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Old 03-01-2008, 11:37 AM
 
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We just moved to our house in October and we have fire ants in the yard. I would like a way to get rid of them so my kids can play in the yard without fear of being eaten alive. I would ideally like to use organic or safe products. Someone said boiling water but I dont want to kill my yard in the process. I read a suggestion about water with dish washing liquid in it. Will that work and will it harm my lawn? Any other effective ways? I would to really get rid of them and not have to reapply some chemical every 4 weeks.
Thanks
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:53 AM
 
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I don't know if there's any organic method that actually kills them substantially. I know the Ortho fire ant killer...though a harsh chemical...does kill the entire mound(s) very effectively. The thing with boiling water...unless you have some way of actually getting the water down to the deepest tunnels, you're wasting your time.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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One thing I learned while living in Texas is you don't ever get rid of fire ants, you beat them back but they will come back.
Unless you intend on getting an ant eater, I know of no organic way to get rid of them but there are safe ways to beat them back that won't hurt your kids or your animals.

I use the normal stuff they sell in the gardening center. I have also learned through experience that ants use scent to follow their little trails. If you disturb their scent, they tend to stay away. Here in Florida I take bleach and water and wash down my patios and drive way. It does wonders for getting rid of the ants. Of course you would also need to put the treatment on the ant hills. I have also poured bleach into the ant hills which is helpful but can also kill the grass in that spot.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Austin
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I second ortho fire ant killer. I spray it directly on the mounds, and also treat my whole yard with the pellets twice a year.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rae' View Post
I second ortho fire ant killer. I spray it directly on the mounds, and also treat my whole yard with the pellets twice a year.
My Father passed away in 99 but when he was alive, fire ants were the bain of his existance. He did as you say and treated them regularly. He put the pellets in the spreader and also went around and sprayed. He was the one who said he was going to purchase an ant eater to deal with the problem.

The problem is that your neighbors might not be so hard working, they will migrate back from their yards.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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We had good luck when we lived in Austin with getting the fire ants to move (not getting rid of them, as said, you never get rid of fire ants but you can make them not want to hang around) using boiling water.

The trick was, my husband took a hollow metal pipe about 1-1/2 or 2 inches across, slightly flatted one end (but didn't close it), and we pounded that end down into the mound so it would stand up straight, then ran like heck and waited a few hours until the mound settled down. Then, we boiled some water in a kettle and carefully poured it down the center of the pipe (you can stick a funnel in the top of the pipe to make this easier and less likely to scald yourself). That got the boiling water down into the mound and killed a bunch of ants (maybe even the queen) and the rest moved on.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
We had good luck when we lived in Austin with getting the fire ants to move (not getting rid of them, as said, you never get rid of fire ants but you can make them not want to hang around) using boiling water.

The trick was, my husband took a hollow metal pipe about 1-1/2 or 2 inches across, slightly flatted one end (but didn't close it), and we pounded that end down into the mound so it would stand up straight, then ran like heck and waited a few hours until the mound settled down. Then, we boiled some water in a kettle and carefully poured it down the center of the pipe (you can stick a funnel in the top of the pipe to make this easier and less likely to scald yourself). That got the boiling water down into the mound and killed a bunch of ants (maybe even the queen) and the rest moved on.
You know, I have heard of this but not spoken to someone who did it. Thats cool it works.
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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I have heard the boiling water works but it kills your lawn. Id like to find something that isnt going to leave big brown circles in the lawn where the water was.
Has anyone dried Dried Molasses? or Orange oil?
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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Well, it didn't kill our lawn, maybe because we got it down deep enough?
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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We've been living in our house for about 8 years now. Early on fire ants were a problem. Now at least once a year, I use the spreader to spread a bag of the fire ant treatment sold at home depot (small granules). Since then (at least in the past 4-5 years) we never had any issues. But the key is to do it every year.

So in short, the problem will never completely stop, but a yearly treatment should keep it away from your yard.
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