It’s one of the many reasons summer in South Texas is harsh. Even if you slather yourself in sunscreen and try to stay in the shade, inevitably you’ll run into a swarm of fire ants. These ants are actually an invasive species brought to North America from Brazil, and have a hard-crusted large mound that can contain up to 250,000 ants and multiple queens. Now, treating for fire ants is never fun, but here are some organic methods that might just do the trick. If you prefer a bait method, try Come-And-Get-It! Fire Ant Killer. It’s an organic bait that is saturated in oil, so make sure your yard or garden isn’t wet when you apply. If you can find the mound, make sure you sprinkle bait directly around it, but also treat the perimeter of your garden or yard for foraging ants. Evening is the best time to spread baits. Drenches can also be beneficial. The Texas AgriLife Extension Agency recommends a liquid drench of 1.5 oz. Medina Orange Oil and 3 oz. Dawn Dish Soap to one gallon of water. Then drench the mound in the late afternoon, when the ants are done foraging. Please note: Neither of these methods is a permanent solution. Unfortunately, fire ants can come back again and again, but using organic methods like baits and oil drenches ensures that your garden or yard stays fire ant-free while keeping your microorganisms and beneficial insect populations intact!