Alliance Bank in Sulphur Springs

Fire Ant Control Without Dangerous Chemicals From Master Gardener David Wall

May 2, 2024 – My feeble mind says I wrote this article 10+ years ago, but I can’t find it anywhere! So, let’s talk about fire ant control.

Fire ants are a great nuisance in our yards and gardens, and there are several ways to control them with numerous dangerous chemicals. There are, fortunately, two control methods that don’t involve such chemicals.

The first is dried molasses – molasses in granular form. This natural product provides a light nitrogen feeding to the soil while making fire ants vacate their home and move away. If you spread dried molasses as you would any granular fertilizer twice a year (spring and fall), your yard and garden should stay free of them.

But what if a mound should appear overnight only to grow daily in size. He literature suggests sprinkling dried molasses in the area around the mound. I do this, but have never been able to resist a small handful directly on the mound. In 24 hours, they’re gone. It seems the sharp edges of the dried molasses scrape and eat at the fire ants’ outer skin.

The other product is orange oil which is a natural liquid oil produced by cold pressing the orange peels without heat which would degrade the product. The resulting oil eats away the waxy coating on the exoskeleton of fire ant which kills by dehydration and then asphyxiation.

Most feed stored will have or can order dried molasses. I usually buy a 50 lb. bag. Orange oil comes in liquid filled jars and might be available at a grocery store (check the ingredients) or feed store. You only need 2 oz. per gallon of water. This diluted solution can be sprayed on foliage or poured directly on the ground as a control for fire ants and other mound dwelling insects.

black ant

Author: Matt Janson

Share This Post On