Fire ants are particularly nasty pests and their presence has become commonplace in over 15 different states in the U.S. Some Fire Ants are native to the United States, but some were accidentally imported. They tend to thrive in warm, humid areas, as they are susceptible to cold, harsh conditions. When treating for fire ants, whether there is an existing infection or just for preventative measures, it is important to treat the entirety of the property.
These ants are incredibly aggressive and often territorial. When they attack, they bite with their strong mandibles and then sting their target. This sting can cause as little as mild irritation and nausea to much more severe kinds of reactions, including death in sensitive people. When stung, it feels similar to being burned by flames, hence their name. They also don’t discriminate against what they view as a threat, so they may attack people and even pets who disturb them. Fire ants may also cause severe damage, affecting plants, homes and even wiring. This makes treating the whole yard an absolute must to protect everyone in the household, the property as a whole, as well as the four legged family members. They pose a threat to everything!
Not only are these pests destructive, they spread rapidly. Depending on how many queens are within a colony, there can be up to 200 mounds and 40 million fire ants in one single acre. Each mound alone can hold up to 500,000 fire ants, a veritable army. The life cycle of these ants ranges from 30 days all the way up to six years, so when an infestation starts, they mean to stay around long term.
When looking for signs of an infestation, mounds of loose dirt are indicative of a colony and worker ants are readily seen when out scouting for the colony. These workers are most likely to be seen in greater numbers after rainfall, as they are drawn out of their colonies by flooding. Yards and open areas are the most likely to become infested by fire ants due to the higher sun exposure. They tend to prefer warm areas, which is why they’re also attracted to electrical wiring and the generated heat.
When it comes to treating a home and yard, it is imperative that the entire area be treated to prevent the Fire Ants from establishing and maintaining a colony that poses such a serious threat to people, pets, and property.
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