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Fire Ants and Boric Acid

Basic Information

Since their introduction to the United States in the 1930s, the red imported fire ant has posed a problem for homeowners as well as farmers and ranchers. Fire ants have no natural predators in the United States and have been able to spread quickly. The large mounds under which they form their colonies regulate the temperature of their tunnels, allowing them to survive severe drops in temperature.

Their sting produces painful red welts, as well as more severe reactions in those who have a fire ant allergy. Fire ants attack aggressively. They secure themselves to their victim with their jaws, or mandibles. This enables them to twist their abdomens around and deliver a series of stings.

Control Methods

Some ant baits use boric acid to control fire ants. Baits involve ants’ consuming the material and carrying it back to spread among the colony.

Challenges of Control

Although boric acid may be considered as a possible treatment of fire ant infestation, it is advised that a pest control professional be contacted to address the problem. Effecting baiting requires the proper bait materials as well as placement. Fire ant infestations invading homes also may require additional measures beyond baiting. Techniques utilized by trained specialists prove more effective and last longer than those attempted at home.

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