Have you ever found a cluster of ants in your yard and wondered if they were fire ants? Fire ants are common in many parts of the U.S., including Florida, and aside from their painful stings, they can potentially cause allergic reactions and medical complications. The good news is that there are effective ways to control these pesky pests with the help of a professional. Here’s how you can I.D. and manage fire ants in your yard.
Is It a Fire Ant?
If ants have moved into your yard, you don’t have to get stung to determine whether they’re fire ants and not simply common red ants. Some of the distinguishing characteristics of fire ants include:
- Dull red body coloration, ranging from reddish-brown to reddish-black
- Size variation of 1/16 to ¼-inch long for worker ants (in contrast, most ant species have consistent sizes)
- Narrow, pinched waists that have two prominent nodes in front of the abdomen
Perhaps an even better—and safer—method of identifying fire ants is to scan your property for fire ant mounds. Making an analysis from a distance can keep you from accidentally being bitten by these nasty critters. Here’s how you can determine if a mound in your yard is actually home to fire ants:
- Fire ant mounds are unique in that they have no center hole. Instead, the ants enter and exit the mound through a system of underground tunnels.
- If any mounds in your yard appeared shortly after a rain, it’s a good sign they’re home to fire ants. Fire ants stay underground to stay cool, and when rain comes, the ants come to the surface to build mounds.
- Fire ants like to build their mounds in sunny, open areas, so mounds in shady spots are unlikely. In well-manicured yards, fire ant mounds stay small at just a few inches high. In unmaintained areas or open pastures, look for mounds that can reach up to 18 inches tall, or higher!
How to Manage Fire Ants
If you suspect fire ants have made themselves at home in your yard, the best way to deal with an infestation is to ask your local fire ant control experts for help. Rather than risking getting stung yourself, the experts know what it takes to eliminate a colony at its source, all while using eco-friendly methods that keep your family and pets safe.
Fire Ants in Your Yard? Call Evergreen Lawn and Pest Control Today!
Fire ants are a threat to the health and safety of your family, which is why it’s so critical to remain vigilant and act quickly if these harmful pests have invaded your yard. If you notice new ant mounds in your yard and don’t know if they’re home to fire ants, don’t leave it to guesswork. Call Evergreen Lawn and Pest Control – Debary today at (407) 880-6655 for your free pest evaluation.