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Bug of the month: Fire Ants

Bug of the month: Fire Ants

Not all ants are created equal. The small black garden ants (Lasius niger) that you are undoubtedly most familiar with may pose small problems, such as trailing into your home to devour any and all crumbs in sight. This variety of ant is usually pretty easy to contain.

However, homeowners in Florida also have to contend with another ant that is quite unpleasant and can cause pain when they sting you. Our bug of the month for August is the red fire ant, also known by its scientific name of Solenopsis invicta.

 

What Are Fire Ants?

According to the University of Florida’s Featured Creatures site, red imported fire ants are natives of central South America, experts say that the invaders arrived to Florida from Brazil sometime between 1933 and 1945.

Fire ants are a major problem, as they invade and destroying a variety of crops, from soybeans to citrus, to potatoes to sunflowers. They are also a nuisance to people and animals, with their painful stings.

In some cases, being stung by red imported fire ants can be life threatening, sending victims into anaphylactic shock. This is the main reason you don’t want to risk trying to combat fire ants by yourself. Trained professionals should be involved in order to control these vicious and destructive pests.

Where Do Fire Ants Build Their Homes?

You may have already spotted some big nests (dirt mounds) built by fire ants on your property. However, these pests are also commonly found inside homes, including near electrical equipment, says the University of Florida.

You can find fire ants building nests beneath buildings and pavement, near stumps and trees and even inside fallen, rotting logs. These pests are not picky when it comes to creating a homey environment.

Approaches To Controlling Fire Ants

When you see a dirt mound built by fire ants, your first inclination might be to kick it or otherwise try to damage it. That would be a big mistake, because fire ants will respond immediately, quickly escaping from the nest and biting their attacker.

Professionally trained pest control experts have a number of strategies to counter red imported fire ants. They may use broadcast bait treatments or focus on treating each dirt mound on an individual basis. Sometimes a combined approach is best, with broadcast and targeted attacks carried out simultaneously. Your pest control professional may also use barrier and spot treatments, depending on the situation.

The Risk Of Reinfestation

Remember that fire ants are tough and can adapt to changes in their environment, including pest control measures. Reinfestation is a constant threat.

This is why it’s so important to hire pest control experts who know how to deal with red fire ants, ensuring that the problem is taken care of correctly the first time. Ongoing fire ant control must be maintained to keep them at bay.

If you have recently detected red imported fire ants on your property, you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as possible. The professional trained experts at Bug Out Service have more than 50 years of experience in eradicating pests like these in the greater Jacksonville, FL area. To set up an appointment for service, consider calling the ant control experts at Bug Out Service today.

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