Red imported fire ants: identification and treatment

hi I'm entomologist Stephanie Hill with

home team pest offense while there are

more than 12,000 species of ants on the

planet there's one in particular that's

quite a nuisance the red imported fire

ant with their aggressive defensive


they've become prevalent through regions

throughout the United States from when

they were first introduced in the 1930s

from South America you can tell if you

have fire ants by the globular shaped

mound sitting on top of the soil when

those mounds are disturbed the ants will

flood out for the ants themselves

they're 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length and

can be red to black in color fire ants

are known to be very aggressive they

will bite and sting any person or animal

that they feel threatened by fire ants

use their jaws to pick up a fold of skin

and then use their stinger on the

abdomen to sting that fold of skin their

stings are often uncomfortable and

result in welts some people have

allergic reactions to these stings and

their symptoms can be very severe fire

ants are usually most active in the

spring and fall right after a rain fall

and when temperatures are above 75

degrees fire ants prefer to nest in

forage around sidewalks along the

foundations of homes and under trees and

shrubs once fire ants become active

around your home they're often hard to

control because of their biology some

but not all fire ants have multiple

Queens and multiple nests within their

colony as with any other ant species

each ant has their own specific job if

that job fails the whole colony fails

another reason fire ants can be hard to

control is because their colonies can be

three to six feet underground if that

colony is disturbed the ants will move

to a different location sometimes not

visible to the eye if you find fire ants

in your yard you can try a

do-it-yourself product your local retail

store County Extension agent or pest

control professional can make

recommendations of products

how to treat the ants it is recommended

that you treat all the mounds at once

when using a do-it-yourself product be

sure to read and follow all the

guidelines on the label to protect

yourself and others if you're doing

yourself treatment is unsuccessful and

your fire ants still persist it's best

to call your pest control professional

regular treatments from your pest

control professional can help minimize

fire ants in your yard

any lot that is left untreated in your

neighborhood can allow reinfestation zuv

fire ants into your yard because they're

continuously foraging for food our

technicians can come and inspect your

yard and give an effective treatment for

your fire ants for more information

about fire ants and how to protect your

yard call us at home team pest defense

or visit us at pest defense calm