Home Remedies to Get Rid of Fire Ants

Many people declare war on fire ants each year. The pests take over yards and threaten humans and pets with their stinging bites. With a few proven methods, though, you can rid your life of fire ants.


The Myths


Despite their uselessness, many myths for eliminating fire ants enjoy long lives. Grits and rice do not eliminate fire ants. One myth claims these foods cause ants to swell and explode, but ants cannot eat solid foods. Another approach uses gasoline set on fire. The technique is illegal and hazardous. Some people claim household cleaners such as ammonia, chlorine bleach and drain cleaners kill fire ants, but they do not and pose serious environmental risks to for children, pets and wildlife, and can also contaminate groundwater.

Useful Remedies


Dry ice kills fire ants. Use a piece of re-bar, a type of metal rod, to make a hole to the bottom of a fire ant mound. Then insert a piece of dry ice into the hole and use the re-bar to push it down. The cold temperature of the dry ice kills the queen and most other fire ants present. Use extreme caution when using dry ice.

Melting half of a bar of lye soap into 5 gallons of water also works to eliminate fire ants. Because lye is caustic and can cause severe burns, protect your skill by wearing protective rubber gloves. Protect your eyes with goggles or glasses. Pour the solution around the edges of the ant mount. Then use a shovel to stir up the ants. Drench the ants with the remaining solution as they surface from the hole. The solution kills the ants, but it does not harm pets or pollute soil and water.

Boiling water also killing fire ants, but it might not always kill the queen. The water must be extremely hot. Simmering water does not work. Therefore, you need to heat the water to a high temperature and quickly use it. If you do not kill the queen, your fire ant problem will persist. To use boiling water, wait for a day when the ants are active. Then pour about 3 gallons of boiling water over the mound. Pour it slowly to allow it to soak into the mound opening. The hot water scalds and kills ants and their larvae.

Human urine repels ants. They flee a mound when urine is poured over it. It serves as more of a suggestion that the ants relocate than an actual killer. So it is best used to convince ants to relocate from sensitive areas of your yard.

You also can dig up fire ant mounds. In warmer months, dig up mounds and dump them into buckets. Then pour hot water over the mounds and allow them to soak for 24 hours. In the winter, dig up mounds and fling them downwind as far as possible. Then use fresh ant-free soil to fill in the mound. When the sun sets and the temperature drops, the ants on the surface of the lawn die.

Home Remedy Benefits


Treating fire ant infestation with home remedies saves money. You can spend well over $20 trying to rid your home and yard of fire ants with minimal results. It's much less expensive to skip the shopping trip and use what you already have at home.

Some fire ant repellents contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals can harm wild animals, including birds, and pose threats to pets and children. Chemical runoff can drain into lakes, rivers and streams, and can end up back in the drinking water supply if not properly filtered.

Ron White

Based in Central Florida, Ron White has worked as professional journalist since 2001. He specializes in sports and business. White started his career as a sportswriter and later worked as associate editor for Maintenance Sales News and as the assistant editor for "The Observer," a daily newspaper based in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. White has written more than 2,000 news and sports stories for newspapers and websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University.