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How to Mark Fire Ant Hills

Updated on November 20, 2011

Fire Ant Hills

Fire ant hills are incredibly dangerous to anyone who comes in contact with them. Fatalities occur each year when people come across fire ant hills unexpectedly. The hills are often deep and side underground, but the entrance may be small and compact. This can make it difficult to see them, particularly when the grass or other vegetation is high.

To make sure that you and your family members are safe from nearby fire ant hills, it's important to mark them to make it easy to avoid them completely. With the right markings, even young children can learn to avoid them and stay safe from their stings.

Marking Ant Hills With Spray Paint

Spray paint is an easy way to mark fire ant hills. With bright paint, you can ensure that the people who come into close proximity to the ant mound will be able to see the marking. Choose a fluorescent shade of orange, red or yellow for the best visibility.

Using the spray paint to mark a circle around the fire ant mound is the best way to call attention to it and to keep the marking there long term. Do not mark directly on top of the mound. Not only would a direct marking put you in danger of being attacked by legions of fire ants from the colony, it also makes it easy for the ants to shift the paint around and make it less visible.

If you have children in the home, make sure that they know what he paint means. Without that information, the colorful paint may actually attract them to the area to investigate.

Use Flags to Mark Fire Ant Hills

Using small flags may be a more permanent way to mark anthills than spray paint. However, it is more dangerous to plant them because you must come within a closer range of the ant mound itself.

Small flags in bright colors are available in home improvement stores like The Home Depot and Lowe's. These are set on thin metal stands that are easy to drive into loose ground like that of a fire ant mound.

To use these, be sure to protect your feet, ankles and legs when placing the flags. Wear tall boots if you have them and pull your socks up over the bottom of your pant legs to prevent any ants from getting inside your pants. Take one flag for each mound. Walk quickly to the mound and drive the flag directly into the ground. While this will stir up the ants and likely make them cover after you, you will be close to the mound for a shorter time than if you spent time trying to drive a flag into hard ground near the mound.

Once you have placed the flag, walk away quickly and check your shoes, socks and pants for ants. Fire ants are notoriously fast, and they could have gotten higher up on your pants that you would expect in such a short time. Once you are sure that you are free from ants or ant bites, place the next flag.

Like the spray paint markers, everyone in the household should know what the flags signify and to stay away from them.

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