Rain + 60°F = Fire Ants

Although temperatures have gotten considerably cooler in the last week, don’t be fooled into thinking fire ants are done for this year! A quick search online will tell you that the majority of fire ant activity occurs when air temperatures are between 65°F and 95° F, but we have observed foraging behavior at temperatures outside of this range as seen in this blog post from 2017. In that particular study, fire ants were actively foraging on hot dog slices within minutes of placement when the ambient temperature was 56°F.

Ants foraging on my walk home, despite the cooler temperatures

Around here, it’s been very dry the last few weeks but rainfall from this past weekend and yesterday (Oct 17) will spur on fire ant activity over the next month or so. Keep an eye out for new mounds or increased activity, particularly after more rain (we are due for some more next week). Before putting out any chemical applications (bait or broadcast), be sure that ants are actively foraging. Place a potato chip or hot dog slice within two feet of a mound and allow it to sit undisturbed for 5-10 minutes. Fire ant control options can be confusing, so use this decision-making guide under our Resources tab to determine which approach works best for you. For specific product information, visit the fire ant page on Turffiles.