This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area



June 9, 2013

Controlling fire ants in your desert garden

If you've ever gone out into your garden here in the desert and come back with severe, painful, itchy bites on your ankles (or on your hands if you have been planting), you have been stung by fire ants. I have been successfully controlling them here at The Tropical Paradise for years with a product called Amdro.

Using something like Amdro takes a different point of view than going out and trying to kill ants with a can of Raid. In fact, it takes an attitude that I call a "pre-emptive strike". That is, you put it out every season, and it keeps the fire ants out of your garden. This is how you do it:

Go over to your local Home Depot and buy some Amdro. It costs about twenty bucks. It's granular, so you take it home and sprinkle it out all over your yard. The whole container. You don't even have to be that careful with it, it's not poisonous to people or dogs, it just kills fire ants. And how it does it is kind of cool. These little pieces of ant killer look good to the fire ants. They find it and carry it back to their nest. And, wham! No more fire ants! When I first started doing this, years ago, I would sit outside and watch the ants pick up the granules and carry them. Now I know it works, because I missed a season a couple of years ago and the fire ants returned. My poor little dog was all chewed up and I was bit, too. It was terrible. Never again!

Your garden is a welcoming place for wildlife. I enjoy seeing the hummingbirds, butterflies, beetles, even the bees and the spiders. But I draw the line at fire ants! There is no welcome mat for them!

No, you don't need an exterminator with an expensive contract to control fire ants. But you do have to make that trip to Home Depot!
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