South Texas Gardening with Bob Webster


Perhaps the most familiar of all insects to most people is the ant. Some are beneficial others are very destructive. Some bite or sting, most do not. So it’s important for you to know which ants pose a threat to your landscape, your home or you, and how to control them. After heavy rains fire ant mounds will most likely start to appear. These ants can cause problems, but they are not all bad. In rural areas, they can greatly reduce the population of disease carry ticks so we do not recommend eradicating all of them.

Around your home they can be treated in several ways. Greenlight Fire Ant Bait with Conserve can be broadcast around the yard or applied to mounds. Individual mounds can also be drenched with orange oil and water or treated with Crawling Insect Killer, a potent form of D.E. Carpenter ants eat wood which can cause you real problems especially if they are munching wood that is part of your home, fence, or other structures. To control them, spray any area where they are active with orange oil at the rate of 4 ounces per gallon of water. The newly arrived “crazy ants” and sugar ants inside your home may be controlled with orange oil/water spray. Ants which have taken up residence in your potted plants can be treated with D.E. or drenched with a more dilute orange oil/water mix (1 tablespoon per gallon of water). Termites are also technically an ant. A direct application of the stronger orange oil solution will kill them and beneficial nematodes applied over large general areas around the house will keep them in check.

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