Fire ants can transform any Pensacola property from paradise into a nightmare. These ants are aggressive, venomous, and everywhere. It's up to you to protect yourself from these unwanted guests. If you don’t know where to begin, check out this guide to fire ant control and learn everything you need to know about these pests.
How To Identify Fire Ants In Pensacola
Most people don't identify a fire ant until it stings them. However, there are ways in which you can identify these Pensacola ants before they hurt you. There are several types of fire ants in the US, but the imported fire ant is by far the most common. In ants of this species, the queen and worker ants have reddish-brown heads and black end segments. If you take an even closer look at fire ants, you'll notice a few other distinguishing features. They have two bumps between their thorax and abdomen, as well as ten segments in their antennae. Of course, you probably don't want to get close enough to a fire ant for you to count the segments. They have a stinger and potent venom, which puts you in danger.
Why Are Fire Ants Dangerous?
The venom of a fire ant is what makes it so harmful. When dealing with small prey, a fire ant grabs the creature with its mandible and uses its stinger to immobilize the prey. Because humans are so large, the venom doesn't immobilize us, but it does leave behind a painful itchy bump. That said, some people are also allergic to this venom and require hospitalization after a fire ant sting.
Pensacola fire ants don't just sting you once. In addition to stinging multiple times each, fire ants also sting in large numbers. One ant stings you, and the rest follow suit in an attempt to protect their colony. You could receive 30 or more stings if you disturb a nest.
Another danger of fire ants is the difficulty of eliminating them. While some ant species only form one colony with one queen, fire ants have multiple queens and create an entire network of colonies. You can kill off one queen, but another one will move in and take over.
How To Keep Fire Ants Out
You can’t make your property 100% inaccessible to fire ants in Pensacola, but there are a few things you can do to make fire ants less attracted to your property. Follow these tips to deter fire ants:
Maintain A Perimeter
If you have organic debris that touches your building, fire ants might make their way inside. At all times, keep a two-foot perimeter around your structures. You may need to move your garden further from your building, trim your shrubs, or rake your soil. By maintaining a perimeter, you may be able to keep fire ants from coming too close to your home or business. But following this tip won't keep them away from your property. You need to take other precautions to keep that from happening.
Clean Your Yard
A messy yard may be unappealing to your eyes, but it's highly attractive to fire ants. For fire ant prevention, you can maintain a clean yard. Remove all piles of leaves, branches, and grass clippings. Every week, get out in your yard and tidy up. Mow your lawn, trim your bushes, and clean up junk piles.
Work With A Professional
DIY methods of fire ant prevention and elimination don't always work. If you want to protect your home, you need to call in the experts. Here at EnSec, we're eager to help. Contact us today to learn more about fire ant prevention and removal.