They don’t call them fire ants without cause. Fire ants are nasty, aggressive, and dangerous. Their venom contains toxins that pose a threat to humans. Primarily found in the south and southwest, fire ants pose a problem to people in Phoenix when their colony is disturbed.
What Does A Fire Ant Mound Look Like?
Fire ant mounds are a distinctive feature in the world of ant hills, characterized by their unique appearance and size. Unlike traditional ant hills that typically have a central opening or entrance, a fire ant mound presents a different structure altogether. Instead of a visible opening at the top, it resembles a mound of dirt or soil, which might appear deceptively simple at first glance. However, upon closer inspection, you’ll notice several key characteristics that set it apart and will help you identify fire ants.
One of the most striking aspects of a fire ant mound is its size. These mounds can grow to impressive heights, sometimes reaching up to an astonishing two feet or more in height. This makes a fire ant nest considerably larger than most other ant hills you might encounter. The remarkable height of a fire ant mound is a result of their extensive underground tunneling and nesting activities.
Fire ant workers are particularly active during specific temperature ranges, and it’s during these times that you’re most likely to encounter them. Typically, fire ants become more visible when the temperatures range from 72 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit. This range is considered optimal for their foraging and nest maintenance activities. However, outside of this temperature bracket, fire ants tend to remain underground, where they can continue to thrive and expand their colony in peace.
It’s crucial to note that even when you can’t see fire ants on the exterior of their mound, it doesn’t imply that you should disregard their presence or leave them undisturbed. Fire ant colonies can be highly aggressive and pose a considerable threat to both humans and pets. Fire ant stings are painful and can cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals. Moreover, the red imported fire ant can damage your property, harm native wildlife, and even disrupt local ecosystems.
If you suspect or observe any signs of a fire ant infestation on your property, it’s imperative to take action promptly. Leaving a colony unchecked can make it harder to get rid of fire ants. Contact professionals who specialize in fire ant identification and removal.
At the first signs of ant infestations, whether it’s red fire ants, carpenter ants, or other insects, don’t hesitate to reach out to experts like Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination. Our experienced team can assess the situation, develop a targeted pest management plan, and employ safe and effective methods to eliminate the threat, ensuring your family’s safety.
What Do Fire Ants Look Like?
There are three species of fire ants found in Phoenix, and all three species of fire ants are dangerous. Reddish brown to black in color, adult fire ants have two nodes and 10-segmented antennae. They vary in size from an eighth to a quarter inch in length.
Are Fire Ants Dangerous To Humans?
Unlike other ant species, fire ants can bite multiple times. Their venom contains toxins that cause a burning sensation, infection, allergic reactions, and in rare cases death by allergic reaction. For most people, taking an antihistamine is all they need to cure their symptoms. If that doesn’t work, seek medical attention immediately.
What Attracts Fire Ants
Understanding what attracts fire ants is essential for effective pest management and prevention. Fire ants are drawn to specific environmental conditions, food sources, and shelter opportunities, making it crucial to be aware of these factors to reduce their presence around your home and property.
Here are some key factors that attract fire ants:
Fire ants are opportunistic foragers, and they are primarily attracted to food. They have a diverse diet, including insects, small vertebrates, plants, and even sugary substances. Any accessible food items, such as discarded crumbs, pet food left outdoors, fallen fruit, or garbage, can attract fire ants.
Fire ants are especially fond of moist environments. They tend to build their nests in areas with consistent access to water. Overwatered lawns, leaky pipes, or containers that collect rainwater can create ideal conditions for fire ants.
Fire ants construct their characteristic mounds in areas that provide suitable nesting conditions. Loose, sandy, or well-drained soils are ideal for them to create tunnels and chambers.
Proximity to Human Activity
Fire ants are often found near areas with human activity. They are attracted to disturbances in the soil, making construction sites, gardens, and well-trafficked outdoor spaces appealing to them.
Fire ants have a sweet tooth. They are attracted to sugary substances like nectar, honeydew produced by aphids, and even sugary spills or residues.
Fire ants are known to be territorial and aggressive. They are attracted to areas where they can eliminate potential competitors, such as other ant species or pest insects.
Fire Ant Prevention
As with many pests, the key to fire ant prevention in Phoenix includes a few basic steps:
- Keep human and pet food in sealed containers: Additionally, keep sweet items tightly sealed and properly dispose of food items immediately to help reduce ant activity.
- Restrict food consumption to tiled areas of the home: It’s best to eat only in areas of the home that are easier to clean, especially if you’re battling red ants.
- Clean spills immediately using soapy water: Use soapy water or a specialty cleaner to ensure ant trails won’t lead to your spilled food items.
- Vacuum corners of all rooms on a regular basis. A build-up of dirt and other particles is a food festival for fire ants and other ants.
- House maintenance: Seal cracks in your home’s foundation and invest in proper drainage and maintenance to eliminate excess moisture.
- Eliminate potential nesting sites: Remove piles of debris, mulch, or logs near your home.
- Use baits: Fire ants work in colonies and need their queen to stay active. The key to getting rid of an infestation is to kill the queen. Using baits can be an effective solution, because the worker ants bring it back to the colony, and the ants, including the queen, die.
Use these steps to prevent fire ants from taking over your home and property. However, it can be challenging to kill fire ants effectively using the DIY methods alone. Bringing in a professional exterminator can ensure that fire ant bites are a thing of the past.
Work With Budget Brothers Today
Our experts can completely eliminate this invasive species from your home. Have a persistent ant problem? Contact the professionals.