If you own a home and have a lawn, you probably have seen an ant or two crawling around it and haven’t been to concerned. If your lawn is housing fire ants, you should be very concerned and want to evict them from your property as quickly as possible. Red imported fire ants are extremely aggressive and will not hesitate to sting you, your kids, or pets in order to defend themselves and their colony.
Imported red fire ants are dark reddish brown to black in color and are a very small ant. The adults range in length from 1.6-5mm in length. They have very strong mandibles that they use to bite and hold onto their prey. The ants also have an abdominal stinger that they use to inject their prey with venom once they have captured them. Imported red fire ants will eat seeds, small insects, small animals and young plants.
These ants live in very large colonies that can have thousands of members. Unfortunately for you and your pets, they will aggressively defend the colony. If you have an imported red fire ant nest in your lawn, you will see a large mound of dirt that is flattened and irregular in shape. They prefer to nest in very moist soil, so irrigated lawns, and areas along riverbeds and ponds are prime real estate for them.
Imported red fire ants have the ability to sting their victims multiple times; they will first bite and then sting. Their sting feels like you have just been burnt by a lit match. While painful some people will just get red bumps on their skin, but others can have a severe reaction including trouble breathing and will need immediate medical attention. If you notice a red fire ant nest on your property great care should be taken to keep your children and pets away from it, being curious and checking out the nest could results in them being painfully attacked by the ants.
Imported red fire ants are often introduced onto properties and into new areas through potted plants, and with the planting of new trees and shrubs. There are a few things that you can do to help prevent your property and home from being overrun by these aggressive pests. Prevention tips include:
When bringing new plants onto your property, inspect them for signs of ant activity.
Seal cracks in your home’s foundation and caulk gaps around exterior windows and doors to prevent them from getting inside.
Reduce the moisture levels in your lawn by not over watering.
If you find that imported fire ants have decide to invite themselves to build a nest on your property, you should not try to get rid of them on your own. Getting too close to a nest could result in you receiving hundreds of painful stings. At the first sign of a fire ant colony on your property you should immediately contact the professionals.
Professional pest control experts have the experience and products necessary to safely eliminate the entire colony from your property. By getting rid of all the ants and the nest you can have peace of mind that you, your family and pets are safe once again from these tiny, painful pests!