Fire ants, as the name suggests, are reddish and measure 1.6 to 5 mm in length. If you want to know what problems they can cause and how you can deal with them, you may want to read on.
Behavior, Diet and Habit
Usually, they build their nests underground. Sometimes, their nests have visible mounds with a diameter of 61 cm and a height of 18 cm. In large colonies, you can find as many as 250,000 active and aggressive workers. Intruding animals get bitten by them repeatedly. Fire ants feed on a variety of things, such as sweet and greasy foods, meats and insects. Adult workers feed liquid diet to larvae until they grow big enough to eat solid food.
Fire ants take 30 days to grow into adults. Worker ants can live up to 180 days, but the queen can live up to 6 years.
Signs of Fire Ant Infestation
As mentioned earlier, fire ants’ nests have mounds, which is a sign that your home is infested. If you have a large number of fire ants in your house, you will most likely get stung by them very often, which is another sign of an infestation.
While this species of ants is not native to North America, they are a common problem all over the southern United States. A shipment of cargo, in 1930s, brought the red fire ant into the US. Now, they are everywhere in the southern states.
Fire ants like warm conditions and avoid cold, shady places, such as forests and woods. In each colony, you can find hundreds of thousands of ants with one queen at least. When attacking, these pests grip the prey with their mandibles injecting venom via a stinger.
You will feel sharp pain when stung by fire ants. At times, it can be fatal. If you experience severe sweating, itching or nausea, you should seek medical attention right away. Their sting has alkaloid venom and is very irritating to humans. It may leave white pustules and red bumps on the bitten area. After getting stung, you may feel intense burning. A colony of these ants can have up to 500,000 ants. Therefore, keep this in mind when trying to mess with their nest.
If you have experienced a fire ant activity in your house, you may want to get in touch with a local pest control professional. Professionals use special methods to secure homes from ant infestations.
Treatment and Prevention
Make sure you inspect your house each year to prevent an ant infestation. The best way is to hire your local pest control professional to carry out an inspection and find out how to deal with the problem.
Lastly, to avoid ant bites or stings, make sure you don’t step on an ant or leave feed particles lying around where you sit or sleep. If you have a fire ant mound outside your house, contact a pest control professional to get it removed so that your home doesn’t get infested with these creatures.