Since their arrival in the late to the United States in 1930’s, homeowners have been battling the Red Imported Fire ant. In terms of human health, property damage, and environmental damage; very few insects can hold a candle to the Fire Ant. Quite frankly, the Red Imported Fire ant just might be the worst pest in the country… And any homeowner who has had the misfortune of dealing with them know it!
Because of their aggressiveness, it’s not hard to mistake a Fire Ant. These ants are a reddish-brown, and can reach up to ¼ of an inch in length. Their mounds are huge, and identifiable. One of these mounds can house multiple queens, and some 250,000 workers. Officials have reported as many as 200 of these mounds in a single acre. The thought of the sheer number of these malevolent ants is frightening.
Another frightening thought is that Red Imported Fire ant stings have caused some 100+ deaths. While dying from a Fire Ant sting is unlikely, it can happen if a victim suffers from insect allergies; sending the injured party into anaphylactic shock. The most common side effects of a Red Imported Fire ant sting are: pain, swelling, itching, redness, dizziness, disorientation, and vomiting.
Bulwark Pest Control technicians in Austin, TX report that Fire Ants are one of the most frequently called about pests. Their impact is significant.
The Impact Of Fire Ants
On top of their painful stings, Red imported Fire ants also cause relentless damage to property. Extending out several feet in diameter, and reaching depths of almost eight feet, Fire Ant mounds damage plants and crops. These mounds are also an eyesore. When a mound is disturbed, fire ant workers pour out of their mound and aggressively attack the offender.
Red Imported Fire ants are also fascinated with electrical equipment and electrical wiring. In fact, the leading cause of traffic light malfunctions in many Southern states happens to be shortages caused by Fire Ants. In addition, these ants are also drawn to air conditioners, water meter boxes, and gas boxes.
Officials in the state of Texas alone, report that Red Imported Fire ants cause more than $140 million in damage annually.
In the U.S., the FDA estimates more than $5 billion is spent each year on medical treatment, damage, and control of Fire Ant infested areas.
How To Best Eliminate Fire Ants
One of the most challenging property pests to completely exterminate is the Fire Ant. If a homeowner opts for a single ant treatment; many of the ants will die off, but the problem will not be solved. The same can be said with using aerosol pesticides you can buy at a local hardware store. The reason these attempts are not effective is because the Fire Ants will divide themselves after a treatment. They simply wait out the pesticide, the return to their mounds when its potency dissipates.
Instead, homeowners who are experiencing Fire Ants need continual treatments and ant control strategies to control these malevolent pests. A two-step strategy of applying baits, and following up with direct mound pesticide treatments, has proven to be effective if the treatments are consistent.