Haskell County Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service

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Contact Info

Haskell County OSU Extension
105 SE 3rd Street, Suite A
Stigler, OK 74462

Phone: (918) 967-4330
FAX: (918) 967-3290

Office Hours: 8 am-12 pm & 12:30 pm-4:30 pm 


Haskell County Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service

Fire Ant Season is Here Again

Fire Ant Season is Here Again

Fire ant populations have exploded this year in Haskell County, and many residents have come into the OSU Extension office asking about control methods.  While there are many products available to combat fire ants, in this article I will focus on what OSU Extension calls the “Two Step Method.”

Step One – Baits

Fire ant baits will consist of pesticides on processed corn grits coated with soybean oil.  Baits can be applied as an individual mound treatment, but they are best used as a broadcast treatment.  Broadcast treatments are less expensive (in product and time) and control colonies even where mounds are not visible.  There are a few guidelines for best results when using baits:

·        Do not apply the bait directly to the mound.  Apply bait around the mound, making sure that the bait does not contact the mound.

·        Apply when the worker ants are actively searching for food.  You can determine this by leaving a small piece of food (like potato chips) near an active mound.  If ants are seen removing the food within 10-30 minutes you will know it’s a good time to apply baits.

·        In the summer, you should apply bait in the late afternoon or evening as this is when ants are most active.

·        Apply baits when the ground and grass are dry and no rain is expected for the next 24 hours.

·        Most applications of bait products are made at 4 ounces per 10,000 feet, or 1 to 1.5 pounds per acre.

Recommended bait products include Hydramethylnon (Amdro) and Fenoxycarb (Award).


Step Two – Individual Mound Treatments

Individual mound treatments should be made at least three days after bait applications.  There are several different types of products for use as individual mound treatments, including dust, liquid, and granular.

Products, such as those containing acephate, are formulated as a dust.  Ants walk through the treated soil and get dust on their bodies transporting the insecticide into the mound.

Liquid concentrate products are diluted with water and then applied to the mound.  These liquid mound drenches kill ants underground but must be applied in sufficient volume to penetrate the entire nest.  Usually 1 to 2 gallons of diluted mixture poured over the top of each mound is recommended. 

Granular insecticides for individual mound treatments are released when water is poured over the granules on treated mounds.  This usually requires at least 1 to 2 gallons of water gently sprinkled in.

Some dust and liquid drench products include Bengal Ultra Fire Ant Dust, Orthene Fire Ant Killer, Bayer Advanced Fire Ant Killer (dust), Amdro Liquid Ant Killer.

As always, read and follow all product labels.  If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Haskell County Extension office at 918-967-4330 and be sure to follow us on Facebook at “Haskell County OSU Extension Service”, “Haskell County 4-H Clubs”, and “Haskell County OSU Extension Agriculture” or visit our website at www.oces.okstate.edu/haskell.


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