What Are Fire Ants? Complete Guide (2023)

What Are Fire Ants?

Fire ants are one of the most stinging ants and belong to the family of Solenopsis. To be honest, their bites are extremely painful and can be identified by their fiery colors. The mature fire ants look like other insects and are divided into the abdomen, thorax, and head. In addition, they have one pair of antennae along with three leg pairs.

These ants are extremely invasive in America and can be differentiated with a dark-colored abdomen and brown thorax and head. On the other hand, the worker fire ants are reddish and blackish while their size ranges from 2mm to 6mm. In the fire ant colony, different fire ants of varying sizes live together at one time.

Why Do Fire Ants Cluster Up In Your Home?

Fire ants are outdoor insects and stay in lawns and gardens. However, they migrate to homes and similar buildings in search of water and food and for creating their nests. Generally, they migrate during extremely hot weather or when there is flooding rain, and drought. As far as the entrance is concerned, they enter through the crevices and cracks.

If you find fire ants in your home, try to avoid contact because if you try to separate their colony, they will take desperate actions for shelter, which may be harmful to you. We understand that you want to get rid of them, and we are sharing those details in the section below!

How To Get Rid Of Fire Ants?

Fire ants can be dangerous in terms of their attacking behavior and bites. For this reason, if fire ants have infested your home, you need to get rid of them, and the following products will help;

  • Ortho Orthene Fire Ant Killer – this pesticide is designed to treat around 162 mounds at its full capacity, and it’s available at an affordable price. The pesticide has convenient packaging that promises easy and secure application. If you opt for the dust-based pesticide, you can just apply the dust on and around the mound. In particular, it has acephate which not only kills the fire ants but their queen as well. However, it can only be used for outdoor purposes.
  • Amdro Block Perimeter Ant Baits – with this ant bait, you can create a protective barrier around your home. This product is designed to kill the queen, which means it can destroy the entire colony. It works by attracting the worker ants, and they carry the granules into the colony, which infects the queen. That being said, it can kill the entire ant colony within two weeks. Moreover, it uses hydramethylon, which takes a few days to work, but that’s the only reason it kills the queen. As far as the application is concerned, you can sprinkle the granules around the home.
  • Syngenta Advion Ant Gel – if your home is struggling with a severe fire ant infestation, this is an industrial-grade ant gel. Its active ingredient is indoxacarb which makes it an effective solution. In addition, the product comes with a target-based applicator, so you can apply the gel to small cracks and crevices. It works by infecting the worker ants, which infect other ants in the colony, resulting in complete colony elimination in two weeks.
  • Ortho Fire Ant Killer Granules – fire ants tend to pop up in the garden anytime, but you can prevent that by treating your lawn with these granules. The granules come in a bag and can cover up to 5,000 square feet, so fire ants are unable to establish nests and colonies in your garden. Also, if there are already some mounds, these granules can kill them within a few minutes. The best thing about these granules is that they remain effective for around six months.
  • Orange Guard 101 Home Pest Control – this is a suitable pesticide for people who have pets since it’s pet-friendly and can be used indoors and outdoors. The pesticide is designed with natural orange peel extracts which repel the fire ants. In case fire ants get in contact with the pesticide, it results in immediate killing, and it doesn’t even leave residues.

Fire Ants

There are various cases when fire ant infestations are preventable, such as before the rainy season. So, in the section below, we are sharing some preventive measures, including the following;

  • Trims the shrubs and trees to make sure fire ants don’t have any contact with your home infrastructure
  • Try to use ant bait granules and make a fence around your home to prevent their entry
  • Keep the grass growth less by regular mowing
  • Keep turning the soil bedding material or mulch to reduce moisture retention and prevent the development of nests
  • Eliminate lead piles and grass clippings
  • If you have fruit trees, remove the ripe fruits and dropped-down fruits
  • Keep the outdoor dumpsters and trash cans away from the primary structure

Where Do Fire Ants Come From?

Fire ants are outdoor insects, as we have already mentioned. They are native to America but can be found in Asian countries as well. As far as their presence is concerned, they reside in lawns and gardens but tend to come into buildings and homes in search of water, food, and shelter. Also, they only come for shelter during hot weather, the rainy season (if there are thunderstorms and flooding), and drought.

Will Fire Ants Bite Me?

Yes, fire ants bite, and their sting is extremely painful. This is because they have a dedicated injecting organ, and they also inject alkaloid venom into the wound, resulting in itchiness and pain. However, they bite only when they are attacked, so if you are on a mission to kill them, wear your protective gear to remain safe.

Are Fire Ants Destructive?

No, fire ants are not destructive. That’s because they don’t infest the wooden structures or eat them up. The only bad thing about fire ants is the dirt that they bring and their painful bites. However, we do want to add they if they infest your home, they can forage for food and it won’t safe to consume, so that’s another risk.

Do Fire Ants Get Attracted To Water?

Yes, fire ants get attracted to water, especially during hot weather. Otherwise, they don’t need water. Also, one surprising fact is that they create clusters of colonies in flood water if they are unable to find shelter. Since they have waxy bodies, they don’t get washed away in the water.

How To Get Rid Of Fire Ant Bites?

If a fire ant has bitten you, the immediate step should be cleaning the area with cold water and applying a soothing lotion. However, if there is a severe burning sensation or itching, you must get it checked by a doctor.

Why Fire Ants Are Bad?

Fire ants are bad because they can infest your home during certain weather seasons. In addition, their bites are painful and can cause severe wounds. Not to forget, if they enter the crop fields, they can damage the crops. For this reason, it is important to prevent their presence in your home and get them removed if an infestation has already occurred.