Fire ants entered the U.S. from South America in the 1920s and have gradually migrated throughout the south, from Atlanta to Pacific coast. They are small red or black ants, about 1/4 inch long. They build large nests in the ground, which sometimes reach 1-2 feet in height. Mounds or nests are found in lawns and gardens, and occasionally, they will migrate into home when driven inside by rain or drought.
In some parts of the country, nothing starts a conversation among strangers faster than the subject of fire ants. Fire ants are a nuisance and a painful, dangerous pest to anyone unlucky enough to live in their region. They infest gardens, parks, yards, playgrounds, and pastures throughout the southern U.S. These pests are aggressive and fiercely protective of their nests. If you disturb their nest, they attack you. If they think the nest is in trouble, they'll just move to another part of the yard.
You can use two effective methods to win back your yard from fire ants. One is the mound treatment, and the other is the broadcast granule method. Each method uses a different strategy to attack the ants. However, applying both at the same time will optimize results.
Attack fire ants' strong point by going after the nests with a dust or granular product, such as Ortho® Orthene® Fire Ant Killer. This type of product is designed to kill the entire colony, so use it wherever you see a nest mound.
Not all fire ant mounds are high profile. Many remain hidden down in the grass. Fire ants will also forage in your yard for food and new nesting sites. Apply a protective layer over your entire lawn to contain them. A broadcast product such as Ortho® MAX® Fire Ant Killer Broadcast Granules kills them and stops new fire ant mounds from forming for up to 6 months.