Insects & Other Pests ›
Formica ants produce a loose mound that might slightly resemble that of a fire ant mound, but these ants are quite large in comparison to small fire ants. These three species tend to build in the forest edge or at the interface between wooded and open areas which gives them a lot of interaction in the sprawling suburbs. Mounds and colonies can become huge over many years, if undisturbed.
Just because there are ants in the yard, does not mean they need to be eliminated. Ants serve a useful role in the ecosystem. Frequent disruption of a mound by digging or flooding with a garden hose may not kill the colony, but could cause the mound to relocate to a less objectionable location.
If you decide that you need to chemically control any of these ants, Sevin or Orthene are two possible choices that may be used for control directly on the mound. For Formica integra located next to a structure, a gel bait containing fipronil may be used. Bait stations should be used in places where pets may have access. If you wish to use a bait, it should be one listed for sweet-loving ants and tested for attractiveness. Fire ant baits will not be attractive to these ants. Aloft™ is a good general nuisance ant product for professionals. For additional chemical choices, see the NC Ag. Chemicals manual.