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Fire Ants: What Do These Antagonizing Pests Look Like?

Two fire ants crawling on a large stone.

Few ant species, especially within the United States, can boast of their reputation as much as the fire ants can. From their large, unsightly mounds to their painful bites, a colony of fire ants can be incredibly disruptive in the lives of Florida homeowners.

Concerned about these unpleasant pests invading your home or yard? McCall Service can help you learn what fire ants look like and where they live to prevent them from becoming a problem.

What Do Fire Ants Look Like?

Fire ants have a reddish-brown upper body with a darker abdomen. They possess stingers, clubbed, or bent antennae, and remarkably thin waists. Unlike some other ants, they don’t have any spines, but are instead covered in fine hair across their whole body. They can range between 2 and 7mm long. Generally speaking, the Southeastern region of the United States is the most afflicted by their presence, with some parts of California affected as well.

What Does a Fire Ant Bite Look Like?

While fire ants do bite, the real pain comes from their stings. When fire ants crawl onto you, they use their jaws to anchor themselves to your skin. Once they’re locked in, they use their stingers to repeatedly inject venom.

The sting of a fire ant can leave you with red welts similar to hives, which cause an inflamed burning sensation. In worse cases, it’s possible that these welts can swell and fill with pus. Infected fire ant stings may even leave scars.

If you receive multiple fire ant stings, it could trigger a devastating toxic or allergic reaction; in the event you’re stung by a fire ant, you should consult medical professionals immediately.

Where Do Fire Ants Live?

Fire ants are social insects, house their colonies in nests of pushed-up soil known as mounds. They also typically nest in open, sunny areas where they can absorb sunlight and warmth throughout the day.

You will not find an entry to the nest from within the mound, but instead through the network of tunnels that expand around it. In some cases, such as unpleasant weather or small colony size, mounds will not appear for months after the colony has established itself.

Fire ants need water and year-round warmth to survive, which prevents them from nesting in regions with deserts or strong winters.

How Do I Get Rid of Fire Ants?

In the case of fire ants, bait is considered the most effective method of fire ant control. Most insecticides cannot penetrate the dense mounds that protect the nest below. On the other hand, well-placed traps use the biology and structure of the colony against them.

However, fire ants didn’t gain their notoriety by being easy to remove. That’s why if you’re struggling with a fire ant infestation, you should consider the additional help of a professional service. To successfully control and prevent fire ants, however, you need the proper knowledge, experience, and equipment.

Stomp Out Fire Ants with Treatment From McCall Service

Don’t put yourself at risk of being burned by fire ants; bring in McCall Service’s pest control professionals. With nearly a century of expertise under our belts, McCall Service is well-equipped to bring down the hammer on fire ants that have invaded your home or lawn. Contact us for a free quote so we can work together to find the quickest and easiest solution and make your home fire ant-free.

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