Spectracide® Fire Ant Shield™ Mound Destroyer™ Granules
In This Review:
When you live in areas plagued with fire ants, it pays to be prepared with knowledge and effective control products. If you just moved into fire ant country, take time to learn how to identify fire ants, fire ant mounds and fire ant stings so you know what's ahead. Mounds can pop up without warning when fire ants move in from neighbors' yards or suddenly reveal their colony has been living in your lawn.
That's where fire ant killers, including mound treatments like Spectracide Fire Ant Shield Mound Destroyer Granules, come in. This fast-acting product is intended to treat fire ant mounds and reach deep in your lawn to kill the fire ant queen, which is essential to getting rid of the entire fire ant colony.
Performance: Works fast, reaches deep
Spectracide Fire Ant Shield Mound Destroyer Granules are designed for use as a mound treatment only, so you'll only find instructions for treating fire ant mounds on the bag. This product's active ingredient is lambda-cyhalothrin, which works to kill fire ants by contact. Like other contact killers, this product only kills the ants that come in contact with the active ingredient. That can be through direct contact with the product or contact with treated ants.
This product formula includes what Spectracide calls its exclusive Accelerator II technology, which helps speed the release of the active ingredient into the mound. This deep-reaching mound treatment starts killing fire ants within minutes of initial contact. Within 24 hours, it kills the colony, including the fire ant queen. This product limits new mound formation, but it doesn't promise long-lasting residual protection like some mound treatments do.
Application: Easy to use, but needs to be watered-in
You'll need scissors to open the Spectracide Fire Ant Shield Mound Destroyer Granules bag, but it reseals easily. Just sprinkle 1/2 cup of the granules on each mound, including an area about 2 feet in each direction from the center. Always use a measuring cup that's devoted to pesticides only; never return it to your kitchen.
Once you've applied the small, flaky gray-brown granules, they must be watered-in immediately. This releases the active ingredient and moves the insecticide solution down into the mound to make sure it contacts fire ants. Watering-in can be tricky with fire ant mounds, so take care not to disturb the mound. That can lead to fire ant bites and stings or cause the fire ants to relocate. (And when they relocate, it's usually a foot or two away, just out of the reach of the product you applied.)
The Spectracide package instructions do a good job of stressing that you need to water-in the granules "GENTLY" — even using capital letters — and avoid using any kind of high-pressure spray. We've found that a garden watering can with a sprinkler head works well to water-in mounds.
The Spectracide Fire Ant Shield Mound Destroyer Granules label also includes instructions for treating ants other than fire ants. It doesn't specify whether this product works on all ants or not, but it recommends spot treating individual ant hills with 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of the granules.
For best results, apply this fire ant killer in morning or evening when fire ants are closer to the surface and foraging for food. This increases the number of ants likely to contact the active ingredient and spread it to other ants in the mound. Do not use these granules in vegetable gardens or around other edible crops. Stick to lawns and ornamental areas only.
Pets and Children: Reenter after treated area is watered-in and dries
As with any pesticide, you should clear the area of people and pets when you're applying Spectracide Fire Ant Shield Mound Destroyer Granules. Once you've watered the treated area and your lawn is dry, you and your pets can reenter the area. Never leave granular pesticides in a pile; always scatter or sprinkle them so piles don't attract curious pets and kids.
Competition: Spectracide® Fire Ant Shield™ Mound Destroyer™ Granules vs. Over'n Out!® Advanced Fire Ant Killer Mound Eliminator
Both Spectracide Fire Ant Shield Mound Destroyer Granules and its competition, Over'n Out! Advanced Fire Ant Killer Mound Eliminator, work to kill fire ants by contact, so only ants that contact the active ingredients in these products die. Both products are dry granular formulas that call for the same application rates, and they're easy to measure and sprinkle on mounds. Both must be watered-in immediately after application, and both have resealable bags.
Spectracide Fire Ant Shield Mound Destroyer Granules start killing within minutes and kill the colony and queen within 24 hours. Over'n Out! Advanced Fire Ant Killer Mound Eliminator kills the mound in 15 minutes and kills the queen within 24 hours. Both fast-acting products come with guarantees, but the Over'n Out product provides six months of fire ant control. The Spectracide Fire Ant Shield Mound Destroyer Granules product does not make that claim.
The Spectracide product is one of the most economical fire ant mound treatments on the market at just $3.77 for a 3.5-pound bag. The Over'n Out product goes for $10.54 for a 4-pound bag — more than double the price per pound — but the six-month killing action offsets the need for repeat treatments, which we appreciate.
Conclusions: Fast-acting, economical mound treatment
Spectracide Fire Ant Shield Mound Destroyer Granules is an easy-to-use fire ant mound treatment that promises to act fast to kill the queen. Even though it doesn't offer long-lasting residual protection, it's hard to beat the product's low price.
The opinions represented in this article are the author's. However, the author has been paid by the owner of this website, Central Garden & Pet Company.