Both native and Red Imported Fire Ants can sting. Red Imported Fire Ants are very aggressive and their sting can cause reactions ranging from irritation and nausea to even more severe reactions.
Red Fire Ants are also known to attack animals that intrude on their nests. Besides attacking people and animals they can also cause damage to plants, buildings, air-conditioning units, and telephone wires.
There are two kinds of Red Imported Fire Ants; the single-queen and multiple-queen types. Workers in single-queen colonies are territorial, foraging only within their territory. Workers from multiple-queen colonies are not territorial; they freely move from one mound to another, which has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of mounds per acre.
In areas with multiple-queen colonies, there may be 200 or more mounds and 40 million Red Imported Fire Ants per acre. The Red Imported Fire Ant builds mounds in almost any type of soil but prefers open, sunny areas such as pastures, parks, lawns, meadows, and cultivated fields. Colonies can also be located in or under buildings.
Many times mounds are located in rotting logs and around stumps and trees. The like most Ant mounds. Red Imported Fire Ants enter and exit the mound through underground tunnels. When their mounds are disturbed, the workers will come out of the ground and sting the intruder very aggressively. The Red Imported Fire Ant can have huge colonies with 300-500,000 workers foraging at distances of 100 yards.
During the spring and summer months, the active mounds send out winged swarmer ants whose sole job is to start new colonies. Most of the time, Fire ants will be found near mounds in yards, parks, cemeteries, athletic fields, and other outside locations. If mounds are disturbed, they begin to swarm out of the ground with aggressive behavior and sting animals or people.
If mounds are disturbed, they begin to swarm out of the ground with aggressive behavior and sting animals or people. Sometimes the Red imported Fire Ant will nest inside buildings during the winter months under bathtubs (when on a slab), or next to hot water heaters. The Southern Fire Ant usually nests in loose soil, but at times they can be found in woodwork or masonry.
Their nests outside may be seen as large crevices in the ground that spread out from 2-4 feet. Southern Fire Ant nests can also be found under houses, under boards or stones, or in cracks in the concrete. Colonies frequently migrate from one site to another. The queen only needs a few workers to start a new colony.
Flooding causes colonies to leave their mounds and float until they can reach land to establish a new mound. USDA and United States Department of Agriculture Potential Red Imported Fire Ant Range Expansion Mounds of loose soil, resembling gopher diggings, are found above ground. Red Imported Fire Ant mounds are generally numerous and easily seen.
Workers of all sizes have the same body proportions: head width never exceeds the abdomen width, even in the largest workers. (Courtesy of the National Pest Control Association.) Total time from egg to adult averages 30 days. Workers live up to 180 days, and queens live two to six years.
The Southern Fire Ant is attracted to a variety of foods including protein, greases, and sweet foods.
The broadcasting method is the first step. Broadcast a fire ant bait over the entire area. We recommend treating a couple of times a year during the warm months. This will solve 80-90 percent of your fire ant infestation.
Treating the mounds individually, without doing a broadcast treatment for the whole yard first may be an uphill battle. You can use the drench method of a liquid insecticide poured into the mound; make sure that the whole mound is treated. Pour enough volume of the liquid insecticide into the mound to kill the queens.
If your efforts haven’t been successful in getting rid of your fire ant problem let the professionals handle it for you.
Drive Bye will be happy to come to treat the problem and get your yard fire ant free for all to enjoy without fear. Contact us now to schedule an appointment and we will come out and give you a quote.