The summer sunshine doesn’t just bring on the heat, it brings on the fire! Fire ants, that is. And they definitely aren’t the type of heat you want to have around.
Red Imported Fire Ant Identification
Red imported fire ants, aka RIFA on the rap circuit, range in reddish colors from reddish-brown to reddish-black. Are you picking up on the reddish theme that I’m putting down here? They measure from ⅛ of an inch to ¼ inch, in fact, the variation in size is one of their distinguishing characteristics. Who knew? So, red and varying in size equals fire ant.
Are Fire Ants Poisonous?
Well, that’s not all that equals a fire ant. Throw in venom-injecting stingers, biting mandibles, and segmented bodies, and then you have fire ants. But, let’s back the truck up to the venom-injecting stingers.
First off, OUCH! The one-two punch of the bite and subsequent venom injection is said to be extremely painful and feel like stinging and intense burning, but I will give you the simplified version, which is that it hurts like a mother. Not only are they able to sting multiple times, but all their friends and family who happen to be near will join in on the fun.
Their stings are highly irritating to humans and result in not-so-lovely red bumps with white pustules. And for the cherry on top, these pustules can ultimately lead to scarring. Oh, wait, one more thing, for some, RIFA stings can even be fatal. So there you have it. A word of advice would be to avoid fire ants at all cost.
And that is where HowToPest comes in. But before we get into that, read on, my little pretties.
RIFAs live in colonies that can reach upwards of 500,000 ants. They prefer dry fields where they have been known to grow their fire ant mounds 61 centimeters in diameter and 18 centimeters high. Undisturbed mounds in pastures have even grown to 18 inches high. A foot and a half! That is no joke. Colonies have at least one beloved, yet very, very busy queen (wink, wink!).
Since RIFA colonies can grow large enough to extend across several properties, it is not unusual for them to make their way onto your property from a neighbor. It is also not unusual for fire ants to move into your yard from infested nursery plants or sod brought in to spruce up your landscaping. Darn those little hitchhikers.
A lesson can be learned from my husband who unknowingly happened upon a fire ant mound in our backyard. It only took a moment to realize the error of his ways. He said he felt like his pants were on fire as he sprinted across the yard and dove, fully clothed, into our pool.
So, to avoid RIFA attacks, be very careful about where you step, where you lay your picnic blanket, where you sit, and where you place items on the ground. Be on the lookout for active RIFA mounds. They will look like mounds of fluffy worked soil that have no openings in the center, which is contrary to most other ant mounds, since fire ants prefer to tunnel underground to enter the mound. Mounds are much more visible after heavy rains.
How To Get Rid of Red Imported Fire Ants
Once you have stumbled across a RIFA mound and have become painfully aware of an infestation or have identified that you have an active RIFA situation on your hands, let your fingers do the walking right on over to the computer where HowToPest.com can help with any and all fire ant (and all other ants, for that matter) issues.
Professional grade RIFA products can be found HERE. Also, if you have any questions about what products might best suit your RIFA needs, we’ve got our handy dandy, highly trained, and super professional technicians available to answer any questions you might have.
Don’t get caught feeling like your pants are on fire. The solution is just a click away.