The fire ant is also known as the red imported fire ant and as Solenopsis invicta originated in South America. It has made its way into a variety of countries, including the US, Australia, New Zealand, and even an array of Asian countries.
These creatures are red and can be painful as well as annoying. Here are some essential facts you need to know about them:
They Will Sting
Fire ants are red or red-brown in color and are comparatively small at one-fifth of an inch long. Interestingly, the male fire ants are black and are rarely seen.
Like most creatures, they will attack if threatened. When doing so they will sting you. Most people describe the pain of a sting as like being burned by fire. The venom they inject is highly irritating to humans. As the pain dies down you will develop red bumps with white pustules.
Perhaps most concerning is the fact that they will attack together, meaning you can have multiple stings.
If you notice a nest in your yard then check here for your local pest control experts. There can be as many as 500,000 ants in one colony.
They May Attack Pets
Pets are naturally curious and likely to stick their nose in a hole. Unfortunately, if the fire ants see your pet as a threat they will attack them as well.
You should note they are attracted to dog food and may swarm the food bowl making it impossible for anyone to touch it.
They Prefer Warmer Climes
Fire ants prefer to live in warmer climes, places where the climate is warm and the sun likes to shine. In keeping with this, they are likely to create their home in the lawn or a field. Depending on the size of the colony the mound can be as much as 18 inches high.
That doesn’t mean it can look like a fun play area for children which is a bad idea as they are smaller and more likely to suffer a bad experience following a sting.
They Eat Anything
Fire ants are comfortable eating animals and vegetables. Although their preferred food choices are ticks, spiders, and earthworms, they will also eat seeds and honeydew.
When looking for food they wander around the area searching. But, when they find food they head straight back to the colony
Expert help Is Best
If you discover a fire ant colony in your garden it is best to stay clear and ask the professionals to handle it for you. As mentioned, they will attack in numbers if they feel threatened. Unfortunately, you won’t know if you are allergic to their stings until after they have stung you.
As with most ant colonies, the effective way to eliminate them is to kill the queen. However, fire ant colonies may have more than one queen, making this challenging. That’s why it is best to let the professionals handle this one.