Fire ants (or Red Imported Fire ants (RIFA), as they're commonly known in the United States) are not known to bother people much, and they are not considered invasive. They pretty much keep to themselves in colonies outdoors, including on your Kingwood property. Doesn't sound too bad, right?
Fire ants are not only nuisances, they are aggressive pests that will attack you and your family, and repeatedly sting if you disturb them. They are known for their large colony hills and for their painful sting, and are most prominent in the Southern, Southwestern, and Western United States, If you get bit enough times by enough of these ants, you will probably need to seek medical attention quickly.
Ants are among the most hearty, resilient, and adaptable insects around, and most species can be difficult to get rid of, so it's a good idea to know what type of ants you're dealing with to help you in managing them.
Fire Ants (Solenopsis Invicta)
Fire ants are reddish-brown to reddish-black in color, and range between 1/8" and 1/4" in length. Like other ant species, these ants live in colonies. Their colony comprises a rigid social structure, with queen(s), workers, drones, and reproductives.
Fire ants are almost always found in outdoor mounds, with a queen or multiple queens, depending on the size of the colony. Within less than three or four weeks, a Fire ant colony can expand to include thousands of stinging ants.
One distinction of Fire ants from other ant species is that their isn't isn't accessible directly through the mound, but rather from an intricate series of underground tunnels that extend out to several feet beyond the mound itself. Just because you find a mound doesn't mean you have an active Fire ant colony to deal with, but this can make them difficult to locate and get rid of.
How Do You Get Rid of Fire Ants?
As with many other ant and insect invader pest species, keeping your lawn well kept and the interior of your home clean will help in controlling Fire ants on your property and in your home. No matter how clean your home is, keep in mind that ants can show up in even the cleanest of homes. Try the following tips to help you get rid of Fire ants:
To treat a mound, Fire ant bait and directly drowning the mound with pesticide is the most effective way to eliminate it. Fire ants have a way of regrouping and making a comeback, so watch for that after a treatment.
To treat Fire ants indoors, should they wander into your house:
- Ant baits and sprays labeled to treat Fire ants can be applied regularly according to label directions. Baiting is always more effective than spraying, but careful NOT to spray where you've placed bait, or it will just drive the ants away. You can apply spray into cracks, crevices, behind baseboards, etc.
- You can also treat around the outside of your home regularly with a yard bug spray LINK to perimeter treatment article
- Mow your lawn regularly. Trim your shrubs and trees at least an inch or two away from the side of your home.
- It is critical to ensure that all of your food products (including pet food) is well-sealed and stored.
- Promptly wipe up food and beverage spills, keep your sink free of empty dishes, and sweep and mop regularly in your kitchen. Make sure all leaks indoors and outdoors are repaired.
- If you find ants entering your home through a crack in the baseboards, doors, or windows, seal it up with caulk or spackling. Screen off pipe and utility entry points.
You can do a lot to help prevent Fire ants on your property (which will also help keep away other pests from your home and yard), but wouldn't you rather be enjoying your downtime with family and friends? Despite your best efforts to manage them, sometimes Fire ants can still become a problem. Save yourself all sorts of stress, money, and time by calling our Kingwood, TX pest control experts today at 832-898-0190. Enjoy your summer with your family and friends, and let us help you get your yard and home Fire ant-free!