Posted on: 6 October 2016Share
Outdoor lighting can increase the safety and security of your home. However, they are susceptible to damage from a variety of environmental elements. One of biggest banes of an outdoor light's life is fire ants. These pests are attracted to the warmth of the lights, and the magnetic field emitted by them can cause ant eggs to grow faster. However, they can do a lot of damage to equipment including destroying cords, plugs, and wires. Here are two things you can do to prevent this from happening.
Apply Contact Insecticide
Unfortunately, there isn't a way to get rid of all fire ants forever and always. However, you can significantly reduce the number taking up residence on your property. One good way to do this is to apply a contact insecticide to areas near the lights. This type of insecticide kills ants immediately when they come into contact with the chemical, which prevents the bugs from reaching your outdoor lights in the first place.
Be aware, though, this treatment is a little more expensive than most other type of bug killing solutions. However, it is effective for several weeks to a few months depending on the type you get, so the cost may equal out when you factor in how many times you have to reapply other insecticides. While the solution won't get into the ant mounds, it will destroy the majority of the population over time.
Destroy Individual Mounds
Contact insecticides work very well; almost too well. They can also decimate other bug colonies you may want to preserve, particularly if you're a gardener. The other option for controlling fire ants, then, is to essentially bomb the individual colonies with an insecticidal solution. This option targets the fire ants specifically without disturbing the entire bug ecosystem you may have in your yard.
There are several mound treatments available in this category. One type is an injectable dust or granules that are dispersed into the mound using water. An alternative option is a bait product where the ants are attracted to the insecticide and take it back to their mounds. This option is best for colonies in inaccessible places, such as under stairs.
Destroying individual mounds is more labor intensive than coating an entire area with an insecticide. Therefore, you need to be prepared to either spend the afternoon tracking down and treating the mounds or hiring a professional to do it for you.
For more ideas on keeping fire ants from damaging your outdoor lighting, contact a pest control service.