Just their name makes them sound dangerous, but are fire ants really as dangerous as their name makes them out to be? The short answer to this question is yes; fire ants are much more dangerous and pose more health risks to people and pets than other species of nuisance, household-invading ants. Consequently, fire ants are a dangerous ant species to have living on your property or to have foraging for food inside your home. At Russell’s Pest Control, we want to provide you with the information you need to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from these venomous, stinging ants which, unfortunately, can become quite problematic in our area during the summer season.
Fire ants have copper colored heads and bodies that are either reddish-brown or black; they are also fairly small. What makes this species of ant so dangerous compared to other species of ants is that they use their very strong mandibles to bite and hold onto their victims; they then use a stinger on the end of their abdomen to sting and inject their venom into their victim. If you are ever stung by a fire ant, you will know it immediately due to the instant, extremely painful burning sensation that you will feel. Fire ants are aggressive and tend to swarm in large numbers. Several stings can kill a small animal and their venom is strong enough to cause an allergic response in humans, potentially causing a person to go into anaphylactic shock.
People tend to come into contact with fire ants more often during the summertime. There are a few reasons for this, including the biggest reason - the warm weather causes both people and fire ants to become more active, allowing for a greater chance for an encounter. Insects like fire ants are cold-blooded, which means that their activity levels will rise and fall with the temperatures. The warm summer temperatures cause fire ants to become very active; they are constantly out and about, foraging for food to feed their large colony. During the summer months, their population is usually at its highest point, allowing for a greater chance of people or pets to come in contact with these stinging ants.
In addition to their dangerous, venomous stings, these ants also pose other dangers to both people and properties, including:
- Fire ants are known for causing damage to farm crops and household plants.
- Fire ants are attracted to electrical equipment and have the potential to both enter inside of and damage air conditioners, circuit breakers, and more.
- Fire ants, like other species of household-invading ants, find their way inside of homes to forage for food. These ants will contaminate food stored in your home’s kitchen and pantry areas.
If you are finding fire ant mounds on your property or are finding these small ants inside of your home, contact the professionals at Russell’s Pest Control immediately. Fire ants are NOT a pest that we suggest trying to eliminate on your own. Our professionals will come to your property, identify the problem areas, and provide an effective treatment to eliminate these dangerous ants from your home and property. To learn more about our fire ant control services, including the option of employing our year-round PowerPlus+ home pest control program which includes treatment for fire ants and other household pests, give us a call today!