There are a variety of ant species you could encounter in your Durham, North Carolina home, and they all bring with them certain challenges and frustrations. In general, ants are one of the most common home-invading pests, so you’ll likely encounter them at one point or another if you’re a property owner. They are also one of the more invasive pests, which makes them difficult to eradicate completely.
However, certain ant species are more than just an annoyance as they can also cause property damage or pose health risks. One of these troublesome ant species is the fire ant. You might have heard of these ants because they have a reputation for the painful bites and stings they leave behind. Being stung or bitten can leave you with a burning sensation that is particularly unpleasant.
In this guide, you’ll discover all you need to know about these ants, their behavior, and how to remove them from your property.
How Can You Identify Fire Ants?
These ants are somewhat easy to recognize because of their color. They are usually reddish-brown but can also be more of a reddish-yellow. They have a small stinger on their abdomens and are on the small side at only about ¼ of an inch in length. Like other ant species, they also have six legs, a pair of antennae, and a three-segmented body that includes a head, thorax, and abdomen.
Where Do You Usually Find Fire Ants?
While some ant species get indoors frequently, fire ants prefer to live outside. They build their large nests or colonies in their dirt, often in open areas such as lawns, parks, and playgrounds. While fire ants generally live outdoors, they can come inside in search of food if their colonies are close to a home or business. And, even having them around your yard can put yourself and others at risk.
Just How Dangerous Are Fire Ants?
Getting bitten or stung by an insect is never fun, and it’s often a bit shocking. But, being attacked by a fire ant is especially surprising because it’s often quite painful right away. The other issue with fire ants is that they can sting multiple times in a row and they often swarm to protect their nests. This results in a sometimes dangerous level of venom from repeated stings.
In some cases, there won’t be any significant health problems that come along with being stung by a fire ant. Still, people who are allergic are at risk of more serious side effects or even hospitalization. And, because they can sting over and over, even people who aren’t allergic could still end up needing medical attention in rare cases.
Many people don’t know they are allergic until they are stung, so it’s important to err on the side of caution and avoid coming across these ants. Also, while fire ants aren’t known to spread any particular diseases, you should sanitize surfaces and throw out any food products they get into if they do get inside your home or into any food items.
Why Are Fire Ants Difficult To Remove?
The risks of getting stung by fire ants are a problem, but fire ants are also one of the most invasive ant species in the area. Trying to get rid of them using do-it-yourself methods is often nearly impossible. This is due to the way that fire ants create their colonies and the defense mechanisms they have to keep these nests intact.
To start with, their colonies can contain up to 20,000 individual ants. They are also quite large and can span many feet underground as they keep building underground tunnels to expand.
The biggest issue is that when threatened, some of the colony members will disperse and seek out areas to create a new nest. Some fire ant species will move back and forth between colonies, and they also have multiple queens. This means it’s especially difficult to eradicate every queen and reach every part of the sprawling underground structure.
What’s The Best Way To Remove Fire Ants?
While it’s exceptionally difficult to eliminate fire ants on your own, there is one effective way to get rid of them for good - the experts at The Eco Man Pest Solutions, LLC. Our trained technicians have the tools and experience necessary to get rid of these invasive ants, and with our ongoing pest control plans, we will ensure they don’t return. We utilize an integrated pest management approach as well as eco-friendly options. To get started, give us a call to find out more about pest control in Durham.
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