My parents seem to have a large problem with fire ants in their backyard. They're more of an inconvenience than anything.

What seems to be the most effective method (chemical, or a technique based, etc; doesn't need to be a specific product) of removing fire ants without harming or hurting any neighboring vegetation? Also, please provide a reason why.

We don't have any trees (How do I control fire ants in the mulch around my tree?) in the backyard thus the reason for this post.

  • One word, Amdro. At least it works for me.
    – uncle brad
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 21:45

3 Answers 3


Ed Staub's answer here is appropriate and relevant. And this comment on Ed's post is informative. Who knew those little red guys had their own web site?

My take on the information is that chemical methods are common and available. Organic bio control is available in some areas. Home grown remedies seem to be ineffective and potentially dangerous.

Good luck!


We discovered another great solution. This solution includes carefully pouring boiling hot water on the fire ant mounds. Make sure the plants roots are not nearby.

  • Is this a long term solution? Have you tried it and the ants did not ever show up again?
    – kevinskio
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 16:39
  • 3
    Yeah you're right it's temporary. But it killed the whole colony of ants and eggs that started developing. They haven't came back recently. It's more of a defensive move to prevent mounds from growing.
    – chrisjlee
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 16:41
  • @kevinsky AFAIK boiling water kills the queen and eggs which cause the ants to get out of there.
    – Danger14
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 3:17
  • It's difficult to say how far down the hot water penetrates. At worst it will annoy them, at best it will prevent them. Carry on!
    – kevinskio
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 14:35

A home-made remedy from my home country that have always worked for me is to use coffee dregs (what remains of ground coffee after being brewed) to chase them away. However I do not have an explanation of why this works other than my own experience.

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