How to Kill Texas Fire Ants in a Garden

Overview

Texas fire ants are native to the Texas area and are different than imported fire ants from such places as Brazil and Argentina. Texas fire ants have heads that are wider than the other sections of their bodies, which makes identifying them from other types of fire ants easier. If your garden is infested with Texas fire ants, there are a few steps you can take to get rid of them before calling an exterminator.

Step 1

Place cut-up hot dogs around your garden. Notice which bits attract the Texas fire ants, as opposed to other ants. Track them back to their ant mounds. Make note of what time of day the hot dogs are most attacked by the fire ants.

Step 2

Water your garden often, especially around and over the fire ant mounds you tracked from the hot dog experiment. Many of the Texas fire ant colonies will die, and others will relocate, if conditions are consistently wet.

Step 3

Apply a granular pesticide labeled to kill ants. Products such as Amdro, Logic and Award are granular baits that work well to kill Texas fire ants. Always follow manufacturer directions, but in general, spread the granules over the hot dogs--and the ground surrounding them--that were attracted the Texas fire ants. For best results, apply the pesticide on a nice day at the time when you saw the most ants. If possible, spread the granules over a 100-square-foot radius. It will take about six weeks to kill the entire colony.

Things You'll Need

  • Hot dog
  • Granular pesticide

References

  • University of Texas at Austin: Questions about Fire Ants
Keywords: kill fire ants, garden ants, Texas fire ants

About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.