Fire Ants – Identification, Prevention, and Taking Action
Most of us have been in an encounter or two with fire ants. They create their homes underground in very open areas without any attempt at concealing their location. Stepping on a fire ant mound can be a very painful experience, and can also be unhealthy for the skin.
Fire ants are aggressive and react quickly to attack threats to their homes. They can be especially dangerous to young children, who tend to be very inquisitive.
The Science Behind Fire Ants
There are 3 species of fire ants that are common to the United States, primarily in the south. The red imported fire ant, the imported fire ant, and southern fire ants.
Fire ants are acclimated to a warmer climate and tend to live in places with a higher average temperature and warm weather year-round. Not something we commonly see in New York, but they do occasionally appear.
Fire Ant Bite Health Risks
Fire ants are a significant health threat due to their stings. Regular outdoor applications to lawns and foundations are often necessary. Re-infestation from neighboring properties is common. The key to fire ant control is to locate all mounds and treat them.
Controlling Fire Ants Before They Get Started
Mounds can be treated by drenching with liquid insecticides. Some good choices are Demon WP or Talstar. Baiting such as with CeaseFire Professional Ant Bait is also a good way to go. Ceasefire Professional Ant Bait contains Fipronil. Fipronil is the active ingredient in Termidor Insecticide. This poison is carried back to the ant mounds by the workers and then fed to the ant population.
Fipronil is then spread throughout the colony by means of food sharing by the ants. The poison in the food supply wipes out the entire population including the queens over time. Fipronil is non-repellent to the ants. Non-repellent means that they cannot sense that there is a pesticide toxin present. This encourages feeding and the consumption of the bait.
Treating Property for Fire Ant Prevention
An application of a fire ant bait containing a growth regulator such as Award Fire Ant Bait to the lawn helps limit re-infestation of treated areas. This works especially well on large lawns, acreages, golf courses, and pastures. This is common in upstate New York, where homeowners tend to have much more property.
How Fire Ants Get Into Homes and Property
Fire ants can nest indoors in wall voids by entering the structure from below and following plumbing lines in. Bath traps, shower stalls, and hot water heater walls are particularly effective.
Fire ant control is all about thinking ahead. Getting your defense in a place where the ants are looking to get in. Property perimeters, holes in your facade, holes in the basement, and plumbing. These areas are all great places to put your defensive measures.
Getting in touch with a professional
If you think you have a fire ant infestation on your property, you owe it to yourself and your family to have it taken care of quickly.
Contacting a professional can make all the difference when it comes to getting rid of the problem fast and for good.
You got bugs? Not for long!