How to Prevent & Get Rid of Fire Ants that Bite & Sting in Your Summerfield, FL House & Garden
People all over the world are familiar with ants and their annoying activities. With thousands of species found across the globe, most people can easily identify an ant when they see one. Fire ants are among the most common ants in the U.S. especially in the southern states. Today, we at Pest 911 would like to take a moment to share the basics concerning red imported fire ants, that are fairly common in Florida.
Fire Ant & Mound Identification
Fire ants are widely known for the painful stings and bites they deliver to their victims. These ants have segmented, oval bodies that are a dark reddish brown and have 6 legs that extend from their body and the standard antennae from their head. Red fire ants’ range in size from about 1/8” to 3/8” in length. What makes fire ants particularly distinguishable, is the somewhat large, irregular shaped mounds that average between two and four square feet in size. Through shrubs, potted plants, and trees, fire ants are commonly introduced into new areas. The soil in nearby areas in landscaping or to structural foundations is often where the red imported fire ants usually nest. They typically will infiltrate buildings through HVAC systems and AC units, though these ants tend to prefer the outside.
Fire Ant Stings & Bites
When the nest is disturbed, the culprits often describe the fire ant attack as a relentlessly stinging. Though white pustules are likely to evolve from the bite, they are first raised welts. In most cases the fire ants will deliver multiple stings as well. Additionally, people can be sensitive to their stings and suffer from allergies that range from mild to severe.
How to Prevent Fire Ants
You can avoid fire ant intrusions, with a little dedication and preventative measures. Their signature mound nests and the ants themselves should be avoided to prevent from being stung. You can avoid earning the painful welts by staying away from and not interfering the nests. In order to avoid their infiltration indoors, make certain that all internal and external cracks and crevices are properly sealed along with ventilation and utility lines.
Where Do Fire Ants Live?
Accidentally introduced to America by a cargo boat that came from South America, the red imported ants have spread aggressively since their arrival in Alabama. Though they are not abundantly found north due to their distaste for the cold, they are heavily populated in southern states.
Fire Ant Colony
Easily having over 200,000 ant members, usually comprising of a queen and workers, the fire ant colony is large. The nests they build often feature underground tunnels that can extend up to 25 feet away from the mound. Fire ants experience four stages in their life including the egg, larvae, pupae, and adults. Before these mounds are large enough to be noticed, the ants will work on them for months. Their diet consists plant nectar, fruit, seeds, dead animals, honeydew, and fire ants are especially partial to fatty foods.
Imported fire ants can be challenging to eliminate due to their behavior and large colony. If you have fire ants in your home or property, call Pest 911 and let our skilled and certified technicians remove the infestation for you.