Fire ants are one of the most annoying backyard pests, especially if you keep chickens. They will sting and annoy your flock, destroy crops, get in their feed, infest their coop...
What fire ant killer is safe for chickens? There are a few home remedies that can help kill fire ants. In my experience. However, diatomaceous earth is by far the most effective fire ant killer that’s 100% safe for chickens.
What Is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a fine white powder that’s made from the fossilized remains of small organisms called diatoms.
Something important I have to point out off the top is that you should always use “Food Grade” DE. This is completely safe to use around chickens, and yourself should you breathe a little in or get it on your hands.
When DE comes into contact with insects, such as fire ants, it causes them to dry out and die. They don’t have to eat the powder, it literally just has to come into contact with them.
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Fire Ants
The best thing about DE is that it’s a fine powder. It can easily be sprinkled anywhere you suspect fire ants will go, and it’s perfectly safe if chickens come into contact with it.
If you can see fire ant hills or mounds where they’ve burrowed underground, sprinkle some DE around the hill making a moat so they can’t leave to find food without walking through it.
This will cause all the fire ants that come into contact with the powder to dry out and die. The sharp particles of the powder damage their exoskeleton and it dries them out.
They will also carry some of the powder down into their underground network tunnels and passageways killing off more ants in the colony.
I always sprinkle some more powder directly into the entrance of their hill just to be sure.
Some of the other places I recommend sprinkling DE are:
- All over the bedding in your flock’s coop
- Around the parameter of the coop to stop ants getting in
- In their nesting boxes so they’re not bothering by ants when laying
- In and around the cracks in the wood slatting on their coop if applicable
Just keep in mind the two main things when trying to rid your yard of fire ants or any other type of common ants; like carpenter ants, house ants, pavements ants, etc:
- They can climb just about anywhere
- You’ll only win the battle by covering all bases
What I mean by this is that if you only cover half the areas ants are present, they will still grow in numbers in the other areas.
You need to do an all-out war against them. Use DE in as many places as you can and cover all the areas you suspect ants will be able to frequent.
This will greatly reduce the numbers, and with few to no places to source food they will die out. Trust me, it works, I’ve rid my yard of ants a few summers in a row using DE.
Related content - Do chickens eat ants?
Other Uses for Diatomaceous Earth and Chickens
The best thing about using DE to kill fire ants is that it also has some other important applications and uses for chickens.
I also use it in their coop to kill red mites and other parasites that can cause a problem if allowed to grow in numbers.
Fire ant problem or not, sprinkling some DE in your chicken’s nesting boxes and their bedding as a habit is going to keep the parasites and other unwanted pests in their living environment to a minimum.
In Summary - DE: The Fire Ant Killer Safe for Chickens
I can’t speak highly enough of diatomaceous earth. I’ve been using it for years around my chickens, cats, dogs, and other pets I have.
In my experience, it’s very effective at killing fire ants, mites, and all kinds of other insects and pets.
Always read the label before use and talk to the manufacturer if you have any questions. But if you’ve never tried this miracle powder, I recommend you check it out.
Diatomaceous earth fact sheet - National Pesticide Information Center
Do Chickens Eat Fire Ants?
Yes, chickens will eat fire ants and it’s perfectly safe for them to do so. The problem is when ants are present in large numbers, they can do some serious harm to your chickens. Find out more here.
How Do You Get Rid of Ants Without Harming Chickens?
There are a few home remedies that can help repel or kill fire ants safely. The most effective product is, however, is diatomaceous earth, it’s 100% safe and easy to use as I explain here.
How Do I Get Rid of Fire Ants in My Chicken Coop?
You can easily and effectively rid your coop of fire ants by using diatomaceous earth. Just sprinkle some in the areas as I explain here, and it’s 100% safe to use around chickens.
Will Ant Poison Kill Chickens?
Ant poisons and powders made from chemicals are usually harmful to chickens, other animals and wildlife, and plants. Which is why I recommend using diatomaceous earth which is 100% safe around chickens.