If you have a problem of fire ants infestation in your home, then this article is here to help you. Basically, we will look at the types of fire ants, where they live and how to prevent them from invading your home. Read through the entire post on how to get rid and kill fire ants naturally and fast with home remedies.
Fire ants are mostly found in the southern parts of the USA. They are known for their painful sting. When they invade your home they can be a nuisance and annoying. Among the ant species, they are known to have one of the most of painful stings and cause an allergic reaction. This guide on how to get rid of fire ants therefore comes in handy.
First, what are fire ants and where do they live? Do you know the types of fire ants? What are the symptoms of fire ants bite? These are some of the questions this guide will attempt to answer as we also discuss ways to kill and prevent them from coming or invading your home. The home remedies discussed in this post are DIY and simple to understand.
What are Fire Ants?
Do you know what fire ants are? Fire ants, solenopsis invicta are sometimes called red, ginger and tropical fire ants. They got their name from their red body and their painful sting. They are also known as red imported fire ants since they came to the USA from South America around 1930.
What do fire ants look like? First, their body is divided into three sections like any other ant species that is the head, thorax and abdomen. They have three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae. Their body size varies from 2to 6 millimeters as in the case of worker fire ants.
Where do Fire Ants Live?
Do you know where fire ants live, their habitat? Fire ants normally build nests in moist soils. Areas such as near the river, ponds, and regularly watered lawn are the prime spots for fire ants. It can be hard to find their nests because they are built beneath fallen trees, bricks, rocks or logs. If they can’t build in the mentioned areas, they tend to build their nest in open space in the shape of a dome with a height of up to 40 centimeters.
Naturally, fire ants are aggressive and intrusive species. In most cases, some species of fire ants will move away from their habitat. They are known to attack others meaning they are not keen on having company.
There are instances of several queens in one ant colony but mostly there is only one. They tend to reproduce in numbers, meaning they can enlarge their colony within a short period of time. A single fire ant queen can lay up to 1,500 eggs per day. This can translate to 250,000 fire ants in one colony.
How long do fire ants live? The lifespan of a fire ant is not usually that long if you compare it to some other ants’ species. The queen can live up to 6 years, while the male ants die a couple of days after mating. The worker ant lifespan can vary from a just a couple of weeks to one month.
Types of Fire Ants
Before embarking on how to get rid of fire ants, it is wise to understand the different types of fire ants. Here are the types:
1. Red Imported Fire Ant
These types of fire ants have been reported by homeowners as highly aggressive ants. They have the ability to build massive colonies with over 100,000 ants in mounds buried deep in the ground.
2. Red Fire Ants
This type can be described as red imported fire ants. Well, no any source claims that there’s any difference between them. See pictures below to understand more.
You’ve probably come in contact with black and red fire ants. Is there any difference? Well, there is no difference between these types of ants. The only difference between black and red fire ants lie in their color. In fact, black fire ants can also be either black or dark brown.
Note, we have species of fire ants with wings. Did you know just like other ants, fire ants have wings only when they are mating? It is easy to confuse them for a separate species of ants.
Are Fire Ants Dangerous? Do they bite?
There is a misconception that fire ants tend to bite with their claws. Are fire ants dangerous or do they bite? Fire ants sting contrary to the belief they use claws to attack. The sting is one of the most painful known in ants’ species. Their venom can cause a health risk especially for persons allergic to it.
Can a fire ant sting kill you? Although it is rare, there are documented cases though highly unlikely for a person to die of venom of fire ants. The cases of death are from people with a delicate health or a case where multiple fire ants sting them. You should always take precaution whenever you have fire ants infestation in your home. Just try to keep distance.
The Symptoms of Fire Ant Bite
As mentioned earlier in the post, a fire ant bite or sting is one of the most painful sting in the ant world. Although in most cases, the sting will heal without treatment, those that respond with a severe allergic reaction will feel the symptoms right after the sting. Common symptoms include:
- Difficulties in breathing
- Feeling dizzy and confusion
- Swelling of the tongue and throat
- Loss of consciousness, in some case though
What Does a Fire Ant Bite Look Like?
