Management — Treatment
Home and Building
- If ants are entering or could enter the home from outdoor colonies, treat mounds near the building using one of the programs described for Home Lawns and Other Ornamental Turf Areas. A contact insecticide with a long residual effect, such as a fipronil (Termidor®), or a pyrethroid, also can be applied as an outside barrier as directed around the base of the home. Caulking cracks and crevices and keeping plants and branches from touching buildings also may help prevent ants from entering.
- If fire ants are foraging indoors and do not pose an immediate threat to residents or pets, use an insecticidal bait labeled for use indoors. Examples are baits containing abamectin (Ascend®), hydramethylnon (MaxForce® Granular Insect Bait or Fire Ant Killer Bait), or bait stations containing hydramethylnon (MaxForce®, Combat®). Fire ant baits eliminate the colony slowly. Bait products not specifically registered for imported fire ant control may or may not control them. Use of bait products alone may not eliminate large imported fire ant colonies nesting indoors or near the foundation.
- Follow trails of foraging ants to colonies located indoors and treat them with contact insecticide dusts or sprays (containing pyrethroids, chlorfenapyr, or others) injected into the nest. Treating only ant trails with a fast-acting spray will not eliminate the entire colony and may interfere with the use of bait products. Fipronil and chlorfenapyr are nonrepellent slow-acting contact insecticides compatible with use of bait products.
- Vacuum indoor ant trails and dispose of the vacuum bag immediately. Treat the source colony or entry site of the trail using the options above.