Fire ants are terrible pests. They sting and bite. They damage grass and trees. They injure livestock and wildlife. People who have fire ants in their yards can't wait to get rid of them.
There have been a lot of methods suggested for fire ant control. A few of them worked, but most of them did not work. Many people have tried to get rid of fire ants by spraying their yards with liquid insecticides. Most of the time the ants came back. Sometimes the ants simply moved, and a few times the ants stayed right where they were and ignored the spray. .
There are several things about fire ants that make them hard to eliminate. Their mounds are very sturdy. Most sprays hit the mound and run off. The mounds have no entrances on the outside. The ants come and go through tunnels under the mound. Insecticide sprayers usually don't deliver enough liquid to reach the inside of the mound, let alone reach deep into the underground tunnels and kill thousands of ants.
Many experts recommend a combination of methods to get rid of fire ants. The first step is to treat any mounds that are a threat to people or pets. Many liquid insecticide labels have directions for drenching fire ant mounds. This will kill many of the ants and cause the survivors to re-locate their nest. Treat the problem mounds this way to get immediate relief. Follow label directions for mixing and applying insecticides. Apply the insecticide with a bucket, not a sprayer. Large mounds will require two or three gallons of the insecticide mixture.
The second step is to apply fire ant bait. Since the fire ants can have hundreds of colonies per acre, it is smart to apply bait to the whole yard. The bait label will have directions for how much to apply for every one thousand square feet. Treat large yards in sections. Multiply the length by the width to find the number of square feet.
Fire ants look for food in the grass so put the bait in the grass, not on the mound. Many brands of bait will spoil if they get wet, so watch the weather.
The treatment will have to be re-applied periodically. The labels will have direction for re-application.