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Orange Oil and Fire Ant Control

People who live in areas where fire ants are common spend a lot of time talking about them. They exchange stories about their experiences and share ideas on ways to get rid of them. People who have gardens want products for fire ant control that won't harm the fruits and vegetables they are growing.

Many people use orange oil for fire ant control and they recommend it to their friends. There are several brands of orange oil on the market. Some people have found it at large building centers and garden centers in their neighborhood.

If orange oil is not available, there are alternatives. There are insecticides on the market that are made from other citrus extracts. There are also insecticides made from extracts of pepper. Insecticides that contain cayenne pepper are widely available. There are also insecticide made from several other plant extracts and oils. Some natural minerals, like diatomaceous earth can also be effective insecticides.

Many people use orange oil for drenching the fire ant mounds. The idea is to dilute the orange oil in water and then pour the mixture onto the mounds. The product labels will have directions for the mixing rate of orange oil concentrate and water.

People who have done this before have offered some suggestions for treating fire ants successfully:

• Use plenty of liquid on each mound. The ants have tunnels under the mound that can extend deep into the ground. It may take two or three gallons of liquid to treat one nest completely. (If the mound is higher than 18″ or wider than 24″, it probably contains a giant colony.)

• It may help to poke some holes in the top of the mound, but it will also make the ants very angry.

• It might be more effective to pour the liquid from a bucket rather than using a sprayer. Don't stand on the mound while pouring. Don't splash ants up onto your legs.

• Keep children and pets away during the treatment. If anyone is sensitive to fire ant stings, watch him or her closely. If there are signs of allergic reaction, contact a medical professional. (If you are the sensitive one, have a helper nearby, just in case.)

One of the most frustrating things about fire ants is that treatments usually have to be repeated periodically. Fire ants can have hundreds of colonies per acre. The ants that survive this treatment will re-locate their nests. New colonies will also try to invade from the neighbor's yard.

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