The bugs are back!
You might’ve noticed more pesky flies, hornets and fire ants this summer.
A Grand Prairie-based pest control expert says blame it on the extreme heat.
Brent Russell has spent the last 20-plus years battling bugs as the owner of Tarrant County Pest Control.
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“You’ve got a combination of this hot, dry weather that’s bringing a lot of bugs out, and then a lot of people who are home who would normally be gone at work or home all day and they’re seeing a lot of bugs, so this year and last year have been the two busiest years I’ve had,” said Russell.
Russell recommends using a two-step method to kill fire ants.
“It starts by using an ant bait. An ant bait is quite a different thing than using ant killer or contact killer. This is designed for you to put it in a handheld spreader," said Russell.
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The bait is a granular product and is made up of a cornmeal that has an active ingredient added to it.
“The ants go out to the yard and pick this up and take it back to the colony and feed the colony and eventually this will get back to the queen and kill the queen. That’s what it takes to wipe out the fire mound is to get to the queen,” said Russell.
A faster option is to use fire ant killer, which can kill ants in minutes.
Russell cautions against fighting ants with fire and gas.
Jennifer Crandall and her son Brayden know the dangers of this better than most.
Brayden, who was nine at the time, was helping his dad in the yard in April 2020.
“My husband was using gas and fire to kill the ants, so I guess under the ground the ant hills were connected somehow. So when he put gas on one and went to the other one, it just exploded,” said Jennifer Crandall.
The family’s Chocolate Lab, Cooper, rushed to Brayden and was badly burned too.
“I was screaming for help. I was rolling on the ground. I stopped and rolled,” said Brayden Crandall.
Two years later, the family is still sharing their message to battle bugs safely using recommended bug killers and repellants.
“Practice safety when you’re around fire. Make sure you’re using the proper things around you,” said Jennifer Crandall.
Brayden had second and third-degree burns on over half of his body and was put into a medically-induced coma.
He had to relearn how to walk but his mom says he’s looking forward to a bug-free, safe summer full of soccer and swimming.