How do you get rid of fire ants? That is the question that has been plaguing my wife and I since we moved into our current home over 5 years ago. You see we have kids who are very active! They love to play outside in the dirt and mud and grass. This makes the need to get rid of fire ants in a non-toxic way a priority.
Here is everything we used in the video:
Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap (Note: We actually used a store brand in the video.)
Worm Castings Organic Fertilizer (Note: We used our own homemade compost in the video, but earthworm castings are a great choice if you do not have your own.)
NOTE: If you do not want to make the compost tea, you can order a commercial version like Garrett Juice Plus
First the disclaimer:
We are not a pest control company, anything written here is just our opinion of what is working for us to get rid of fire ants. Before attempting to use any of the methods discussed here, consult a qualified pest control company in your area. We also do not condone or recommend any off label use for any product that may be represented here. As always, anything you attempt based on this article is at your own risk.
Whew! Now that that is out of the way, let’s get rid of fire ants!
Step 1: Make The Compost Tea
Combine 2 cups (1 quart) – Compost, 2 oz – Liquid seaweed and 2 oz – Unsulphured molasses in a 5 gallon bucket and fill with water.
Place the bucket somewhere it won’t be disturbed and near an electric outlet. Plug the fish tank aerator into the outlet and drop the tube with the stone all the way to the bottom of the bucket.
Let the tea brew for the next 24 – 48 hours.
Note: Non chlorinated water works best because it allows the bacterial and fungal components in the tea to flourish more than chlorinated water does.
Step 2: Create The Mound Drench
There are several mound drench recipes you can find. I chose this one because it was simple, with just a few ingredients.
In my opinion it also had the greatest chance of success in helping us to get rid of fire ants based on everything I have read.
Combine 6 oz – Compost tea, 6 oz – Orange Oil with d-limonene and 1 oz – Liquid dish soap in a 5 gallon bucket and fill it with water.
Step 3: Drench The Mound
In order for the mound drench to be effective and get rid of fire ants, you need to have a controlled pour right down the center of the mound.
The idea being that you want the mixture to go all the way to the bottom of the mound and get there quickly so that you get the queens.
Each fire ant colony may have dozens of queens, each capable of laying up to 1,500 eggs per day according to the national park service.
Fire Ants are really invasive and if you want to get rid of fire ants it takes persistence. After using the mound drench for about a week now, here’s what I have discovered.
Newer mounds tend to go away with one treatment and don’t seem to return. Established colonies, however, tend to stay around and it has taken multiple applications to get rid of fire ants in those areas.
So far, the drench has been effective for us as a short term solution to get rid of fire ants. That said the jury is still out as to how effective this will be long term.
If you do decide to try this out to get rid of fire ants, let us know how it goes in the comments below.
Thank you to Howard Garrett A.K.A. the Dirt Doctor for the compost tea recipe.