As the temperatures rise we will begin to see more and more insects roaming around our homes and yard. One common spring and summer pests are ants. There are many ants species that thrive throughout Texas including Fire Ants. Fire ants are one of the larger ants species still smaller than carpenter ants but must larger than the average ant species seen roaming Texas. Fire ants are well known for their color, size and stings. Where they are not a super invasive species when they are found inside the home and in the yard they are unwelcome due to their nasty stings. Fire ant stings are painful and can cause severe allergic reactions in some. A-Tex Pest Management will share how to properly identify and control fire ants if they invade your homes and yards.
Ant Identification & Behavior
Fire ants range in both size and color. Fire ants can be a dark reddish-brown color even almost black, to a light reddish-orange color. Some may appear bi-colored with a light head and a darker abdomen. As they range in color they can also range in size from 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch in length. One of the most common fire ant species is the red imported fire ant that was brought to the U.S. in 1920 where they have adapted and spread throughout the eastern and southern states especially, in eastern Texas.
Fire Ant Bites & Stings
Fire ants are one of a few species of ants that have a stinger, when a fire ant stings they will first bite down on the target then repeatedly sting their target. Fire ants will only bite if there is an invader too close to their nest or mound.
Fire Ant Mounds & Nests
Fire ants will build nests in multiple types of environments such as inside dead or dry trees, mulch and of course underground. They can dig anywhere underground even underneath the foundation of homes, in garden beds and between cracks of concrete, paver stones and rocks. Fire ants do not like extreme weather during the high heat of summer and the cold of winter they will retreat into the nest and stay underground. This means they must collect enough food for the intense seasons. They will become more aggressive in their search for food, they prefer seeds, but also feed on meats and sweets. They also need water and will look for a water source and will invade the bathroom and kitchen in the home in search of food and water if they can’t find it outside.
How to Prevent Fire Ants in Your House
Controlling fire ants varies from keeping them out of your home and out of your yard. Keeping them out of your home starts with maintaining a clean home, essentially you want to deprive them of food and water. Keep all of your food especially those in the pantry sealed in air-tight containers, and never leave dirty dishes in the sink. Maintain your home’s plumbing meaning you don’t want any small leaks where ants can use to drink, this can be challenging in the bathroom. After depriving ants of food and water consider applying an insecticide around the outside and inside of the home. As long as the point of entry of the fire ants isn’t near a drain insecticides can be applied to help keep the ants out. For yard or house, protection considers contact and quality pest control service.