What are fire ants?
When we talk about fire ants from a pest control perspective, we usually refer to red imported fire ants. These fire ants are an invasive species, and they are very aggressive. It is estimated by the FDA that fire ants are responsible for $5 billion in medical treatment and control costs each year in the US. On top of that, these ants can cause an extra $750 million worth of damage to agricultural assets, including livestock loss, veterinarian bills and crop loss. Fire ants have a venomous sting, and they are known for attacking in swarms. This allows them to inject massive amounts of venom, which can lead to serious adverse reactions.
How can you tell fire ants apart from other ant species?
The easiest way to tell fire ants apart from other species is by their red coloration. There are no other pest ant species that have this color, so if you see red ants crawling around the home or your property, you can be pretty much certain that you are dealing with fire ants. Of course, there’s also the sting, so if you get stung by an ant, and the sting is very painful, then you are dealing with fire ants.
Can fire ant infestations be prevented?
Fire ant infestations can be prevented using several methods, the most effective of which can be installed by a pest control pro. A pro can set up baits and area-denial insecticides all across your property. These products are very safe, and they can kill off fire ants that wander into the wrong area or attempt to start a colony in your backyard.
How are fire ant infestations controlled?
Fire ants will be controlled using either baits or direct-application insecticides. If the nest is out in the open, the insecticides will be used, and if it is not, baits are better suited for the operation. Direct-application insecticides will almost instantly destroy the entire colony, while baits may take a few weeks to kill off the colony. Since fire ants can be very dangerous, the control process is best handled by a pro.
If you have any other questions about this pest species and how it is controlled, or if you currently have a fire ant infestation on your property, we can help you out. Contact us today for more information.