With all of the possible pests homeowners face, ants rank near the top of the list when it comes to how common they are in the United States. Most species of ants are just nuisances. They don’t harm anything or anyone, yet they make homeowners and guests uncomfortable. Then there’s the dreaded fire ant. Fire ants are a different species entirely.
Fire ants are a bright red and are noted for having a stinger, unlike other ant species. Like normal ants, fire ants are relatively small in size and live in their ant colony. You’ll know if you come across a fire ant colony thanks to the appearance of large mound-like nests that are flattened and irregular in shape.
Things Get Worse With Fire Ants
Let’s be clear at this point. Fire ants are not to be trifled with like the other species of ants. While it’s usually referred to as a bite, fire ants sting people. More importantly, fire ants are especially territorial and will attack en masse if they feel threatened. Fire ants prove worse than other ant species in the following ways:
Their sting: This is the worst part about fire ants. The stings are painful just like with any other stinging insect. Most stings leave behind a raised welt that becomes a white pustule or pimple
Multiple attacks: As if the sting itself wasn’t bad enough, it’s a known fact that fire ants release a pheromone to communicate with other fire ants. Once released, the other ants become aware of the potential threat to their nest and attack as well. Multiple stinging bites are never a good experience.
Anaphylactic shock: While rare, it’s estimated that about 2% of the population is susceptible to this problem after experiencing the sting of a fire ant.
Resourceful: Fire ants can adapt by moving to other colonies, which are usually located nearby. More importantly, they will crown a new queen if they’re not completely neutralized the first time.
Skip These Typical Prevention Methods
At this point, it may be tempting to seek out do-it-yourself prevention methods to control your fire ant population. However, doing so could result in fallout you’re unprepared to deal with. Some typical prevention methods you may be tempted to try include:
Boiling Water: A method born of the Internet. This method involves pouring three gallons of boiling water on the ant mound. In fairness, this has been known to reduce the ant population by roughly 60% per treated mound. However, the remaining ants will just migrate to a new colony, which means the problem isn’t fixed. Plus, the splash effect could result in some really serious burns for the people doing the pouring.
Dish Soap Spray: It’s believed the chemical composition of the dish soap will cause the ant’s exoskeleton to break down, which forces them to dehydrate and die. However, this is still relatively ineffective and will leave you open to attack by the worker ants.
Gasoline: This solution is indeed toxic to fire ants much like it is to any other living creature, so it will kill them. However, gasoline is dangerous to handle and pouring this solution onto the ant mound is never recommended. Not only is gasoline extremely flammable, but it’s also known to kill grass and the surrounding vegetation along with any groundwater present in the soil.
It’s always a better idea to work with pest control professionals trained to handle fire ants. They have safer methods of treatment. Plus, with fire ants, the queen must be eliminated or the remaining ants will just create a new colony. The queen is usually deep in the mound, which makes it difficult to get to this important member of the fire ant colony.
Get Help With Fire Ants From DANCAN
Our team at DANCAN is committed to ensuring pest control is done right every time. We refuse to deliver anything less than top-tier services by using the highest quality products possible. Also, we utilize our trained pest technicians to ensure the right treatment is delivered to combat any pest that threatens your sense of peace and comfort.
Are you in need of fire ant prevention services? Then give us a call to speak with one of our agents about our professional fire ant control options or fill out our online form to schedule your quote.