Summer months are notorious for bringing vibrant sunshine, the inevitable heat, and a not so desirable fire. Fire ants are more than just a backyard nuisance – they’re capable of harming you, your children, and even your beloved pets. This highly invasive species can be found in various parts of the country including certain areas of Southern California, particularly in North County San Diego, San Bernardino and Palm Springs. Fire ants are unlike the typical ants that invade your kitchen looking to quench their thirst. This particular breed is venomous and relentless. NOTE: A general ant treatment will do nothing to eradicate a fire ant population. In fact, it can break the colony into smaller groups and give you multiple colonies to battle. Take the necessary precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe. Below we have included some tips on how to identify fire ants, treat stings, and rid these irritants from your property.
How to Identify Fire Ants:
- Fire ants vary in size ranging from 1/16th of an inch to 1/5th of an inch in length.
- Fire ants have a dark reddish-brown hue
- These insects build dirt mounds that can eclipse 12 inches in height and diameter, stretching up to 5 feet below the soil!
Behavior “The Telltale Signs”:
- Fire ants are very aggressive and territorial in regard to their colony
- One way to determine if a mound houses fire ants is by taking a long object and stirring the soil nearby with extreme caution. If they fervently climb or “attack” the object, they are most likely fire ants.
Are Fire Ants Harmful?
- Fire ants possess venom that causes your skin to swell into a bump
- Stings often bring a burning sensation, hence the name “fire ant”
How to Treat a Fire Ant Sting:
- When stung, elevate the affected area and keep it clean
- Do not scratch the irritated area because this may lead to infection.
- Some individuals are highly allergic to venom. If you are stung and experience chest pain, nausea, loss of breath, or other severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Why and Where are They in my Yard?
- Fire ants feed on sprouting seeds or plants, tiny or dead animals, as well as damaged plant life.
- They can often be found near moist areas, under boulders, brick piles, and woodpiles.
How to Prevent Fire Ants
Being a potentially harmful invader, these ants are a fire you don’t want to mess with. If you see a mound on your property, contact your local ant control company to professionally eradicate these relentless colonial dwellers.
If you are a resident of Southern California and suspect a fire ant infestation in your yard, contact Lloyd Pest Control to recommend a course of treatment.