Fire Ants: Wanted Dead Not Alive

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Fire Ant Resources & Control Methods

The red imported fire ant, commonly referred to as “fire ants”, is an invasive pest that is native to Brazil. Fire ants have spread throughout the Southeastern United States, including much of North Carolina. Due to their aggressive nature and painful stings they can be problematic for humans, pets, livestock, and wildlife.

Fire ants seemed especially prevalent last year in Camden County, as I received more calls from citizens experiencing heavy infestations in 2019 than normal. Furthermore, I noticed more fire ant mounds in my own yard and in fields throughout the county than I had in previous years. I have observed a number of active fire ant mounds this spring, and thought this would be a good time to share resources that include control tactics.

Controlling Fire Ants Video:

Our NC State Extension Red Imported Fire Ant in North Carolina publication, Red Imported Fire Ant in North Carolina, does a good job of overviewing the pest, as well as providing specific control recommendations. For heavy infestations or for mounds in sensitive areas such as playgrounds please note the two-step method described in this publication, an excerpt is below.

“A highly effective (but requiring more effort) is the “two-step method.” Place the bait out around a mound. Wait about 5-7 days. Then, apply a mound drench which should kill the remaining workers more quickly.”

For more information please contact the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Camden County Center at (252) 331-7630.