Fire Ants

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Fire Ants Accurate BlogRed imported fire ants get their common name from their ability to inflict painful bites and stings. These dark reddish-brown ants are an invasive species found mainly throughout the southern part of the U.S. Fire ants are omnivorous, meaning they will feed on animal or vegetable sources of food. The fire ant worker’s diet includes insects, earthworms, ticks, spiders, arthropod eggs, honeydew and other sweets. Plant sources of food include seeds. Young and newborn vertebrate animals eaten by fire ants include birds, rodents, and calves. Generally, fire ants readily consume carrion (dead animals) regardless of whether the fire ants themselves caused the animal to die. Fire ant larvae are fed by the worker adults and eat only a liquid diet until their third larval instar is complete. Fourth instar larvae are capable of digesting solid foods.

The Red Imported Fire Ant builds mounds in almost any type of soil but prefers open, sunny areas such as pastures, parks, lawns, meadows, and cultivated fields. Colonies can also be located in or under buildings. Mounds containing colonies can reach 18 inches in height, depending on the type of soil. Many times mounds are located in rotting logs and around stumps and trees. Check out where fire ants build their nests as well.

Types of fire ants

There are several species of fire ants found throughout the United States and some of them are indigenous. The Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis Invicta) is considered the worst of all fire ant types. It has become a major pest in many parts of the country. In fact, this ant’s ability to rapidly reproduce, its aggressive swarming behavior, and painful stings, have made the Red Imported Fire Ant one of the most detested insects around. The ant was accidently introduced into the United States during the 1930’s through the port of Mobile, Alabama. Red Imported Fire Ants have currently spread into at least 15 states that we know.

Prevention

Two methods of prevention work really well. The first, and the best for states with high concentrations of fire ants is to broadcast fire ant bait. Two of the most effective baits are Advion Fire Ant Bait or Extinguish Plus Fire Ant Bait. They should be broadcast in early spring before the ants begin to form new colonies. You should also broadcast bait again in the fall. The bait kills the queen once the worker ants gather it and bring it to her as food. Any mounds that survive should be treated individually by sprinkling the same bait around the base of each mound as they are noticed. You can also use Martin’s Surrender Fire Ant Bait to treat each mound between the fall and spring broadcasting protocol. Before proceeding with another method, make sure to check out more ways of fire ants prevention.

Another method, but less effective is broadcasting a granular insecticide such as Bifen LP. Similar to ant baits, this is broadcast both in the spring and fall. Unlike baits, granular insecticides must be watered-in to be effective. Each time the granules get wet, they release a small portion of insecticide. This makes granular insecticide useful as a long-term residual control method. As with other treatments, surviving mounds should be individually treated with baits.

How to Apply Fire Ant Baits

  • Apply Ant baits on a fairly sunny day, when there is a good amount of activity around the mound so that the Ants can begin to forage for the bait.
  • Do not put out the bait on extremely hot and rainy days; there is not as much activity to begin to source the bait.
  • You can use Ant Bait Insect Plates to put the granulated Ant bait inside to keep it dry and make it difficult for children and pets to get into.

Treat the stings as you would other insect stings or bites using an over-the-counter product. Keep the wound clean and intact to prevent infections. Excessive swelling, itching or redness at the site of the sting, or other symptoms like shortness of breath, thickening of the tongue, or profuse sweating are all symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. Seek professional medical attention immediately!

Red imported fire ants get their common name from their ability to inflict painful bites and stings. These dark reddish-brown ants are an invasive species found mainly throughout the southern part of the U.S. Fire ants are omnivorous, meaning they will feed on animal or vegetable sources of food. The fire ant worker’s diet includes insects, earthworms, ticks, spiders, arthropod eggs, honeydew and other sweets. Plant sources of food include seeds. Young and newborn vertebrate animals eaten by fire ants include birds, rodents, and calves. Generally, fire ants readily consume carrion (dead animals) regardless of whether the fire ants themselves caused the animal to die. Fire ant larvae are fed by the worker adults and eat only a liquid diet until their third larval instar is complete. Fourth instar larvae are capable of digesting solid foods.

The Red Imported Fire Ant builds mounds in almost any type of soil but prefers open, sunny areas such as pastures, parks, lawns, meadows, and cultivated fields. Colonies can also be located in or under buildings. Mounds containing colonies can reach 18 inches in height, depending on the type of soil. Many times mounds are located in rotting logs and around stumps and trees. Check out where fire ants build their nests as well.

Types of fire ants

There are several species of fire ants found throughout the United States and some of them are indigenous. The Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis Invicta) is considered the worst of all fire ant types. It has become a major pest in many parts of the country. In fact, this ant’s ability to rapidly reproduce, its aggressive swarming behavior, and painful stings, have made the Red Imported Fire Ant one of the most detested insects around. The ant was accidently introduced into the United States during the 1930’s through the port of Mobile, Alabama. Red Imported Fire Ants have currently spread into at least 15 states that we know.

Prevention

Two methods of prevention work really well. The first, and the best for states with high concentrations of fire ants is to broadcast fire ant bait. Two of the most effective baits are Advion Fire Ant Bait or Extinguish Plus Fire Ant Bait. They should be broadcast in early spring before the ants begin to form new colonies. You should also broadcast bait again in the fall. The bait kills the queen once the worker ants gather it and bring it to her as food. Any mounds that survive should be treated individually by sprinkling the same bait around the base of each mound as they are noticed. You can also use Martin’s Surrender Fire Ant Bait to treat each mound between the fall and spring broadcasting protocol. Before proceeding with another method, make sure to check out more ways of fire ants prevention.

Another method, but less effective is broadcasting a granular insecticide such as Bifen LP. Similar to ant baits, this is broadcast both in the spring and fall. Unlike baits, granular insecticides must be watered-in to be effective. Each time the granules get wet, they release a small portion of insecticide. This makes granular insecticide useful as a long-term residual control method. As with other treatments, surviving mounds should be individually treated with baits.

How to Apply Fire Ant Baits

  • Apply Ant baits on a fairly sunny day, when there is a good amount of activity around the mound so that the Ants can begin to forage for the bait.
  • Do not put out the bait on extremely hot and rainy days; there is not as much activity to begin to source the bait.
  • You can use Ant Bait Insect Plates to put the granulated Ant bait inside to keep it dry and make it difficult for children and pets to get into.

Treat the stings as you would other insect stings or bites using an over-the-counter product. Keep the wound clean and intact to prevent infections. Excessive swelling, itching or redness at the site of the sting, or other symptoms like shortness of breath, thickening of the tongue, or profuse sweating are all symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. Seek professional medical attention immediately!

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