Ants are some of the most common and difficult to eliminate pests around. The number in the thousands and tend to thrive outdoors without us paying them a second thought. But all ant populations will look for ways inside to access the food and shelter that can be found in human structures, and some ant populations are far more dangerous to people and pets than mere scavengers. Fire ants prove why no ant population is welcome, and learning how you can prevent and address them quickly will help save you from finding that out the hard way.
Fire Ants: What To Know
Unlike other ants, which are generally harmless to people or our property, fire ants are far more aggressive and dangerous. While they also bite, fire ants get their name from the burning sting that they administer from stingers on their rears. Their formidable venom is unpleasant for anyone and can be even more dangerous for those with allergies. Here are some key traits:
- Color: Aside from the flaming stings they dole out, fire ants also get their name from their bright red color. This sets them apart from most other house ants, which are black or brown.
- Size: Despite their more fearsome status, fire ants are actually smaller than most other outdoor ants that you’ll find.
- Behavior: Fire ants, like most ants, are typically outdoor pests since they form subterranean tunnels within loose soils. But fire ants are omnivores, which hunt other insects and eat leafy foliage and sugary foods. That means they’ll be attracted indoors for all the same reasons as other invasive pests.
More Dangerous Than Other Ants
Ant populations aren’t ones that you want to be caught off guard by because by the time they’re noticeable enough to identify, they’ve probably been there for a while already. With fire ants, spotting an infestation too late can be costly, both from a monetary and health perspective. Here are some significant dangers that fire ants pose to property owners:
- Stings: Of course, the first negative that comes to mind is those painful stings, which can be even more threatening for those who are allergic. It’s unfortunately not very common for people to know whether they have a fire ant allergy, since they have a different type of venom than bees.
- Population: All ants reproduce in great numbers, forming elaborate colonies of workers, soldiers, and queens. Fire ant colonies grow even faster than most and can number in the millions.
- Recolonization: The trickiest part of ant control is often displayed most by fire ants -- “budding.” It’s the process whereby a single fire ant colony splits off into multiple colonies, each with reproductive queens to grow their numbers. It’s a defense mechanism against elimination attempts which means the wrong methods can make the problem worse.
Fire Ant Prevention For Your Property
No ants are welcome on your property, but fire ants especially show why it’s better to prevent infestations than react to them once they crop up. With fire ants, no one should try to remove an existing population on their own. But if you simply want to reduce your level of risk, these are all good steps to take:
- Landscaping: Ants are attracted to overgrowth because of all the leafy green food our yards provide. Keeping your grass low and decorative plants trimmed back from your exterior walls will reduce the likelihood of ant populations encroaching.
- Food storage: As scavengers, all kinds of ants will hunt for food that can be found in storage areas or as traces left behind after cooking and eating. Make sure to clean both outdoor and indoor eating areas and store food in covered containers
- Trash storage: The first food source that ants get exposed to is often in the trash, both outdoors and inside. Make sure yours are well-lidded and clear out particularly sweet-smelling or pungent food waste quickly.
Safe & Effective Removal From All-Safe Pest & Termite
The most effective way to keep ant colonies from forming is through regular yard treatments administered by trained professionals. At All-Safe Pest & Termite, our friendly experts can provide you with more tips on how to reduce your risk of an infestation, not to mention offer you proven treatments that work better than anything average property owners can buy or apply on their own. If fire ants are already there, either out in the yard or, worse, inside, act fast by contacting us right away. Only expert solutions are guaranteed to address the root of the ant population and make sure that it doesn’t grow.
For the ultimate protection against fire ants, turn to All-Safe Pest & Termite today.