Fighting fire ants a battle in Southwest Louisiana - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Fighting fire ants a battle in Southwest Louisiana

Source: PBS Source: PBS

It's a war all too many of us have fought and likely lost at one point or another - dealing with fire ants.

Jimmy Meaux, extension agent for the LSU Ag Center in Lake Charles, said fighting fire ants is a non-stop battle.

"These big mounds you see are constantly moving," Meaux said. "They're here to stay in Southwest Louisiana."

Meaux said one of the most effective ways to kill fire ants is with insecticide and bait. But if a neighborhood collectively has a fire ant problem, working as a team is the best way to control the ants.

"Get with your neighbors to fight fire ants," Meaux said. "You have a better shot of keeping them under control."

When the fire ant colonies become inundated with water, they form a sort of ant-built raft to float to another dry location. Meaux said they keep their queen in the middle of the raft for safety.

"These ants are trading places at the bottom of the raft, they're taking turns," Meaux said. "The whole thing will survive like that."

If you have a child who is bitten by fire ants, Meaux said one of the best solutions is to apply aloe vera on the bite location. He also said it's important to know whether or not your child is allergic to fire ants.

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