Banned garden products

Asked May 1, 2020, 12:13 AM EDT

Why Can’t Ortho fire ant killer be mailed to my address in Maryland? I have fire ants in my lawn.

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

It is most likely because the product is a restricted use pesticide which by law is only to be used by those who are certified pesticide applicators in Maryland. The credentialing is done by the Maryland Dept. of Agriculture.

However, before we would ever suggest the use of a pesticide, it is paramount to correctly identify what you have there.
Fire ants are rarely found in Maryland. They occasionally come here in potted tropical plants from the south, but they cannot overwinter.
We would like to see photos of the insect you are concerned about. Fire ants are surprisingly small, some may even say 'tiny', so getting a photo may be difficult, but we'd want to see a close up of both the top and the bottom, and a side shot to try and make out the formations near the body connections.

You can attach photo directly to this reply using the Choose File tabs below.

There are multiple types of ants in Maryland. All are good to have outdoors, as they eat other pests and help aerate soil. Some will bite in defense of their nests, and while you will notice it, it's not of medical concern.
Ants are part of a healthy ecosystem outdoors and we do not suggest control there.

More about ants at this page from our website:
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/ants You will note that they come in various sizes and colors.


Christine