This article appeared in the May 2002 web issue of Horticulture Update,
edited by Dr. William C. Welch, and produced by Extension Horticulture,
Texas Cooperative Extension, The Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas.

Combating Fire Ants

By Dr. Charles Barr
Texas A&M Extension Program Specialist - Fire Ant Project
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

For combating imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) under Texas conditions, the ‘Texas Two-Step’ method is still the mainstay of treatments.

Broadcast bait and follow with individual mound treatment in about 3 weeks with a contact killer. This will give about 6 months coverage.

The exciting news is that the “hopper” blends (for example: AMDRO and EXTINGUISH 50-50 on a gross basis at 3/4 lb. of each combined) will treat one acre for up to 18 months. AMDRO works within 4 weeks and is effective for about 6 months. EXTINGUISH is not effective until about six months have elapsed, but is effective for another 6 to 12 months. This is a lot of pesticide coverage for 1.5 pounds broadcast per acre (about 95 percent elimination)!

OVER AND OUT is a pesticide with an immediate knock-down effect and a 12-month residual effect. It has the additional benefit of not being harmful to pets or other animals.

To review the ‘Texas Two Step’ method of fire ant control/eradication, go to the Fire Ant website at

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Here you may view topics covering the Texas Two-Step Method, some common insecticides for ant control, an on-line ant management survey, reports on fire ant activity and weather reporting system, ant facts, maps, information on experts, and status of research on fire ants.