What To Do About Fire Ants On Your Gainesville Property

May 15, 2021

It’s not hard to see why they’re called “fire ants”; all it takes is one false step on an ant mound in bare feet and you’re in for a painful, fiery surprise. Fire ants can make enjoying your property impossible as you continually worry about the aggressive insects stinging unsuspecting victims. If you’re experiencing an infestation or want to be prepared for an infestation in the future, here’s what to do about fire ants on your Gainesville property.

fire ants crawling on landscaping

About Fire Ants

Fire ants belong to the genus Solenopsis, which are stinging ants. They are known to latch onto threats with their powerful jaws and thrust their venomous stinger into flesh. Fire ants are particularly aggressive and will attack in droves if anything trespasses into their territory. They are an invasive species accidentally brought from South America, which is why they are also known as Red Invasive Fire Ants (RIFAs). 

You can recognize fire ants by their red or rusty brown coloration and their small stature. Most fire ants only measure ¼ inch in length, but their strength is in numbers, not size. A single fire ant colony can have as many as half a million members and can occupy over an acre of land. Their nesting sites can be identified by the presence of large dirt mounds patrolled by fearsome red ants.

Like most pest insects, fire ants will come indoors in search of food. While fire ants are stressful to have in your yard, they can be downright distressing to have in your home or business. 

Are Fire Ants Dangerous?

Fire ants don’t cause serious harm to most people, but they are a painful nuisance nonetheless. Many fire ants can attack at once, inflicting not only pain but panic in their victims. The stings typically result in swelling, soreness, and itching at the site of injection. Unfortunately for some, the effects of fire ant stings can be more serious.

For those who are allergic to fire ant stings, anaphylaxis can set in. An anaphylactic reaction will cause breathing difficulties and shock in the victim. Anaphylaxis is potentially life-threatening, and those afflicted must seek medical attention immediately.

Why Can’t I Get Rid Of Fire Ants?

Fire ants are notoriously difficult to get rid of. While the difficulty in eliminating pests like bed bugs is actually locating them, the problem with fire ants is that they have developed several strategies for surviving extermination. 

Fire ant colonies will often have multiple queens, making baiting treatments less effective. Even if one queen is killed, there may be several others still producing eggs. Fire ants are known to engage in a behavior called “budding,” in which a new queen and some worker ants will establish a satellite colony of their own in the periphery of the original colony. This behavior allows fire ants to take over a staggering amount of space and boast some terrifying population numbers. 

When threatened, fire ants are known to disperse and recolonize in a nearby location. So, if you attack a mound directly, you may simply be encouraging the colony to move. Fire ant colonies can be massive, and even killing off hundreds or thousands of individuals can be a superficial loss from which the colony can easily recover. 

The good news is that you can deal with fire ants safely and effectively by calling the professionals at Alternative Pest Control. For more than 35 years, our expert technicians have been providing friendly and effective service to our customers. We work with you to create the best pest control plan for your situation and never make you commit to any long-term contracts. For relief from fire ants and other problem pests on your Gainesville property, get in touch with us today.

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