Posts tagged: fire ants

Getting Rid Of Fire Ants

Red Imported Fire AntIf you’ve had more-than-preferable experiences with fire ants, you might know that their bites can really pack a punch. They are very aggressive foragers, have exceedingly high reproduction rates, and build unsightly mounds around the yard. Their painful poison and aggressive nature make their presence a danger especially to children playing in the yard. As a common sight and problem in homeowner’s lawns and yards, there are many urban legends and old wives tales surrounding the issue of dealing with and getting rid of fire ant mounds. Well, we’ve tested them all, and here are the sure-fire methods of controlling fire ant populations in your lawn:

Bucketing

Dig up the mound and dump it into large buckets. Once “bucketed,” you can proceed to drown the ants or move them somewhere else, where they won’t bother you or your property. Tips: before you dig up the mound, cover the sides of the bucket with baby powder or cornstarch to prevent the ants from crawling out of the bucket; dig up the mounds quickly; tuck your pants into your socks; if drowning the ants, add dish soap to the water to drown them faster.

Fire Ant SignBoiling Water

This is one of the most common ways of dealing with fire ant mounds. The water doesn’t actually need to be boiling, just scalding hot. It might take three or four applications to totally kill the mound. Tips: use about four gallons of hot water per application; be careful about your application, as hot water can kill surrounding grass and plants.

Granular Baits

This option may be preferable if your lawn has a large number of fire ant mounds. These baits contain small amounts of insecticide that release slowly enough to get to the queen without the workers discovering that it’s poison. Spread these throughout your yard with a spreader, and you should see results in, typically, around five weeks (depending on the bait you use). Tips: slower acting insecticides typically provide longer control; you only need two pounds per acre; use a handheld spreader and not a lawn fertilizer, which would apply way too much.

Individual Mound Treatments

Fire Ant Mounds

These insecticides are also available for treating single mounds. Unlike the baits, these contain fast acting insecticides (since they don’t rely on the workers to carry them home to the mound). For controlling fire ants specifically, the treatments are typically in dry form rather than liquid. Liquid treatments, however, are typically faster, though they require more work and are more expensive. Tips: don’t disturb the mounds before application, as the workers might evacuate the queen to a safer location; use a watering can when mixing and applying treatments; first apply the treatment around the outside of the mound to trap any escapees and then proceed to drench the mound in it.

Fire Ant Stings

If you get stung by fire ants, stay calm. Elevate the infected areas, clean the area with soap and water, and apply antihistamine or use a hydrocortisone cream. Don’t pop the blisters and be patient as the stings heal. Unless you have an allergic reaction, fire ant stings should not pose a threat to your health or life. If you find yourself having trouble breathing or feeling your throat tightening up, seek professional medical care immediately.

Mike Piwonka is the CEO of The Grass Outlet, a Texas sod provider. He and his family-run business are dedicated to making Texas green, one lawn at a time, and providing top quality grass in a time-efficient manner.

San Antonio Carpenter Ants Destructive

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San Antonio Carpenter Ants Destructive

Those small, winged, insects that you’ve seen tunneling through wood on your San Antonio property may not be termite… It could be a Carpenter ant.

In San Antonio, the Carpenter ant most frequently comes in two varieties: The Black Carpenter ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus), and the regular or generic Carpenter ant (Camponotus vicinus). Both are equally destructive.

The Carpenter Ants of San Antonio

Of all the different species of ant, the largest grouping happens to be the Carpenter ant. While some ants like the Fire ant are known for their painful stings, the Carpenter ant is most well known for their destructive nesting behavior.

Carpenter ants make their nests by tunneling through wood, in which they do not eat; and it is because of this behavior many San Antonio homeowners confuse these ant pests for termites.

Both the Carpenter ant and the Black Carpenter ant measure ¼ to ½ inch in length. Carpenter ants have a black head, a black abdomen, but had a dark reddish colored thorax. The Black Carpenter ant has black legs, with dull black body. A circular ring of gold colored hairs that circle the Black Carpenter ant’s abdomen make it easy to distinguish from other ant pest.

Both the Carpenter ant and the Black Carpenter ant can also have wings.

Damage Caused By San Antonio Carpenter Ants

If your San Antonio home has wood that is easily accessible from outdoor areas; or if your property has wood piles, tree stumps, or unused or abandoned wood leftover from a construction project you may be susceptible for carpenter ants. Carpenter ants will nest in the wooden structures on your property, and even in your home. This can be very destructive. As their innate tunneling behavior kicks in, Carpenter ants chew through wood. Dead, rotten, decaying wood or logs seem to be the ant’s preferred nesting choice; but old, cracking furniture, trees, tree stumps, and home structures are also vulnerable.

Carpenter ant nesting behaviors devastate the reliability of anything made of wood, including your home or furniture. Like I mentioned, these vicious ants robustly gnaw through wood, building tunnels for their nests. If you see piles of sawdust near any wood on your property, it’s a solid indication that you are dealing with a pest problem… A problem that could be very serious. Carpenter ants should not be taken lightly. If you suspect an infestation, or are seeing sawdust piles, have your home inspected by a licensed ant control professional.

San Antonio Pest Control For Carpenter Ants

Bulwark Exterminating
118 Broadway Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 224-2706
bulwarkpestcontrol.com
 
Orkin Pest & Termite Control
4902 Center Park Boulevard
San Antonio, TX
(866) 713-9979
orkin.com
 
Terminix
10022 N Ih 35
San Antonio, TX 78233
(210) 656-5050
terminix.com

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