Most people know that Red Imported Fire Ants bite, but don't know that they actually bite and sting at the same time.
The Red Imported Fire Ants get their name from their ability to inflict painful stings. These reddish brown ants are an invasive species found everywhere in the southern U.S. They originally came from central South America, arriving in the U.S. in 1930. They were first seen in Mobile, Alabama and then in Florida. Today it infests more than 260 million acres in the Southern states.
The Red Imported Fire Ant builds large mound nests that are flattened and irregular in shape. The nests are between 2 and 4 square feet and often introduced into new areas through potted plants, trees, shrubs, and sod. They usually nest in soil near structural foundations or in landscaping. Although these ants are most often found outdoors they can gain access to buildings through foundation cracks, windows, and improperly sealed doors.
The Fire Ant will sting humans who disturb it's nest. The sting can be very painful and more often than not results in a raised welt that becomes a white pustule. If you disturb a Fire Ant mound you will probably experience several stings from more than one ant. Some people have severe allergies to the sting of a Fire Ant and will require medical attention and possibly antibiotics.
Inspections around the home to inhibit the ant from entering is the first step to prevention of an infestation. Sealing any and all ways they might enter the home is paramount. Granular baits can be broadcast around the home's exterior. Keep wood debris piles away from the house along with keeping the lawn mowed and trimmed around the home. In serious infestations you may retain the help of a pest control professional who may also recommend chemical treatments in conjunction with the above mentioned methods.
For more information on pest control for Red Imported Fire Ants in New Tampa, FL and surrounding areas call Safari Pest Control. It's a jungle out there!