Fire ants are a common invasive species that you can find in many yards and near many homes. Fire ants will go dormant in the winter, retreating deep in their nest while waiting for warmer temperatures. In Texas, spring comes a little earlier than most and you can already begin to see fire ants at work. A-Tex Pest Management would like to share how to identify fire ants, their nesting sites, and a few tips on how to control them in your yard and keep them from entering your home.
What Do Fire Ants & Mounds Look Like?
Most people don’t have a hard time identifying fire ants as they are one of the larger species of ants that are bright red in color. Some fire ant colonies can have ants with a black abdomen while the rest of them are red or orange in color. Fire ants can grow between 1/8 to ¼ of an inch long and have large roundish heads. As fire ants are easy to identify, so are their mound and nest sites. Fire ants like to live underground and can thrive in any type of soil. They typically like to build their nest in sunny areas on the lawn or even under the cover of rocks. If left alone, fire ant mounds can get very tall, even as high as 24 inches. Fire ant nests can have multiple mounds and entry points.
Fire Ant Supercolony
Fire ants are considered to be very invasive species. They are able to form super colonies with multiple queens and branching sister colonies that they live alongside and work with. Not only are fire ants super invasive, they are also aggressive when defending their nest. Fire Ants don’t just bite. They sting as well. Fire ants will clamp down on an intruder and then sting them with the venomous stinger on their abdomen. Stings from a fire can be painful, resulting in a burning sensation along with swelling and itchiness. Some people can have an allergic reaction and require medical assistance.
Fire Ant Pest Inspections, Control & More in Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville, Cedar Park & Austin Texas
Preventing Fire ants isn’t always easy as they are invasive. They are even able to take over other ant and termite colonies. However, to help make your yard as unappealing as possible, start by eliminating potential food and water sources. Again, this can be hard as ants can drink from morning dew. Additionally, fire ants will eat other insects and any discarded food they come across. However, you can discourage ant colonies from forming by keeping the lawn cut in the spring and summer. Trim vegetation and stir mulch every few weeks. Ants don’t like to build their nest where there is a lot of activity. To control ants from entering your home, your best defense is with pest control services. They can apply a barrier insecticide spray that can kill any wandering ants. Additionally, they can place ant baits or use mound treatment to directly target the heart of the ant colony. For those who have fire ants in their yard or want to prevent ants and other pests this coming spring and summer season, contact A-Tex Pest Management and schedule our services today.