Fire Ant Identification & Prevention
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What are fire ants?
Fire ants are a non-native species that thrive throughout the southern United States mainly due to the lack of natural predators. These ants live together in large groups and quickly take over outdoor spaces, including our Charlotte, North Carolina yards. The presence of fire ants can drive people indoors and make it impossible to enjoy their outdoor spaces.
We identify fire ants by their small size (less than 1/4 of an inch long) and reddish-brown or reddish-black color. Their most notable trait is their stinger which they use as a means of defense.
Are fire ants dangerous?
Fire ants are tiny, but they don't let their size stop them. They are aggressive, social insects that work together as an angry mob to defend themselves and their nests from harm. In addition to significant pain, the sting from a fire ant results in a red, fluid-filled raised welt developing around the sting site.
These ants pose a significant threat to people; their stings cause a fire-like pain, and the venom they inject with each sting can trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction. Each year around 30 people succumb to fire ant stings. The more fire ant stings a person or animal receives, the more severe the response will be.
Why do I have a fire ant problem?
Like other types of ants, fire ants are most problematic on properties that offer suitable nesting sites close to food and water sources. Fire ants are omnivores; gardens, trash cans, and outdoor eating areas offer them multiple foraging sites. Leaky hoses, outdoor fixtures, and air conditioners provide reliable water sources.
Fire ants are problematic and difficult to control because they can disperse and relocate when their nest is disturbed.
Where will I find fire ants?
Fire ants are typically outdoor pests; while they may move into our homes foraging for food, they rarely nest indoors. However, fire ants will sometimes invade, create a nest inside, and damage air conditioners or other large electrical equipment.
Fire ants build nests in open sunny areas; they typically avoid shady or wooded areas. Yards and open fields like parks and playgrounds are common nesting sites for fire ants.
As these ants tunnel through the soil and create nesting galleries, they push the excess soil to the surface, creating large dirt mounds. Discovering fire ant hills in your yard indicates you should contact a professional for help. A professional can determine the extent of the infestation and implement a treatment plan.
How do I get rid of fire ants?
A fire ant infestation is not a pest problem you can ignore. They pose a significant threat to you, your family, and your pets. Fire ants thrive in Charlotte and are challenging to eliminate once they reach your yard. To successfully eliminate these stinging pests and stop their return, partner with a local and experienced professional.
At ProForce Pest Control, we will provide you with the comprehensive home pest control services necessary to rid your yard of these dangerous pests. We understand that each family and property we service is unique, and we will individualize our services to meet your needs. With our help, you can enjoy your yard without worrying about being stung by fire ants. Call today to learn more about our fire ant control services.
How can I prevent fire ants in the future?
Use the following tips to help keep fire ants in North Carolina out of your yard and away from your family.
- Keep leaves and mulch raked back from your home's perimeter.
- Reseed bare spots in your yard.
- Seal cracks in the foundation and spaces around utilities to keep fire ants from easily entering your house.
- Eliminate excess water sources.
- Remove their access to food by keeping lids on trash cans, keeping outdoor eating areas clean, and picking up uneaten pet food.
Don't try to tackle a fire ant infestation alone; if they find their way to your property, call today.
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