When ants intrude with their annoying behaviors, they can be all too familiar. Their laborious activity and painful pinches are notoriously known, even when they cross our paths outdoors. Most recognize an ant when they see one, since they are populated across the world. Being that fire ants are widely known across the world, especially in the southern states, we at Southeast Florida Pest Control would like to relate some of the basic information concerning fire ants to help you be more aware.
Fire Ant & Mound Identification
The two to four square foot, comparably large in size, irregular in shape, fire ant mounds are one of the most distinguishable characteristics of a fire ant; in addition to their painful stings and bites. With the standard antenna and 6 legs they scurry around upon, imported fire ants have dark reddish brown, segmented, oval bodies that average 1/8” to 3/8” in length.
What Do Fire Ants Eat & Other Facts
Including the queen and workers, the fire ant colony is usually fairly large, having over 200,000 ant members. These nests are generally worked for months before the mounds are large enough to be noticed and the underground tunnels established that can extend up to 25 feet away from the mound. Within the lifetime of the fire ant, they evolve in four stages that include egg, larvae, pupae, and adults. Plant nectar, fruit, and honeydew, seeds, dead animals in addition to a favorite of fatty foods are all included in their diet.
Where Do Fire Ants Come From?
As they were accidentally introduced to America by a cargo boat that originated from South America, red imported ants have spread aggressively since their arrival in Alabama. Though the red imported fire ants are adaptable, they are heavily concentrated in southern states due to their distaste for the cold. More often than not, these ants become introduced to new areas through trees, shrubs, and potted plants. Commonly passing through HVAC systems and AC units, fire ants often enter homes though they prefer the outdoors. In the soil close to structural foundations or in landscaping is typically where red imported fire ants tend to nest.
Fire Ant Bites & Stings
Relentlessly stinging attacks are often met to any perceived threat that disturbs the nest. The stings will quickly leave behind raised welts that often evolve into white pustules soon thereafter. Victims not only get attacked by multiple ants, but a single ant delivers multiple bites and stings. Depending on the sensitivity, people can experience mild to severe allergic reactions in addition to the painful, and often itchy stings.
How to Prevent Fire Ants
You can avoid fire ant infestations and their vicious bites with preventative maintenance and dedication. Stay clear from their signature mound nests and the ants themselves to escape nasty stings. You can skip the painful welts by staying away from and not interfering with the nests. Also, to avoid infestations, make certain to seal all internal and external cracks and crevices along with ventilation and utility lines.
To eliminate the fire ants invading your home or property in southeast Florida, call Southeast Florida Pest Control and let our qualified professionals armed with advanced equipment and products ensure effective removal. Contact us today!