Dark reddish brown
1/8” – 3/8” long
Southern United States from Maryland to Texas, California and New Mexico
Fire ants are attracted to a variety of foods including protein, greases, and sweet foods. They are very aggressive predators and can kill live insects and small animals. They are attracted to open sunny areas like fields, meadows, lawns, parks, and pastures. Colonies can have one or several queens which directly correlate to the number of ants per acre. Colonies frequently migrate to different sites. The queen only needs a few workers to start a new colony. They can create new mound hundreds of feet away from the original colony in just a few hours. Total time from eggs to adult is approximately 30 days and queens can live up to 6 years. During spring and summer, swarmers are sent out to start new colonies.
Fire ants usually nest in loose soil but can be found in woodwork, masonry, water heater cabinets, crawl spaces, or stones. and from the exterior it can resemble gopher diggings. Their mounds do not have a hole in the center but access from tunnels underground. When the mounds are disturbed, workers will come out and sting aggressively. Flooding can cause colonies to leave their mounds and float until they reach land to establish a new mound.
The sting from a fire ant can be very severe and reactions vary from person to person. Some react with irritation and nausea, to much more severe reactions. The initial sting causes instant severe pain followed by itching and skin irritation. Skin irritations can be as simple as redness or form a pus-filled blister that lasts several days. Some fire ant stings are life threatening and can cause anaphylaxis immediately after the sting. Fire ants can also cause costly physical damage due to their attraction to electrical currents. They can cause damage to electrical wire that lead to junction boxes, air conditioning units, electronics, and telephone wires.
Fire Ant Prevention
If you suspect a fire ant infestation, call A-1 Bonded Termite, Inc. for a free inspection* immediately. This is the safest and most effective way to get rid of fire ants. Your inspector will make recommendations to eliminate the infestation and make suggestions on how to correct conditions that may be conducive to re-infestations.