Ants are among the most successful of all insects and the Fire Ant has developed into a very aggressive member of success. Not only are they damaging to agriculture but also dangerous to young animals and humans.
There are 4 types of Fire Ants found in the United States. The original Fire Ant was found in coastal areas of the southern U.S., particularly in Florida. This ant is reddish brown to dark in color and is 1/16th of an inch long. The original Fire Ant does not make large dirt mounds in the soil, and is not always aggressive to sting when in contact with animals or human.
The Red Imported Fire Ant is found in coastal plain areas of the southern states, from South Carolina, south along the Atlantic coast into southern Florida, across the southern states into much of the eastern half of Texas. This ant is a touch larger than the Original Fire Ant, reddish brown to dark in color, makes large mounds of dirt in the soil, and is very aggressive to sting when in contact with animals or humans. Large colonies of this ant can have up to 300 to 500,000 workers, which live from 1 to 9 months, can forage over 100 yards from the nest. Some Red Imported Fire Ant colonies have multiple queen colonies of up to 60 queens that can live up to 7 years. These ants also produce super colonies that have workers from different colonies supporting and tending to more than one colony in the same area.
The Black Imported Fire Ants are only around the northern end of the border between Mississippi and Alabama. Once quite common in the southern U.S., it has been displaced by competition from the Imported Fire Ant. The Black Fire Ant has no importance to us in Florida since it is not here.
The fourth and smallest of all Fire Ants is the Tropical Little Fire Ant found in Florida and California. The Tropical Little Fire Ant is small about 1/15th of an inch long. This ant is lighter reddish to red in color and lives outside in mulch, logs, under stones, high moisture areas and next to structures. This ant moves around very slowly and is sensitive to cold, and appears only in the warmest weather. The Tropical Little Fire Ant is a serious household pest, contaminating food and infesting unlaundered clothing and beds. All of the fire ant types feed on organic material, body oils, dead insects, food scraps, and even oil products such as grease and silicone.
All fire ants are notorious for their painful, burning sting that results in a pustule of intense itching, which may persist for several days. Some people have allergic reactions to fire ant stings that range from rashes and swelling to paralysis and death. Immediate first aid is vital for all fire ant stings. If a person is exhibiting symptoms of dizziness, nausea, sweating, swelling of affected area, headache, or shortness of breath they should seek medical attention. If none of these symptoms are present, apply ice and ammonia on the affected area for temporary relief. To prevent secondary infection, keep affected area clean and do not scratch or break pustules.
Keep your lawn an area of recreation for fun and relaxation. Don’t let Fire Ants take over and spoil your Southwest Florida lifestyle. Call Collier Pest Control, Southwest Florida’s Pest Authority, to eradicate the fire ants from your lawn with our specially developed technique in fire ant control. Safe effective baiting and residual spraying methods are used to eliminate the workers, stop the queens from producing eggs, and controlling new infestations for a period of up to 90 days.
If you live in Naples, Fort Myers, or anywhere in Southwest Florida call 239-455-4300 for a complete explanation and free estimate on any of our services, or look us up on our web site at collierpestcontrol.com. Do not let unwanted guest spoil your beautiful Southwest Florida lifestyle. Remember, Florida does not have to be shared with insects!