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How to Manage Pests

Key to Identifying Common Household Ants

Southern Fire Ant

Hydramethylnon granular bait

Baits by themselves will not usually control southern fire ants. Also employ exclusionary tactics.

Managing southern fire ants with baits

  • Use granular products containing hydramethylnon and fipronil.
  • Baits are most effective if applied in the evening since southern fire ants are nocturnal.
  • Baits must be placed outdoors; avoid indoor baiting as that may attract more ants into the home.
  • It is best to broadcast baits over the entire infested area. However, individual mounds can be treated as well.
  • Be sure to place baits in protected areas inaccessible to children and pets.
  • Follow up regularly to make sure bait is working and place fresh bait as necessary when conditions are dry.
  • Avoid baiting when rain is expected.

How baits work

  • Worker ants will be attracted to the bait and take it back to the nest where the entire colony, including queens, may be killed.
  • Bait must be slow-acting so workers won't be killed before they get back to the nest.
  • Results may not be evident for several weeks.
  • Killing workers does little to control the colony, because as few as 1% of a colony's foraging worker ants are able to provide sufficient food to support nestbound queens and larvae.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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