all her subjects even when you don’t know where the mound is located.
This product works exactly like the previous product, and a two-step process is followed:
- Target colonies and mounds that you’ve identified
- Sprinkle the bait across the yard
Amdro works all season long, and it’s designed to taste just like food to ants. The ants will bring the “food” back to the colony to share, and there is a delayed reaction to ensure that the other ants don’t realize there’s a problem until it’s too late.
The full effect takes form in one week in most cases, in which the queen ant is already on her death bed waiting to die.
This is better than any contact killer on the market.
Click here to see what others are saying about Amdro Fire Ant Bait.
4. Bayer Advanced 502832 Fire Ant Killer Dust
Bayer offers the Advanced 502832 fire ant killer dust, and it’s so potent that many states have banned this substance. The dust doesn’t have an odor, and Cyfluthrin is the main ingredient. You need to be very careful with this product. It’s toxic to humans, so it should only be used outdoors.
If you have a cat or dog, ensure you don’t use this product.
But this poison is one of the most effective on the market. You’ll spread the dust across your lawn, and the poison will be eaten by the ants and taken back to their nest to finish off the rest of the colony.
Ideally, this dust should be placed as close to a mound as possible due to its toxic nature.
Click here to learn more about Bayer Advanced 502832 ant killer dust.