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How to Kill Fire Ants in the Yard

By Melynda Sorrels ; Updated September 21, 2017

After you’ve spent all the time and effort to finally have a lawn you could walk barefoot through, you may be horrified to find that you aren’t the only one enjoying it as thousands of tiny fire ants barrel through the grass. This is a good time to put your shoes back on. Fire ants are known to be aggressive, and their sting can be felt for several days afterward. Getting rid of these pests is a process, but with the right materials you can quickly send them packing.

Place a piece of fruit or food onto a pile of dirt. If you don’t care to have a mound of dirt just lying around you can put it into a large empty flower pot.

Wait until you see many ants swarming the bait and dump a bucket of soapy water onto them.

Stir the water around in the soil to kill many ants at once. Be sure not to do this near your home, set the planter or dirt pile at the far edge of your property. Repeat this as often as you would like to kill of large number of fire ants.


Things You Will Need

  • Flower pot
  • Orange slices
  • Boric acid
  • Sugar
  • Plastic container
  • Cotton balls
  • Shovel


  • You can also scatter orange slices throughout your yard. The ants will happily climb all over it making it easy for the birds to fly down and scoop them up.
  • If you know where the nests are, try pouring boiling water directly into them. This may take several times. Use a long handled shovel to break up the soil in the nest so that the water can go deeper into the earth and reach more ants. Or scoop up a large shovelful of one fire ant hill and drop it onto another anthill. They will fight and kill each other off so you don't have to.


  • Wear gloves, pants and long sleeved shirts when shoveling up ants to avoid getting stung.

About the Author


Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.