Fire Ant Control: Can Grits Get Rid Of Your Pest Problem?

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If you decide to get rid of the fire ants living on your property yourself to save money, you may take the advice of DIY pest control sites. A number of DIY sites recommend using grits to kill fire ants. Although this idea may seem like a good way to eliminate fire ants, it may actually cause more problems than you want. Fire ants are very dangerous pests that can inflict painful and deadly bites. Here's why you shouldn't use grits to fight fire ants and what you can do instead.

Why Using Grits Isn't a Good Idea

Using grits to get rid of fire ants is one of the most common DIY pest control methods mentioned online. The technique involves placing uncooked grains of grits around and over ant mounds, then waiting for the ants to consume them. Once the ants and their queen eat the grits, the grains are supposed to expand and explode in their digestive systems. This is one DIY technique to avoid at all costs.

Although grits do expand when you cook them in water, ants have more acids in their stomachs than water. The corrosive acids may break down the grains of grits before they even have a chance to expand and explode in the ants' stomachs. In most cases, the grits may attract more fire ants to your property, because there's a good food source available for them to eat.

In addition, fire ants have several queens that can produce up to 800 eggs per day. Once the eggs hatch, fire ants can use the excess grains of grits to feed their young. The young ants can quickly grow into adults and spread out to other areas of your yard and build new mounds. If your pets or children come too close to the mounds, the fire ants can react violently by biting them.

It's a good idea that you avoid using grits to control the ants on your property and try safer, better alternatives instead.

What Can You Do Instead of Use Grits?

The best thing you can do to protect your family, pets and home from fire ants is to eliminate their food sources on your property. Ants have keen senses of smell that can detect all kinds of odors, including the rotten food in your trash cans. It's a good idea that you place your trash cans near the street curb instead of close to your home or in your yard. To get to the abundance of discarded food in the trash cans, fire ants can crawl through any cracks they find on the trash cans' lids, including the hinges. 

After each trash day, wash the outsides and insides of your garbage cans with hot soapy water and bleach, then turn them upside down to dry. Cleaning the cans may help reduce the food odors inside them. If possible, discard trash cans that you can't clean easily and replace them with new trash cans.

If you have a vegetable or fruit garden on your property, it's a good idea that you keep the soil covered with mulch or some other absorbent material to soak up any excess water on the ground. Ants can invade the garden to obtain the water they need. If you can, use a mulch that repels centipedes, worms and other pests fire ants attack and eat. Fire ants not only scavenge for food, they can also prey on other insects. You want to make your garden as inhospitable to fire ants as you can. 

Finally, contact a professional pest control company that treats fire ants. Contractors can treat your ant problem with safe and effective insecticides that won't poison your soil or anger the ants. Call a pest control contractor today for more about this topic