A bite or sting from fire ants will start with an intense burning pain just after you get stung. The area bitten can easily be identified by a blister. A couple of days after the sting, the spot continues to itch. Fact: fire ants typically attack in groups. You shouldn’t try to pop the blister since they are only an allergic reaction to the ant venom.
How to Treat Fire Ants Bite?
There are several remedies to help you treat a fire ant bite or sting. The remedies can help you with itching and swelling. You can press ice on the irritated area to ease the itching and swelling. Alternatively, over- the-counter hydrocortisone cream and antihistamines can reduce the mild cases of allergic reaction such as itching and swelling.
How to Kill Fire Ants – Treatments
First, just to give you a clue. There are a couple of proven insecticides that can help you get rid of fire ants. The type of insecticide you decide to use depends on where you are going to use, for instance in your house or outside.
When dealing with fire ants, there are two different methods to treat fire ants. The methods for getting rid of fire ants in these situation are totally different. This guide will discuss all of them.
1. Getting Rid of Fire Ants inside your Home
When dealing with fire ants in your home, the best way to get rid of them is using liquid insecticide or sprays. Just a precaution, when you decide to go with this method, always make sure to read carefully the instructions on the product. This is to make sure you use the correct dosage.
Liquid insecticides or sprays are known to be the best choice because they kill the ants instantly. But the problem is when you to get rid of the whole colony. It can be prove to be difficult unless you locate the nest and kill the queen.
Ant killer sprays are the sure way to kill every fire ant that can be seen. But the problem is other ants will take their place as the colony outside or wherever close in your home surrounding is still alive. This is why we recommend doing the next method as well.
2. Getting rid of the Fire Ant Colonies Outside
If you have to get rid all the fire ants infestation, then you must destroy the ant colony. This is where ant killer baits come in handy. Ant killer baits are the best when it comes to eliminating the ant colonies. But you will have to be patient for the results. It is not as instant as the method discussed above.
How do you use it? Does it work? Yes when placed in the right place it will definitely work. Place the ant killer granules in areas infested with fire ants and wait for them to carry the bait back to the colony. This is where it gets interesting. Once the bait arrives in the colony other fire ants including the fire ant queen will eat it and eventually the queen will die. The colony will thus collapse.
Place the insecticide granules over your yard or directly onto the mound and wait.
How to Get Rid of Fire Ants Naturally –Home Remedies
You can get rid of fire ants naturally with home remedies too. Here are some of the recommended home remedies to kill fire ants fast and naturally.
- Peppermint Spray – this spray has been proven to be the best ant repellent. Spraying them and areas where the fire ants visit most can keep them away.
- Cayenne Pepper – another effective home remedy that can get rid of fire ants naturally fast. Boil a ½ cup of water and add four sliced cayenne peppers. Mix it to make the spray.
- Lemon Juice – lemon juice is also another efficient home remedy to get rid of fire ants in your home. Mix lemon juice and water in equal amounts. Spray where the fire ants are seen moving. Apply it regularly for effective result.
- Dish Soap and Water – you want to get rid of fire ants naturally? Try this home remedy of dish water and soap. This mixture has proven to be an ant repellant. To make it even more effective, you can add lemon juice.
How to Prevent Fire Ants from Invading your House – Tips
Knowing what to do to prevent fire ants from invading your home is the surest way of dealing with ants’ infestation. Here are some of the tips to help you prevent fire ants from coming into your home:
- Hygiene – keep your house and its surrounding clean as much as you can. Fire ants are attracted to leftover foods.
- Trash and compost bin should be sealed to avoid infestation of fire ants into your home
- Keep all your food supplies tightly sealed or protected. Ants generally invade your home in search of food.
- Pets should be regularly cleaned. Dry them once you are done cleaning to keep fire ants away. Pet foods should be kept sealed too.
- You should call a professional service especially at the beginning of the season to ascertain your home and probably propose ways of keeping fire ants and ants in general away.
Like we mentioned earlier, fire ants are generally aggressive kind of ants. In most cases, they will not go away quietly. The method you choose should be the one that drives or destroy them way for good. Otherwise, this type of ant species can build large colonies causing you nuisance.
Go for long term solution to get rid of fire ants. You can use insecticides either as a spray or as a bait. Or better still, if you find DIY actions bothersome and tiring, call a professional exterminator.
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