Campus News

Tackle fire ants in the fall

Fall is perfect for killing fire ants. Tackling the stinging pests now will cut down on the number encountered next spring and summer.

Fire ant colonies reach their peak in the fall having grown throughout the summer months. The ants tend to be most active in the spring and fall, when daytime temperatures are between 70 and 85 degrees.

During the fall especially, they spend a lot of time foraging for food. Actively foraging ants will pick up bait and carry it into the nest within the first hour or two.

Another reason to treat the pests in the fall is their location.

“The ants aren’t too deep in the ground and this makes it easier to kill with a mound-drench, granular or dust,” said Dan Suiter, a UGA entomologist. “When using these products it’s critical to treat when the queen and brood are close to the surface.”

UGA specialists recommend treating fire ants by first broadcasting a fire ant bait like Amdro.

This can be done either across the home lawn or in a 4-foot circle around each mound. Do not disturb the mounds. Allow the bait to work for a week to 10 days. Then kick the ant mounds or poke them with a stick and step back quickly. If there is any ant activity, apply a contact insecticide to target the mounds.