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calitriv 07-10-2012 12:32 PM

Red Fire Ants in MA
I'm from MA and I have never heard of red fire ants in this area however, a section of my yard has been over run with these ants. They are all carrying eggs, dead flys and dead black ants. They seem to be going into my neighbors yard at dusk. He doesn't keep up his yard and has lots of junk near the property line so I'm assuming they are nesting there or relocating there. Here is a link to the type of ant

I used Ortho Bug Be Gone Granular with a spreader and that cut down the amount of ants but there are still tons. Last night I used Termidor on the ground and on my fence. I'm assuming once I cut the grass a few times the Termidor will be gone.

I'm assuming the red ants are due to a warm winter. Will these all get killed this winter (assuming it is a normal New England winter) or will I need to fight these year after year?

There are wetlands on the property however they are a good 600+ feet away.

The amount of ants in the yard before the ortho was like a scene out of a movie! What can I do to completely eradicate these ants?

Thunder Chicken 07-10-2012 02:23 PM

Take a look at this:

You want to use targeted methods, not pesticides that will kill everything, because the presence of indigenous ants slows the spread of the fire ants. You are also killing off fire ant predators. If the nest is off your property, spreading pesticides in your yard is just clearing the field for the fire ants.

You might want to speak to local authorities, perhaps an extension office, about any programs that might help you. If the ants are definitely coming from the neighbors yard, the authorities might require them to take action.

Macadamia Man 07-11-2012 08:22 PM

Hey, MA

Are you sure your ants aren't these? European Fire Ants or Myrmica Rubra? Virginia, Maryland and areas up to and across the Canada border are seeing new and heavy infestations of this established, aggressive and stinging pest ant. Check with your local Agricultural or Extension Office about how and where to submit a sample for proper diagnosis. Red Imported Fire Ants are far from impossible during summer or in artificially heated environments in Massachusetts, but would be highly unusual in the large numbers you suggest. You do need to try to control the infestation asap, particularly if they are EFA and you are going to need good advice and support either way. Perhaps try UMass Extension or the USDA.

All the best . . .

Thurman 07-15-2012 06:24 PM

I somehow doubt that you have the "official" fire ants as we have here in Ga. and across and into Texas. These type fire ants build mounds which can be up to one foot above ground level. If you take a small stick/limb and stick it into the mound they will come out very aggressively and climb by the thousands up the stick. They do bite, and it does hurt. You will have a reddish area around the bite in two days and it will look to be pus filled. I would find some dead ants you are talking about and take them to a local agriculture office for identification, or to a reputable (?) pest control agency.

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