Grandma's Killing Fire Ants Guide
For Natural Ant Control

photo of a fire ant sitting on a thumb photo of fire ant bites on a wrist photo of fire ant bites on a forearm

There are several safe natural recipes for killing fire ants. Fire ants have a painful sting and their venom will leave a white sore and permanent scare, allergic reactions are possible. But I'm sure you realize caution is extremely important when dealing with these ants. They will attack you, your family, livestock or family pet in a heartbeat, as soon as they realize you are a threat to their colony.

The colors of fire ants vary from red to brown to black, depending on the area of the country they are found. Fire ants tend to nest in a mound of sand or dirt and will defend their colony at all costs when disturbed. You will most likely find more than one queen in their colony since they are always raising queens. They are much more aggressive than their American relatives and tend to build bigger and better colonies and mounds. In fact, once they get into the area they throw their American relative out and take over.

If you are not sure what type of ant you are dealing with see Grandma's Guide to Type of Ants.

One of their favorite places to build their dirt nest is in a garden since their favorite foods are, okra, potatoes, strawberries, citrus and seed corn. They also love to dine on almost any other insect they can find as well as compost piles.

Killing fire ants isn't easy because it's important to kill the queen. The queen is most active on a hot day between noon and 2:00 PM. So it's important to plan your course of action during these hours. Fire ants are extremely intelligent and therefore they know how important their queen is, they make sure they have more than one queen. Their main goal is to keep producing queens. That's how they keep spreading and moving across the country.

photo of a sign reading photo of fire ants nest in the grass photo of a fire ant close-up

Killing Fire Ants with
Natural Ant Control

Killing Fire Ants with Hot Water

Prepare 2 to 3 gallons of hot water (it don't have to be boiling). Pour the hot water down the mound. Make sure you do this when the queen is most active between noon and 2:00 PM on a hot day. You going to have to be sneaky and stay away from all the ants until you're ready. This takes about 3 hot water baths before you actually get rid of the queen.

Killing Fire Ants with the Royal Treat - CAUTION: KEEP CHILDREN & PETS AWAY FOR THIS MIXTURE!

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of grape jelly
  • ¼ tablespoon boric acid
  • ½ teaspoon of canned cat food

Roll mixture into small balls and place wherever you see the workers. They'll gladly take this treat back to the next to treat the queen to a delicacy.

Killing Fire Ant with Instant Grits

Make a ring around the Fire Ant Mound with instant grits, they'll eat the grits and take some back to the nest. The grits will cause them to bloat up and die, especially if you can find a way to leave a bit of water in the area. You can also mix some potato chips in with the grits to attract the ants (they love grease).

Medicated Body Powder will Control Fire Ants

This method probably won't kill the queen but if you throw a container full of medicated body powder into their nest they will move their nest. So it's a good idea to sprinkle another container full around the area to get them to move to a new residence.

Pure Pine Oil is great for Killing Fire Ants

Use 1 drop of pure pine oil in a quart of water and spray the ants and their nest.

Peanut Butter or Apple Jelly & Boric Acid


Just use one teaspoon of boric acid and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or apple jelly. Drop tiny amounts around the mound and wherever you see them. They'll bring this treat back to the nest for the queen to enjoy.

Natural Products you can Buy to Kill Fire Ants

  • "DE" Moat (DE food grade) can be bought in nursery and harmless to humans and pets
  • Nc Nematodes is a worm that eats fire ants. Can be bought from you local garden or agricultural supply house. Order the special strain called: "NC nemantode" It will take 1-2 million of these eggs to hatch and clean up the fire ants. You'll place them in water and spray into the nest to hatch.
  • Lime can be mixed with Ivory Soap and warm water to get rid of fire ants. Just mix 16 tablespoons of Ivory Soap and 1-cup of lime into 4 gallons of warm water. Pour solution down the nest, it will kill the entire nest. You can also spray this solution directly on the ants to kill them instantly. CAUTION: LIME CAN BE HARMFUL READ DIRECTIONS ON THE BOX!
  • Fire Ant Bait can be bought in your local nursery. It's has a chemical "avermectin" in it and it's a naturally occurring soil organism.
  • Doodle Bugs are also called "ant lions". Can be bought in your local nursery but not available in all areas.

So as you can see, there are many natural ways to control fire ants. The main point is, you have to find a way to control them or they will eventually attack either you or someone in your family or your pet. These are mean little buggers and you don't want to ignore them once you notice they have started a colony close to you home.


The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.


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