Community Fire Ant Management

fire ant


The Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project is to find effective methods to eliminate this invasive species as a major economic and medical pest.


Wizzie Brown
Extension Program Specialist
Address: 1600-B Smith Road
Austin, TX 78681

The impact of red imported fire ants in the state of Texas is estimated to be $1.2 billion annually. Red imported fire ants are pests of urban, agricultural and wildlife areas and can pose a serious health threat to plants and animals. It’s estimated that homeowners in urban areas spend around $10.5 million a year on controlling fire ants in their lawns, gardens, and homes. They spend an estimated $7.9 million annually on medical treatments due to fire ant stings.

Fire ant management programs have been widely adopted and are successful in many situations. However, because they are usually implemented by individual landowners and managers, re-infestation from nearby untreated areas generally occurs. Homeowners can coordinate treatment of their entire neighborhood each year, usually once in the fall and once in the spring. Each homeowner should receive instructions on:

  1. appropriate fire ant bait products to purchase,
  2. how to properly broadcast a bait and
  3. treatment date(s).

Each homeowner is expected to make his own applications or arrange for treatment on the designated treatment date(s). Contingency dates should be scheduled in case rain is forecast or the temperature is less than 65 or greater than 95 degrees F on the primary treatment date.

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