Garden-safe Fire Ant Killer

Garden-safe Fire Ant Killer

(as described by a manager at a local nursery)


  • 5 gallon bucket of water
  • shovel


  • 1/4 cup Turpentine (not “turpAtine” sold at places like Walmart)
  • 1/4 cup ammonia
  • 1/4 cup Lysol® cleaner
  • 1/4 cup Dawn® dish washing liquid


  1. Add each of the ingredients to the bucket of water and mix gently. (Add the Dawn last to keep the suds at bay.)
  2. Quickly and carefully, dig up the fire ant mound at lest 1-2 feet into the ground. Remember the queen lives at the bottom. Work quickly so you don’t get stung.
  3. Gently, pour the entire 5-gallon bucket into the mound. The water will carry the ingredients deep into the mound. The suds will coat the ants. If you dug down far enough, you have a good chance of killing the queen.


  • I like to leave the mound uncovered for a day or two to monitor activity. If necessary, I make another batch, dig further down and try again. When I stop seeing activity, I cover the hole back up.
  • My grandfather shared this recipe with everyone on his street. They had enormous success in getting rid of the ants in their corner of the neighborhood.

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