Using Boric Acid to Kill Fire Ants

What You'll Need
boric acid powder
closed toed shoes
long pants

A colony of fire ants in the wrong place can cause a variety of serious problems. Fire ants can attack and damage a great many kinds of plants, and are a serious threat to gardens and yards. And, last but certainly not leasts, fire ants are aggressive and can cause painful stings which effect both humans and other animals such as pets. While fire ant stings are usually only superficially painful if treated properly, many people can have allergic reactions to them, some of which can even be fatal. Naturally, dealing with fire ants quickly and efficiently can be very important. However, wiping out a colony that lives underground can be very difficult to do. Luckily, it is possible to kill fire ants with boric acid.

Step 1 - Setting Up

Before doing anything, you will have to mix your ingredients together. Heat some water in a pot on your stove. Doing this helps the sugar and boric acid powder to dissolve more easily. Next, pour in your sugar and boric acid powder. Stir them until they dissolve as much as they are going to. The resulting solution will damage and sometimes kill fire ants on contact. The survivors will take the mixture back to the nest to eat it and feed it to the other ants, or accidentally eat it themselves when they clean themselves. Both are lethal. However, boric acid is mild enough that it is not dangerous to humans.

Step 2 - Picking a Spot

Finding a fire ant hill is usually fairly simple, however you may need to spend some time tracking their movement to actually find where they are entering and exiting. Keep in mind that fire ants may use more than one entrance, and that the second entrance may be some distance from the first one. Be sure to spend some time figuring out if this is the case, or your efforts may be for nothing. If the fire ants have more than one entrance, be sure to hit all of them when you apply boric acid.

Step 3 - Applying

For this step, it is important to plan ahead for a response by fire ants. Fire ants do not like having their nests disturbed, and will swarm outside and attack anything they come into contact with if they perceive danger. You cannot stop them from doing this, so you simply have to minimize the effect that they have. When applying your solution to a fire ant nest, wear your heaviest shoes and long pants, and for safety, tuck your pants into your socks. In addition, stay out of the way until you are ready to apply the solution. Once you are ready, do it and get out of the way.

To apply, bring your pot outside and pour the solution of boric acid, sugar, and water onto all entrances of the fire ant nest. Cover the ground surrounding it as well. Ideally, it will be impossible for any fire ants to enter or exit the nest without touching the boric acid. You may have to apply the solution multiple times, but it should clear your fire ant problem up within a few days.