Officials offer tips to fight fire ants as temperatures rise

(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Updated: Feb. 19, 2018 at 7:22 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It happens every year in Alabama; usually when the weather starts to get in the 80s, fire ant mounds start popping up everywhere. But there are some things you can do before those mounds start to rise.

We will most likely continue seeing fire ants until the end of the summer. Officials say that as long as temperatures stay above 70 degrees, the fire ants are here to stay, so they recommend using contact insecticide to immediately kill the ants.

They also said you should do this before the mounds start popping up.

"It's a perennial problem. It comes around every spring and will last all summer long. There's a couple ways of treating it," said Montgomery County Extension Coordinator Jimmy Smitherman. "You can treat it with a contact insecticide that will kill them immediately or you can give them one of the baits that has like an insect growth regulator in it that interferes with their ability to molt or go through metamorphosis, and they die off through that process. So it's either the bait or it's the contact insecticide."

As far as home remedies go, officials do not recommend them. One of the most common home remedies is pouring boiling hot water on the mounds. Officials said that while it might appear to work on the outside, it rarely eliminates the colony and usually the ants will just move to another location.

If you do use the insecticide method, it is recommended that you put it all around the mound as opposed to just on top of it.

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