FIRE ANT CHARACTERISTICS
Fire Ant Size: There are many sizes of fire ants in a colony, ranging from one-eighth of an inch to almost three-eighths of an inch in length.
Fire Ant Color: Fire ants are reddish-brown.
WHERE ARE FIRE ANTS FOUND?
Fire ants inhabit most of the Gulf Coast states, as well as most of eastern Texas. They have also established themselves further north into parts of Tennessee and North Carolina.
These ants nest in the soil and construct large mounds that are easily seen in lawns and pastures. A single lawn may contain a dozen or more mounds.
Fire ants will also nest within landscape mulch and beneath items on the ground, such as landscape timbers. The mounds of these colonies may be shallow and poorly structured, making them difficult to detect if you aren't trained to do so.
Fire ants may also construct mounds next to structure foundations and enter homes through weep holes or other exterior cracks and holes. Once inside, the workers travel in trails beneath the edge of carpeting. On occasion, fire ants will bring soil into the walls or beneath the first floor and construct nests.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU GET BITTEN BY A FIRE ANT?
Although the vast majority of stings result only in raised welts that may develop a white pustule, a person may be allergic to the insect sting and could experience a more serious reaction. Additionally, a person rarely receives just one sting. Rather, fire ants can inflict dozens or more stings quickly on a person accidentally kneeling or standing next to or on a fire ant mound. Refer to Mayo Clinic recommendations if you do have a reaction to fire ant bites and seek medical assistance.
FIRE ANT CONTROL
Because of the potential health threat posed by fire ants, it's important to take steps to control the ants in and around your home. DIY ant treatment can be difficult and is often ineffective and could potentially be dangerous.
A trained pest control professional will be able to identify the specific ant species you're dealing with and put together an effective treatment plan to address it. Ant treatments aren't universal. It takes a professional to know how to treat the specific ant infestation in your home. Terminix® can help.
And with ants, the best offense is a good defense. A Terminix Pest Control Plan can also help prevent ants from entering your home. Learn more about our Pest Control Plan that covers ants and other common household pests.