It’s time to start your ant control.
Fire ants can be a real problem in lawns, gardens, and pastures. While they do not directly affect the grass, they can cause damage to mowers and other maintenance equipment. They also sting people, pets, and livestock.
It’s important not to disturb mounds before you begin treatment. It’s human nature to want to kick the top of the mound to watch those little guys die. However, damaging the mound causes worker ants to rush the queen even deeper below ground.
How do I identify fire ants?
In areas where fire ants are commonly found, most people identify this pest by the appearance of the mound. The painful sting of the fire ant’s bite is another good indicator, but not recommended as a method of identification. Fire ants build mounds in almost any type of soil, but they prefer open sunny areas such as pastures, parks, lawns, and fields. Their mounds can grow 18 to 24 inches in height if the soil conditions are right. Often mounds are located in rotting logs and around stumps and trees. Colonies can also occur in or under buildings. The ants themselves are reddish brown in color and roughly 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length.
How can I prevent fire ants?
If using do-it-yourself treatment the there two methods of prevention work well. The first and my favorite for states with high concentrations of fire ants is to broadcast fire ant bait. Smith Farm Supply has a variety of brands to choose from. They should be broadcast in early spring before the ants begin to form new colonies. You should also broadcast bait again in the fall. The bait kills the queen once the worker ants gather it and bring it to her as food. Any mounds that survive should be treated individually by sprinkling the same bait around the base of each mound as they are noticed.
The second method would be mixing a concentrate with water and spraying the beds or the entire yard. We have several choices to select from if this is your method of choice. Mix and apply according to the label directions on the product you choose.
Fire Ants in Pastures
Fire ants in established pastures can have a serious impact on both livestock and companion animal (horse) operations by causing animal and personal injury and equipment damage. Losses can also be incurred through decreased hay production, feed and forage loss, and reduced animal feeding.
Smith Farm Supply offers spraying services to eliminate the ant problem in your pasture. Contact your local Smith Farm Supply today and schedule to get your pastures sprayed.
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