Fire ants are polymorphic (having various size workers), ranging in size from 1/8 to 1/4 inches long. They have a reddish brown head and thorax and a dark brown abdomen. They can cause damage to electrical equipment, harm birds and livestock and are very aggressive when disturbed.
Fire ants prefer areas that are sunny and frequently churned up. They use this freshly churned material to build up the top portion of their mounds. The mounds are built on top of a network of tunnels that can go down as far as the water table. Tunnels extend out for several feet and enable the workers to forage unseen.
Pest Management, Inc. professionals are specifically trained to address infestations and administer the most effective treatments of fire ant infestations. Treatments can include liquid applications around the exterior of the structure and property, bait and liquid application near/around the mound, and broadcast bait or granules around the structure.
The fire ant bites first and then moves its stinger into the skin. Its unique venom first manifests as red welts. If no treatment is administered, the red bumps will turn into white pustules, which carry a risk of infection. If infected, they can leave scars.
Recommended first aid for fire ant bites includes over-the-counter products for itching or pain and cold compresses. If a fire ant sting victim experiences allergic symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness or difficulty breathing, professional medical attention should be sought immediately.
Fire Ant Specifics
Though not a native species in North America, the fire ant has become a common nuisance throughout the southern United States. Initially transplanted into Alabama, they have spread and thrived throughout the southern states with the warm climate and lack of predators.
They prefer dry fields and avoid shady areas. Their dome-shaped mounds can grow up to 24 inches in diameter and 18 inches high if left untreated. These colonies can contain 100,000 – 500,000 worker ants and 1-60 queens.
When attacking prey and predators, fire ants use their mandibles to attach themselves and then inject venom through the stinger. Fire ant stings are painful for most humans and can be fatal to some.
Fire Ant Identification
The bite and sting that these ants deliver gives them their common name, being bitten by one can feel like you’ve been burned. These aggressive insects feed primarily on living insects and dead animals, though upon infiltrating a home, they are drawn to fats and sweet foods.
Methods for Exterminating Fire Ants
To ensure elimination of a fire ant colony on your property contact your local pest control experts at Pest Management, Inc.