October 29, 2016
We have a small raised bed where we grow onions, green beans and a few tomato plants each summer. When we pulled out the border of marigolds recently we discovered a fire ant nest. What is safe to use against fire ants in an area where you grow edible plants?
If you are done with the vegetable garden for the year you could use a fire ant killer, because there should be ample time between application and planting next spring. However if you are still gardening, try pouring boiling water on the mound. Be careful when using this, so you don’t get hurt. There are also several baits that are growth regulators that can be applied on the perimeter of the vegetable garden, but these can take a while to work, so it is probably too late to use for this season. As temperatures cool off, fire ants slow down in their activity and move deeper in the soil or protected areas to overwinter. When applying any insecticide always read and follow the label directions.
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