My question is specifically about Fire Ants...

Last year my entire yard was infested with fire ants. I had at least 30+ mounds in my backyard alone. But I also had them in the front and side yards as well as along my driveways and walkways. Ugggh!

A couple of my neighbors suggested a pesticide that I could buy at my local hardware store and essentially "sift" it onto the mounds. I don't think they understood that my yard was INFESTED(not just a couple mounds) and I need a method of dealing with them on this level.

I've heard that if they are not completely eradicated they essentially send signals to other mounds causing an attack. Does anyone know if this is true? Based on what I'd read and heard from various sources, I was reluctant to go out there and not treat the problem completely fearing I'd make the situation worse. I got attacked a couple times while mowing my lawn and don't want it to be as bad again this year. My son is now walking and will be 2 this Spring so I really want him to be able to enjoy and play in our yard safely. Which also adds to the problem: what's a way to treat them that won't be harmful to my toddler?

Does anyone have any tips to get rid of them or would I be better of biting the bullet for a professional service? If I have a professional come out, how many times will they have to treat the yard? I want to know how many treatments to expect because I can't afford to have someone coming out every week for the whole summer. Is there a time of year that would be 'best' to treat them? I was in the yard a couple weeks ago and saw a couple active mounds so I don't think they all died off during the winter. :(