Opportunistic, aggressive, territorial and potentially dangerous, the bothersome fire ant is preparing to reemerge from its winter safe haven as the weather begins to warm. Springtime represents mating season for the fire ant and as their activity increases, they may choose to call either the outside or inside of your home or office their family compound. Either way, the fire ant packs a nasty punch to unsuspecting landlords who unknowingly harbor their crew.
How To Recognize Fire Ants
Certain defining characteristics set fire ants apart from other ant species. These features include:
Appearance: Fire ants can present as both reddish brown and reddish black in color and vary in size from 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch long. They are a typically segmented insect with antennae, stinger, and three sharp teeth on their destructive, tiny heads.
Nests: Fire ants build and live in a characteristic mound like structure that at times can be tricky to notice. Recent research at Texas A&M finds that “in cold, dry areas such as the High Plains of Texas, mounds are usually much smaller and harder to detect.” Nests that are often times unknowingly disturbed, can result in violent behavior from their inhabitants.
Behavior: Fire ants are considered especially aggressive when their mounds are disrupted. When disturbed, fire ants emerge aggressively, crawling up vertical surfaces, biting and stinging “all at once”. A sting usually leaves a blister on the skin. Some victims experience nothing more than an irritation and others can suffer deadly consequences just as they might from multiple bee stings.
At AJB Pest and Termite, we understand the inherent threat fire ants create in your home or place of business. We share in your sense of urgency in eliminating this type of danger and our family is here to serve and protect your family against the very real threat the fire ant brings to our community. Contact us at the very first sign of fire ant invasion, we are here and ready to not only eliminate the threat but permanently smolder the fire.
Fire ants are notorious pests, known for their aggressive nature and burning, painful stings. For you and your family’s safety, is important to know these essential facts about fire ants:
Fire ants are invasive.
They are native to Brazil and Argentina and were introduced to the United States in the early to mid-1900s. This makes fire ants a relatively new problem for US homeowners to deal with when compared to other pests.
Mounds can be found anywhere.
While fire ants prefer to create their home mounds in sunny, wide-open areas, they will also nest under rotting logs, rocks, bricks, and houses for shelter. They dig deep, and their tunnels can extend 1 to 3 feet below the surface of the soil.
Colonies can have multiple queens.
Fire ant colonies can have anywhere from one queen to a small group of queens. The more queens present in a colony, the more worker ants can be produced. So long as a single queen survives, the colony will continue to reproduce and grow.
Fire ants reproduce quickly and live longer than you think.
A single queen can lay up to 1,000 eggs per day. While each worker fire ant may only live for 5 to 8 weeks, the queen will live up to 7 years. She will continuously produce more ants over her entire lifespan.
Fire ants are more than a nuisance; they are a dangerous pest to have in or near your home. If you have questions about fire ants or suspect an infestation, please contact us today.