Fire ants may follow flooding

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By Master Gardener, Brunswick County Extension

Due to the vast amounts of rain, we will be blessed with an abundance of fire ants. As things dry out and we maintain moderate temperatures in many areas of the state, we are likely to see the late season fire ant mounds showing up.

At this point for homeowners, baits or mound drenches are more likely to be the route to go. If you’re using the fipronil-based granular insecticides (not the granular bait) and you have already made an application in the spring or summer, then you need to check the label because products like Over N’ Out may restrict use to one 2 pound/acre application per year. 

Baits like Amdro will work but extremely slowly at this point. The indoxacarb bait such as Spectracide’s Once-N-Done will give faster knockdown of the mound compared to Amdro. Mound drenches will knock down the mound pretty quickly as well. 

Now, if we could train fire ants to carry off bed bugs, we’d be set, particularly in eastern North Carolina.

Thanks to Mike Waldvogel, entomologist, at N.C. State University for this information.

Send your gardening questions or comments to: Brunswick County Master Gardener Column, P.O. Box 109, Bolivia, NC 28422, or call 253-2610. Answers may be printed in this column.