Fire ants are more than just a nuisance in the yard. Their stings are painful for humans and pets, and they can even infest homes. Although only a small percentage of the population react critically or even fatally to a fire ant sting, those who have a fire ant infestation should have it taken care of professionally by a pest control company to prevent future outbreaks and the spread of foraging worker ants.
What Are Fire Ants?
Fire ants first came to the United States around 1930 via a cargo shipment and settled in Alabama. From there, they have quickly spread across the southern states, being found everywhere from Florida to California and as far north as Virginia. They can be recognized by their red coloring, two nodes, and stinger. Although they are typically quite small, they may be as large as 5 centimeters long. They build sandy mounds on dry parts of the ground, which may become quite large, and most can be readily identified after it rains.
What Damage Do Fire Ants Cause?
When fire ants are bothered, they hold their victim in their mouth and sting. The more the person or animal moves, the more they will be stung because fire ants become agitated with increased movements. The stings are very irritating to humans and will cause a great deal of burning as well as red bumps and white pustules. Most people will be stung more than once because hundreds of thousands of ants can live in one colony.
How Can Fire Ants Be Controlled?
Although most fire ants are found outside, some may make their way indoors foraging for food. Both indoor and outdoor fire ants should be treated by a professional, and annual maintenance is key for prevention of future outbreaks. A pest control company will treat all mounds in the yard as well as the point of entry and the trails that the ants use indoors. The baits that are usually used allow the foraging ant to carry poison back to its nest, increasing the effectiveness of the poison. These baits are generally considered to be safe for grass and other vegetation as well as for pets and humans to be near.
Professional treatment of fire ants is highly recommended for complete eradication and future prevention. For fire ant control, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.