How to Get Rid of Fire Ants With Vinegar

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Exterminate fire ants by destroying the nest and the queen.
Exterminate fire ants by destroying the nest and the queen. (Image: John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Fire ants are aggressive and potentially deadly insects due to their ability to sting predators or potential threats to their queen. These tiny creatures quickly multiply, have voracious appetites, and can easily eat through your garden if not exterminated. While there are several methods for ridding your home or garden of fire ants, it is also important to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals that are harmful if inhaled. Vinegar, which is natural and non-toxic, is suitable for aiding in the elimination of fire ants and keeping your home free of toxins.

Things You'll Need

  • Boots
  • Oven mitts
  • Undiluted white vinegar
  • Pot
  • Stove
  • Spray bottle

Pour undiluted white vinegar into a spray bottle.

Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a saucepan on your stove. Wear oven mitts to protect your hands from the water's splash back.

Pour the boiling water directly into the nest to kill a majority of the fire ants in the nest. Some of the ants will scurry and try to attack you immediately after pouring the water into the nest.

Spray the vinegar on the ants and their trail. Fire ants communicate by smell, and the potency of the vinegar masks the signal the attacked fire ants send to others to warn them of danger.

Pour vinegar into the ant hills to destroy the remainder of the fire ants that may have been missed during the initial pour of boiling water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Target only the fire ants rather than try to eliminate all ants, as the other ants reduce the speed of the fire ants' takeover, according to FireAnt.net. Whereas common house ants are black in appearance, fire ants have a copper hue.
  • Protect your feet by wearing boots when exterminating the fire ants, as they will attempt to sting your feet and legs. Wear protective clothing to reduce stings from fire ants and accidental splashes from the boiled pot of water.
  • Keep children and pets out of the ant-infested area when exterminating ants, as fire ants are aggressive and will attack whoever or whatever is nearby.

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