Imagine walking through your sparkling kitchen after you have just cleaned it, enjoying the sanitary scent, when suddenly you feel an excruciating burning sensation on your feet. You look down only to find a line of tiny, reddish-brown ants attacking you. These are not your ordinary grass-lined ants; they are fire ants who are a significant problem in many parts of the world. A Five Star Termite & Pest Control delves more into fire ants below to help you detect and address a fire ant infestation on your property quickly.
How Do I Identify Fire Ants
Fire ants are typically reddish-brown to reddish-black in color and are known to be aggressive little buggers. They range in size between a 1/8 to ¼ inches in length. In most cases their head is darker than their body. They have the standard ant features with the head, thorax and abdomen. However, their body is covered in a fine layer of hair, giving them a slightly fuzzy appearance. The abdomen may appear slightly more rounded and larger compared to other ant species. Aside from their appearance, fire ants behavior is quite different from the regular pesky ant. They are aggressive in nature with a sting that feels like your skin is on fire—hence the name.
What is an Indicator of an Ant Infestation?
Fire ants can be a nuisance and due to their painful stings, can be dangerous to have around. Recognizing the signs of a fire ant infestation early can help you take action to control and eliminate them. Besides the visible presence of fire ants, here are some common signs of a fire ant infestation:
1) Evidence of Ant Mounds: Fire ants build their distinct dirt habitats several inches tall and wide. Much larger than the standard ant. They have a cone-like shape but no sign of where the entrance hole is.
2) Mound Building Material: Fire ants often gather sticks and leaves and other debris for their nests. If you see piles of these materials, it may indicate an infestation.
3) Distinct Fire Ant Trails: When searching for food, fire ants leave a clear traveling path that lead straight to their food source.
4) Plant Damage: If you have noticed some of your plants wilting or becoming poor in health, this could be due to fire ants building their tunnels around the roots and feeding on the plants tissue.
How to Prevent Fire Ants in Your Home & Yard
After imagining them in your clean kitchen, I bet you now want to know how to avoid these little reddish devils from invading your space. Generally, they like the outdoors. But occasionally they want to escape harsh weather or come in for a snack or drink. They have been known to nest in the electrical and utility conduits, such as those used for plumbing or wiring. To avoid these possibilities from happening, you can take several precautions:
1) Keep your home clean and free of food crumbs. Clean up any crumbs or spills as soon as it happens.
2) Fix any leaks in your plumbing. Fire ants love a good leak!
3) Consider using ant traps or baits if you notice any evidence of ants near your home.
4) Trim plants and bushes around the perimeter of your home. Large vegetation is a great nesting ground for fire ant colonies
5) Seal any cracks or gaps in the bottom of each door, window or walls. This will prevent easy access for them to enter.
6) Call your favorite pest control company, A Five Star Termite & Pest Control. Our friendly and professional exterminators would be happy to assess the situation and exterminate them for good.
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Even in a clean kitchen, fire ants can invade your space. They can be dangerous to both humans and animals. If you suspect a fire ant infestation on your property, call A Five Star Termite & Pest Control and we can help you eliminate them safely and effectively.