Farmers aim at getting a good harvest, but they know there is a possibility that harvester ants may appear. No one really wants harvester ants around their vegetables. Commonly known as “red ants,” harvester ants are reddish to dark brown in color. They create enormous mounds at the entrance of their nests. Their nests can be found around door steps, yards, paths, and in open fields.
The diet of harvester ants consists of seeds and vegetation. Harvester ants are very aggressive and will attack when they feel threatened. They are notorious for attaching themselves to their victims while delivering a painful and venomous sting. Some species will leave the stinger in the wound, causing discomfort and symptoms for several days. One harvester ant bite can equal twelve powerful bee stings!
If you are stung by a harvester ant sting, wash the affected area with warm soapy water. Carefully pull out the stinger if it is attached to your skin. Apply over the counter after-bite cream or calamine lotion to reduce itching and soothe the burning. You can also take an antihistamine pill to lower the chances of having an allergic reaction and an ibuprofen pill to lower the pain. It is vital for you to see a doctor if you experience a severe allergic reaction.
Harvester Ant Control
How to kill harvester ants? First, let’s take a close look at how an experienced professional pest control agent deals with harvester ants once they become a nuisance.
Nest toxicants: Nest toxicants are placed on the nest and surrounding area. They should be used if the nest is located outside (which is where harvester ants build their nests).
Poisoned baits: This treatment involves placing toxic bait close to the ant trail. The harvester ants carry the toxic bait back to their nest. This will be their last meal!
Harvester Ant Do-It-Yourself
To eliminate harvester ants, try one of the methods listed below. Please keep in mind that harvester ants are very aggressive. You should approach their nest with extreme caution.
Boiling water: Carefully pour at least two to three gallons of boiling water on top of the ant mound. This method will provide exceptional results after a hard rain. The boiling water method has the potential to kill up to 60% of the colony. Add one cup of salt or dish soap to kill any stragglers. (However, please remember that handling boiling water is extremely dangerous, and boiling water can ruin your vegetation and make soil less fertile).
Granular Bait: Granular Bait works well if you are not comfortable with the boiling water method.
Harvester Ant Green Solutions
Harvester ants do good things for the environment. For example, they turn over as much soil as earthworms, and they do not usually enter homes. However, if you are interested in getting rid of harvester ants in an environmentally friendly way, look at the following green solutions.
Flower powder: Baking soda is a good deterrent. Sprinkle a generous amount around the base of your plants. This will prevent harvester ants from making contact with the treated vegetation in your yard. You can also use baby power mixed with flour.
Dehydrate with diatomaceous earth or grits: Diatomaceous Earth is composed of crushed marine animal shells. It causes dehydration within twenty-four hours when carried to the nest. You can also use cream-of-wheat or instant rice. Both of these products offer the same results.