Kill the Fire Ant Queen


When you have an infestation of fire ants, there is only one way to successfully conquer it - kill the queen of the colony. Here's how to do it.

Fire Ants
Fire Ants

Killing a Complete Ant Colony

Have you ever tried to kill a mound of fire ants only to fail? Some people tackle them with various poison sprays and are surprised when the method fails. You may have tried covering the mound, sprinkling an available bug poison on them or even setting fire to the mound.

The reason that you weren’t successful in killing the entire ant colony with these methods is that the queen ant remained safe within the mound. She is well protected underground, and she will continue to lay eggs even as many of the other ants are killed with poison or other methods. Soon, the entire colony will be back to its original numbers.

If the colony is sufficiently damaged but the queen is still alive, she may even move the location of the mound elsewhere and start again. To prevent all of this, you have to take steps to kill the queen ant to ensure that the entire colony will die out.

The Type of Poisons to Use to Kill Fire Ants

Sprinkling a generic poison onto the mound will likely kill a few of the fire ants in the colony, but it won’t go any further than that. The key is to use a poison that has two components- a bait substance to entice the ants to try it and a poison that will kill them over time.

Some poison bug sprays, particularly the fast-killing bugs often used on indoor ants and roaches, are formulated to kill the bugs as quickly as possible. With this method, the bugs will not carry the poison back to their nests or mounds. With fire ants, it means that the poison will not reach far enough under the entrance of the mound to poison the queen ant.

Slow-killing ant poisons are formulated to be toxic enough to eventually kill the ants, but not poison enough to kill them on contact. With extremely strong poisons, ants may even avoid them completely. But with these subtle killers, the ants will walk through them, eat a small amount, carry them back into the mound on their legs and perhaps even carry some back to feed the queen and the larvae.

How to Kill Fire Ants

Applying Fire Ant Poison

When applying fire ant poison to the mound, be careful to stay several feet away from the edges of the mound. Fire ants are notorious for their speed and for being extremely aggressive. The worst fire ant attacks involve hundreds, sometimes thousands, of stings. Use any protection available, including a face mask, gloves and tall boots to keep any stray ants out.

Updated: 10/31/2011, SDKP
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