Fire Ants

Introduced into the USA only 60 years ago off a ship in Mobile, Alabama.

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Their mounds contain up to 100,000 ants and have many queens. Each mound has tunnels under the surface running down to about five feet. The mounds can be constructed in the open or under things like landscape timbers, sidewalks or foundations. They often appear "from nowhere" after a rain.

The queens usually lay eggs that develop into sterile workers. These workers are the foragers of food and they keep the colony well fed with their far ranging activity. Occasionally, the queens lay a different king of egg that develops into a swarmer that is either male or female and has wings. After the swarmers are nourished to maturity by the workers, they take off on a mating flight. Wherever the fertilized female swarmer lands she begins developing a new mound. This is why you will never have complete control.

Fire ants are many sizes, ranging from 2mm to 10mm, all being found in the same mound. They are attracted to electrical fields such as air-conditioning units and can cause hundreds of dollars of damage to compressor motors. They are also allured to soiled clothing as found in laundry rooms and closets.

These ants are very mobile and can move their entire colony in a very short time. We find that colonies that have been besieged by an ineffective treatment will often move to a new site, complicating control.

Fire ant bites are painful and result in a small pustule. Some people are overly sensitized to the venom and subsequent bites may create greater stress in the victim, possibly resulting in the inability to breathe. It is rare for these ants to bite if they are not defending a nest.

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Treatment:

If possible, ant infestations inside the home should be treated with baits that allow the workers to distribute the active ingredient among the colony, resulting in eradication. This may take several days. If this time delay is untenable due to the location of the ants or other circumstances, residual sprays or dusts may be applied but the homeowner should realize that the ants will be scattered. Only the ants that come in contact with the residual will be killed.

Effective yard control can be obtained by a semi-annual broadcast application of an IGR bait followed with a broadcast spray or bait ten to fourteen days later. Any mounds that occur in the following six months should be spot treated with bait granules.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please don't hesitate to call National Pestmobiles at 214-341-1498. For your convenience, you can request services from this website.

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