Fire ants are tiny nuisance pests that, as you may gather from the name, can give off a painful sting. Fire ants create mounds in soft soil where they grow their populations massively. They are social creatures, functioning within large colonies that center around one or sometimes multiple queens.
So, how do you know if you have fire ants on your Charleston property? That’s a good question, and though infestation can be hard to detect, there are some basic identifiers that you should keep in mind when it comes to fire ant activity. Look out for the following characteristics:
1/8 - 3/8 inches long
Copper/red/brown in color
Oval shaped, segmented body
6 legs and antennae
Are They Dangerous?
These territorial ants usually only sting when they feel threatened, but when they do they can become aggressive and crawl vertically up surfaces ready to sting anything in their path. For most people, getting stung by a fire ant means some pain, possible welts, irritation, and maybe some nausea. But, depending on the individual, people can experience very severe reactions to fire ant stings.
Everyone reacts differently to a fire ant sting. Young children and elderly people, for example, are more likely to have adverse reactions. Additionally, people with serious allergies can go into anaphylactic shock, making the fire ant sting fatal in certain cases. On top of being dangerous, fire ants can be extremely hard to get rid of.
Getting Rid Of Fire Ants
Ant infestation in general can be very hard to keep on top of because ants reproduce so rapidly. Say you’ve targeted one mound and destroyed an ant colony. You may think the problem is handled, but there are already multiple other mounds around your property being developed without your knowing it. You can kill a colony of ants, but if the queen survives, they will simply repopulate.
When the queen ant of the colony is still alive, any surviving ants will just make her a new mound. They will rebuild the colony, grow the population, and leave you right back where you started. There are a lot of DIY methods that people try on their own, but those efforts are largely pointless in the long run.
Do-it-yourself fire ant control is seldom effective, and can even be dangerous. Many methods involve applying certain substances to the fire ant mound in an attempt to destroy the colony. Some sources suggest putting orange peels on the mound, or sprinkling grits on it. Some say to pour club soda all over the mound, and some have even tried gasoline. Dumping things all over the mound can be extremely harmful to the environment, not to mention the fact that it only aggravates the fire ants and makes them more aggressive. DIY treatment methods are never the right way to go with fire ants.
What You Can Do
For the most reliable source of fire ant control services, you need assistance from the pest professionals. Anchor Pest Management is Charleston’s best source for quality fire ant control and prevention solutions.
Beginning with a thorough inspection, our team of highly experienced pest technicians will accurately identify the problem and come up with a strategic approach to treat the infestation at its source. Our follow up services are scheduled at your convenience to make sure your property is protected from these stinging ants all year long.
Fire ants pose a real threat in their ability to stings and cause potentially serious reactions. To effectively protect your property from the dangers of fire ant activity, you need help from the professionals, and Anchor Pest Management is here for you. Call us today to set up your initial inspection.