Archive for May 25th, 2011

Dispatching Fire Ants

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

This is Passport to Texas

The AgriLife Extension service estimates the impact of red imported fire ants in Texas at $1.2 billion annually. These insects wreak havoc in urban, agricultural and wildlife areas posing threats to plants and animals. Because of that—they must die.

12—Generally what we recommend is a broadcast bait over the whole entire yard in the spring and in the fall, and that dramatically cuts down on the amount of fire ants that you see popping up in-between those times.

Entomologist, Elizabeth “Wizzie” Brown is with AgriLife Extension and much or her work focuses on fire ants. She says the broadcast baits take time, but are effective. Impatient and desperate homeowners have tried homemade treatments for hopefully quicker kills to allow them to enjoy their outdoor spaces again.

28—Club soda was a big one. People were asking me about this, so that’s when I did my testing and it didn’t work. Used coffee grounds are another one—a lot of people were using that to treat fire ant mounds; Again, I didn’t find that that one worked. Ground cinnamon….. This year I’m hoping to test cayenne pepper and oak ash. I had somebody bring oak ash to me; he says that he uses it all the time and that he doesn’t have any fire ants and so we’re going to test that one out and see what happens.

We have links to information about managing this biting pest at

The SFWR program supports our series and helps to fund the operations and management of more than 50 wildlife management areas. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.