We don’t tend to think of ants as dangerous pests. Annoying, sure, but they are typically too small to pose a threat to us and our loved ones. But fire ants prove this assumption wrong, with painful stings and truly massive numbers that make them a force to be reckoned with. Learning how to prevent a fire ant infestation on your property will help you avoid the very serious issues that they bring.
What Are Fire Ants?
Fire ants are tiny, typically bright red ants that are usually outdoor pests. They form massive networks of tunnels below ground, but the surest evidence of a fire ant population is actually the small mounds that they form as they push up toward the surface from their tunnels. These small mounds are typically found in bright, wide-open areas like lawns and prairies. Aside from their red appearance, fire ants get their name from the burning stings that they deliver to people and animals that disturb their territory. While they use their stingers to incapacitate other insects, it’s more than potent enough to stop even large animals in their tracks. That’s why fire ants are more serious than other types of infestations and property owners should act fast to control them before they grow in size.
Are They Dangerous?
Most people think that fire ant bites are what cause a severe stinging sensation. While fire ants do have large pincers that they use to bite with, it’s their rear stingers that actually dish out the pain. Their tiny barbs deliver a potent, burning venom into the bloodstream. While this usually just results in painful local stinging and swelling, some people can be allergic to fire ant stings just like some are allergic to bees. Problem is, it’s a completely different chemical compound found in fire ant stingers, so most people don’t even know they are allergic until a sting occurs and they notice worsening symptoms. Even for those without allergies, the swarming tendency of fire ants, since the number in the tens or hundreds of thousands, can make them dangerous for anybody. It’s these dangers that make fire ants far more serious pests than other insects on your property. Only early and frequent prevention measures can prevent infestations from forming.
Fire Ant Prevention Tips
If fire ants are already there, no one should try to remove them on their own. Not only can you expose yourself to dangerous stings, but you can also actually make the overall infestation worse as fire ants’ defense mechanisms can cause them to form several colonies from one threatened population. Simply put, ineffective solutions aren’t solutions. Instead, you should take the following steps to reduce your risk of infestation before it happens:
- Food storage: Fire ants are attracted to food around your property just like other pests, so proper food storage is important. Don’t leave pet food out, either.
- Crack sealing: To keep scavengers of all kinds out, you should fix even tiny cracks or holes around exterior walls.
- Professional assistance: Even clean and well-maintained homes and properties can wind up with ant colonies -- that’s how common these insects are. Every property owner should seek expert guidance to make sure they are addressing prevention measures properly.
Safe & Effective Fire Ant Control
Because they are such dangerous pests that can’t easily be controlled on your own, fire ants represent exactly why professional pest control is necessary. At EnSec Pest & Lawn, we know how to nip pest infestations in the bud, stopping them before they can grow out of control and pose larger dangers. We can inspect your property for signs of pest activity while providing you with helpful tips to help with prevention. If fire ants are already around, don’t take any unnecessary risks. Instead, contact the experts for fast and safe removal of the colony.
To control fire ants and any other invasive pests, contact EnSec Pest & Lawn today.