Living in Texas has many perks, but contending with fire ants is not one of them. Today, we’ll show you how to identify, control, and prevent fire ants from ruining your Texas lawn.
Fire Ants: An Invasive Threat
Living in Texas, we are lucky to have great weather for most of the year. Unfortunately, that same great weather is also inviting to dangerous pests like fire ants. Fire ants are known for their painful stings. When a fire ant attacks, it first bites to latch on and then stings with its stinger located on its abdomen. The stinger injects a toxic alkaloid venom called solenopsin, causing severe pain and life-threatening allergic reactions to those vulnerable. The threat from fire ants is two-fold. Not only are they dangerous, but they can also cause considerable damage to your lawn with their constant tunneling and excavating. Not to mention, their large mounds can dull or damage the blades on your lawnmower.
Where Do Fire Ants Live?
If you have lived in the south your entire life, you might be under the impression that fire ants have always been here, but that’s not the case. If you go back a few generations, you will find that people didn’t have to deal with fire ants. That’s because they are an invasive species from South America. They hitched a ride on fruit trucks and found the climate perfect, like many of us have. Today, fire ants have flourished and can be found in every state in the south. It didn’t take long for people to catch on and give these pests the name we all know and love.
People in the south quickly learned the hard way that these foreign fire ants were much more ill-tempered than their North American counterparts. They were also much more resilient and resistant to ant control products of the time.
How To Identify Fire Ants
The first step to controlling fire ants is to identify them. Here are some identifying signs of fire ants.
The first signs of fire ants, other than someone getting stung, are the mounds of dirt that spring up in your yard. By this time, the colony is already matured and could contain hundreds of thousands of angry ants. Some colonies can reach over a million ants and take over an area the size of an acre.
Controlling Fire Ants
When it comes to controlling fire ants, there are two main avenues you can take.
These are usually poisoned bait that can be applied over the mound. It can be coated on grains or other food sources as well. The poison is slow-acting, so the ants can eat it and still have time to bring some back to the nest before they die. While this method can eliminate a colony, it cannot prevent a new colony from springing up elsewhere.
Season-long treatments, like the kind used by professionals, are long-lasting applications that keep fire ants out of your yard all year. They can be purchased at any hardware and require a fertilizer spreader to apply. For best results, treatment should be applied in early spring.
Hire The Pest Experts at Lawn Lab
At Lawn Lab, we want you and your family to stay safe from fire ants. With our effective fire ant program, we can ease your mind by eliminating and keeping these pests out all year.
Give us a call at (972) 287-7400 for more information on how you can get started. You can also request an easy quote here. For more monthly tips on all things lawn care, check out our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for our current deals and news.