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Fire ants in Texas are often a staple of outdoor parties. Just one wrong step and party-goers get to enjoy the cluster of painful stings that come with the territory. As an invasive species, fire ants are often brought into new areas through plants and other greenery and can quickly become a nuisance that makes spending time in your backyard a hazard.

 

Not only can they cause painful stings, but they also displace native ant species and sometimes attack other cherished wildlife en masse. Fortunately, red fire ants are fairly easy to identify, so after you know what’s attracting them, you can read on and learn how to get rid of the fire ants in your yard wreaking havoc on your outdoor parties.

What Do Fire Ants Look Like?

The kinds of fire ants in Texas are known as red imported fire ants. This species makes a fire ant hill in the form of a large mound between two and four feet, sometimes irregular and flat in places. These fire ant hills often look soft to the touch and may have a large central opening, many small openings, or no discernible opening at all. Nests can also be found near the base of trees.

 

Red fire ants are dark reddish-brown, but looking at them from a distance, they can seem black cherry-colored with shiny abdomens that tend to be darker than the rest of the body. These ants tend to only grow to around 1/16 of an inch, but ants in the worker caste can grow to a much larger 1/4 of an inch. Fortunately, stings from this species, while painful, don’t usually have any harmful health effects. However, some people are very sensitive to fire ant venom and may need to seek medical attention. For the small percentage of people allergic to this venom, fire ant stings can be fatal. Anyone who is stung must be careful not to scratch at the stings and risk a secondary infection.

 

Unfortunately, fire ants can and do come indoors, especially during the hotter months, as the ground becomes too hard and dry to make into a nest. Out of desperation, they come inside seeking food or water, and you can imagine how small of a hole they can fit through to infiltrate your home. They may also be nesting deeper underground to reach moister, cooler conditions, giving you the impression they’ve just “disappeared”.

What Attracts Fire Ants?

Like many invasive pests, fire ants are attracted to leftover foods and excess water. While soil of a good moisture level and mature trees are great nesting grounds, food is a significant attractant. Oily, greasy foods, insects, and pet food are the fire ant’s main cuisine choices. To reduce the risk of attracting fire ant colonies, controlling these attractive food and nesting options is a great way to prevent them from establishing themselves in your yard.

 

Practicing these prevention techniques may just save you some painful stings as well as money in extermination payments down the road:

  • Turn mulch, bedding material, and moist soil every other week to discourage ants from building nests.
  • Mow your lawn regularly to keep pest hiding places few and far between.
  • Remove grass clippings and other mulch, including stacked wood, to get rid of hiding places.
  • Keep indoor and outdoor trash tightly sealed, sanitize the bins regularly, and keep your outdoor trash far away from the home.
  • Only give your pets as much food as they need at one time, storing the rest in a sealed plastic or glass container.
  • Clean up picnic areas and dropped food from the yard after a gathering.

If you have a well-established colony to deal with and are past the prevention stage, you might be looking into fire ant treatment options that you can do yourself. Not only is DIY fire ant control expensive, but it may also be ecologically harmful and dangerous to your health. The best way to deal with fire ants in Fort Worth is to entrust their control to the professionals.

How To Get Rid Of Fire Ants: All-Safe Pest & Termite

Instead of relying on dangerous and costly do-it-yourself fire ant treatment, call All-Safe Pest & Termite. Our award-winning, fast and safe fire ant control methods have earned us thousands of five-star reviews and the trust of the Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth areas. With two different residential pest control plans to choose from, you can enroll in regular visits to keep your yard and home safe, or you can get a free estimate for your current fire ant issue. Call All-Safe Pest & Termite for your no-obligation estimate today.

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