Fire ants get their name from the burning feeling their bites cause. Stepping in a fire ant mound is a painful experience that no one wants to have. This is why it’s important to know what to do about fire ants on your Dallas, Texas property.
What Do Fire Ants Look Like?
Fire ants range from reddish-brown to reddish-black. They are 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch long. Only certain members of the colony have wings, reproductive males and females. More often than not, you will identify fire ants through their nests and behavior.
Their mounds differ from anthills because they do not have an opening like anthills. They enter their mounds through tunnels that can reach as far as several feet away from the mound. Fire ants create their mounds out of dirt. Mounds can be small or up to 18 inches high. You can usually find mounds in moist areas, after rain, and in open spaces.
Ants, in general, are social insects. Their colonies are made up of thousands of individuals. Fire ants are more aggressive than other ant species. If their nest is disturbed, fire ants will swarm, bite, and sting the animal or person threatening them.
How Dangerous Are Fire Ants?
Fire ants deliver a painful sting which causes a burning sensation when they swarm. Fire ants bite their prey and then sting multiple times. They are even more dangerous to those with allergies. People with allergies to fire ant stings can experience a severe reaction that needs to be treated by a medical professional.
Suppose you are unsure if you were bitten by fire ants, but you have inflamed, red spots forming blisters. Stings can continue to hurt and itch for several days. If you do not have a severe reaction, you can treat the sting area with soap and water. Keep the wounds clean and bandaged to prevent infection.
Fire Ant Prevention
When preventing any pest, you want to consider three main factors; food, water, and shelter. Before turning to pesticides, try to limit the factors that attract them. For fire ants:
- Keep outdoor garbage cans clean and secure.
- If you have fruit trees, make sure to pick up any fallen fruit.
- Keep your lawn maintained by keeping your lawn cut low and raking when needed.
- Create dry zones using landscape bedding such as mulch.
- Reduce water sources such as leaky faucets and properly maintain gutters.
Eliminating Fire Ants
Prevention is essential for fire ants because it is nearly impossible to get rid of them with DIY methods. There are several reasons why it is challenging to eliminate fire ants from your Dallas area property.
- Colonies are made up of hundreds of thousands of ants.
- Their tunnels can lead several feet away from the nest.
- If you find and destroy their nest, they will disperse and recolonize.
- Even if their nest is only disturbed, they may relocate to protect the colony.
- OTC pesticides are not usually strong enough to tackle a fire ant colony.
- The safest and most effective way to deal with a fire ant infestation is to seek professional help.
Professional Fire Ant Elimination
The professionals at Evolve Pest Control are here to help you keep your Dallas, Texas property fire ant-free. We provide residential and commercial customers with safe and effective pest control solutions. If you are dealing with a fire ant infestation on your property, contact the professionals at Evolve Pest Control.