Management — Treatment
Home and Garden
- A few fire ant baits are registered for use in home gardens. Extinguish (methoprene) is labeled for cropland. Another fire ant bait, Esteem (pyriproxyfen), is
labeled for some crops such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, cucumber, pumpkins,
squash, melons, okra, pepper, tomato, and others. Extinguish and Esteem are insect growth regulators and may
require several months to work. Green Light Fire Ant Control with Conserve (spinosad) can be used in home gardens (less than one acre), and Fertilome Come and Get It Fire Ant Killer (spinosad) lists most crops
including, but not limited to, soybeans and vegetables and may require 1 to 4 weeks to work.
- Monterey Vegetable Garden Soil Insecticide (bifenthrin) may be used as an individual mound treatment in a
variety of crops such as tomatoes, sweet corn, green peas, sugar snap peas, snow peas, green beans (wax
beans, snap beans), dry beans (black-eyed peas, cow pea), cucumber, gourds, muskmelon, pumpkin, squash,
watermelon, broccoli, Chinese broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, Chinese mustard, eggplant,
head lettuce, and peppers (bell and non-bell).
- Ant mounds can be shoveled out of the garden (using special precautions) or treated with very hot water, taking care not to disturb the mound or allow hot water to contact garden plants, people, or animals. These methods can be very hazardous to the user.
- A number of contact insecticides are registered to treat "ants" in home vegetable gardens, such as those containing carbaryl, pyrethrins, pyrethrins plus diatomaceous earth. Some are granular products containing carbaryl, carbaryl plus metaldehyde, or pyrethroid insecticides including cyfluthrin or esfenvalerate. These are available for treating other "soil insects" and may provide some control of fire ant foragers. Follow closely directions and pre-harvest intervals indicated on the product label when using a pesticide on and around food plants.
- Other bait products are not specifcially registerd for use inside home vegeatable gardens, although they can be applied outside the garden's perimeter. Foraging ants from colonies both inside and outside the garden will collect the bait and take it to their colonies.
- To prevent ants from entering a garden, manage fire ants properly in the surrounding landscape. Products registered for controlling ants in turfgrass can be applied outside the perimeter of the garden as a barrier or used to treat individual mounds near the garden.