Fire Ants

Here's the Texas Two-Step process for fire ant control. It was developed by researchers at Texas A&M University.

Most fire ant controls sold at nurseries and garden centers simply offer one step in the process. By administering the right combination of two steps, you get as close to complete control over these critters as you can.

If you're just using granular controls, you need to add another step. If you're just using baits, you need another step. If you're just using poisons or drenches, you need that second step.

The basic Texas Two Step plan for controlling fire ants is

  1. Broadcast bait over the entire landscape.
  2. Apply poison/insecticide directly on mounds you see.
Here are two quick little charts you can use with confidence:

Randy's Broadcast Choices
  • Bifenthrin (a.k.a. Talstar)
  • Granular Deltamethrin
  • Granular Permethrin
  • Amdro
  • Logic
  • Spinosid (the only true organic broadcast bait - hard to find)

    Randy's Individual Mound Treatments
  • Any liquid insecticide
  • Liquid Permethrin
  • Liquid Cypermethrin
  • Acephate powders (e.g. Orthene)
  • Lamda-Cyolothrin (e.g. Demand Pestab)
  • D-Limonine (e.g. Citrex - one of only a few true organics for fire ants)

    If you'd like to do a little further research, check the fire ants section on the Texas A&M Web site.

Randy Lemmon is the host of the GardenLine radio program on Newsradio 740 KTRH. Randy has been doing GardenLine in one capacity or another since December of 1995, for all three of the now Clear Channel AM stations - KTRH, KPRC & KBME. When Randy took over GardenLine, he replaced long-time Houston radio veteran and GardenLine originator, Bill Zak. For those who remember that far back, GardenLine was a weekly radio staple on KTRH from 10 a.m. to Noon Mondays through Fridays - along with a Saturday show as well. Now GardenLine is heard exclusively on Newsradio 740 KTRH on weekend mornings.