While a common black ant invasion can be a nuisance, a fire ant infestation is something more to be reckoned with. Fire ants behave aggressively if provoked, and their stings are excruciating--and sometimes fatal to those who are allergic.
If you see large, reddish-brown ants with a dark abdomen on your property, there’s most likely a fire ant colony nearby. Below are some crucial facts you should know about these insects that shed some light on why they can be such a problem.
1. Fire ants are venomous.
Fire ant stings are incredibly painful because of the venom they inject into your body. The bites develop into pus-filled blisters. Although these wounds usually heal on their own, fire ant stings can have more severe consequences in large quantities. For instance, those severely allergic to fire ant venom can go into anaphylactic shock if stung. A recent study of the venom also shows that it contains poisons that affect the nervous system, explaining why some people with numerous stings hallucinate.
2. Fire ant queens can keep colonies growing for several years.
The problem with a lot of DIY fire ant removal strategies is that they never “take out” the queens. Even if you kill hundreds of worker ants, a queen fire ant can live for seven years or more, and she can lay up to 800 eggs on an average day if fed by her worker ants. What’s more, one nesting site will often be home to several queens.
3. Fire ant colonies aren’t just big--they’re enormous.
An average fire ant colony contains anywhere between 100,000 and 500,000 sterile workers. On top of that, it will have up to several hundred queens and winged forms (larger, winged reproductive adults). The vast size of the colony alone makes many DIY extermination methods ineffective as a long-term solution.
4. There is no entry point to the fire ant nest through the mound.
While other anthills have entrances through which the ants can access their tunnels, a fire ant mound offers no way in. Fire ants create the mounds by pushing up the dirt they remove when making tunnels. The colonies live in an extensive network of tunnels, and sometimes they don’t create mounds at all. Beware when attacking the mound itself--as sooner as the fire ants detect a threat, they’ll emerge simultaneously from the surrounding tunnels to sting the trespasser.
Call Horizon Pest Control now at (888) 617-6133 for expert ant extermination in New Jersey or New York, or contact us online to request a free estimate.