If you live in Rockwell or any part of southern or western USA, you don’t need any introduction to fire ants. Barefoot walks in the park and relaxing picnics with friends can all be rudely interrupted by these little critters and their painful bites.
The reality is that their presence can go far beyond a mere nuisance. Damage to property, management, health care costs, and their impact on agriculture has cost the US an estimated $6 billion a year.
With this in mind, as a homeowner, it pays to be aware of fire ant control and how to identify them.
Let us show you how.
Identifying a Fire Ant
Although synonymous with residing in certain areas of the USA, fire ants are not native to these shores. The Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) comes from Central and South America and are believed to have arrived here as recently as the early 1930s via the seaport in Mobile, Alabama.
They are set apart by their distinctive reddish tint. That being said their color can range from a copper hue to almost black. They can be between a 1/16 -1/4 inch and have the unwelcome notoriety of being the most likely type of ant to bite you.
This is because they belong to the same family of insects as bees and wasps, Hymenoptera. When they bite they deposit a small amount of venom into their unfortunate victim’s skin which will sting slightly. However, as they are particularly aggressive, their biggest danger comes from the fact that they tend to bite more than once and when feeling threatened attack on mass.
Other than looking at the ants themselves or finding out the hard way that you need to get bugs out of your home, being able to identify their nest is key in fire ant control. So what should you look out for?
How to Spot a Fire Ant Nest
The first thing you need to pay attention to is what appears to be a fluffy mound of dirt or sand with no discernable openings. They often appear after heavy rainfall and are in open spaces, most notably in your garden. Fire ant nests can get up to 18cms in height and 60cm in width and underneath have a complex network of tunnels where most ants will reside.
They seem to like their nests to enjoy the warmth from the sunlight and don’t like complete darkness, which is why, unlike other bugs, their nest are easy to spot.
If they get into your home however they will look for hollow cavities, so be sure to regularly give your house the once over and seal any cracks you find to keep bugs away. Perhaps for the warmth emitted, they have been known to be attracted to electrical junction boxes as well.
For more information on the best ways that you can get rid of fire ants check out this informative post!
Let the Professionals Handle Fire Ant Control
Fire ants are easily identifiable when you know-how. But their presence can cause complications for you, your family, and your beloved pets.
Take away the stress of not knowing how to deal with fire ant control by calling Action Pest Solutions. With 20 years of experience and a commitment to providing cost-effective services, contact us today to help you keep bugs away from your home.