Being unmistakable, ants have enough common characteristics that make them relatively obvious among the insects. Though they all have their similarities, the different ant species have their distinctions. Fire ants are among the most common. The painful stings and bites they deliver to their victims is what fire ants are notorious for. These ants are a dark reddish brown and have six legs that extend from their segmented, oval bodies, along with the standard antennae from their head. From about 1/8” to 3/8” in length, red fire ants’ range in size.

Fire Ant Mounds

The somewhat large, irregular shaped mounds that average between two and four square feet in size is what makes fire ants particularly distinguishable. The fire ants are commonly introduced into new areas through shrubs, potted plants and trees. Often where the red imported fire ants usually nest is the soil in nearby areas in landscaping or next to structural foundations. Though these ants tend to prefer the outside, they typically will infiltrate buildings through HVAC systems and AC units. The culprits often describe the fire ant attack as a relentlessly stinging when the nest is disturbed. Bites are first raised welts and white pustules are likely to evolve later. Fire ants will deliver multiple stings in most cases. People can be sensitive to their stings and suffer from allergies that range from mild to severe as well.

How Big are Fire Ant Infestations?

Usually comprising of a queen and workers, the fire ant colony is large, they easily having over 200,000 ant members. Underground tunnels that can extend up to 25 feet away from the mound are featured on the nests they build. Fire ants experience four stages in their life including the egg, larvae, pupae, and adults. The ants will work on them for months before these mounds are large enough to be noticed. Being especially partial to fatty foods, fire ant’s diet consists of fruit, seeds, dead animals, plant nectar, and honeydew.

What Will Keep Fire Ants Away?

Fire Ant Product Testing

Active ingredients including bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, gamma-cyhalothrin or permethrin have been found to kill fire ants but there are likely others not discovered to be effective as yet. In this industry, Snell Scientifics provide a vast majority of the fire ant tests. For field testing fire ant products, our knowledgeable scientists offer effective test methods. With baits, sprays, dusts, nest-treatments, and more, Snell Scientifics run tests year around. As long as 12 months or as short as 30 days, we can run tests. To discuss your needs and customize a protocol to meet your needs, call us today!