Managing Fire Ants after a Flood

When dealing with imported fire ants in flood water, care must be taken to avoid being stung by ants floating in colony “rafts”. Closing flooded public land areas should be considered. FAPFS describes a dilute soapy water spray that can be used to cause ants to sink and drown quickly.

Pesticide use around bodies of water should be used with care to avoid surface water contamination. Bait-formulated products can only be applied to ground around bodies of water – not to water surfaces. Effectiveness relies on worker ant foraging and retrieving the bait insecticide. The fastest-acting baits include products containing indoxacarb – eliminating ant colonies in 3 to 10 days. Contact insecticides can provide faster control but many have toxicity to aquatic organisms. They should also not be applied to flood water, only to ants on land around bodies of water.

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