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Don’t Let Fire Ants Turn Your Yard Into a War Zone

Group of fire ants on a log.
Ants are annoying pests to have around, but fire ants are downright dangerous. The Southern, the imported and the red imported varieties all pack a nasty one-two punch of painful bites and stings that can cause serious reactions in people who are allergic. Their stings feel like a burn and leave behind a red bump that may turn into a blister, and they’ll bite animals just as readily as people. Fire ants are also omnivorous, meaning they eat other insects such as crickets in addition to plant materials.

Spotting an Infestation

Obviously, you don’t want these painful little things in your yard. If you find them, you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. You can spot a fire ant infestation by the presence of large, solid mounds in sunny areas and the appearance of both worker and “swarmer” ants with reddish brown or reddish black body coloration.

If you suspect a fire ant infestation, don’t get too close. Keep kids and pets away from the area where you discovered the mounds until you can implement proper elimination strategies.

Fire Ant Protection and Control

Even if you don’t think you have fire ants in the yard, it’s always a good idea to check for the presence of these pests or for mounds when you’re outside. Look before picking objects up off the ground and don’t touch anything that has fire ants crawling on it.

One of the best ways to avoid being bitten by fire ants is to wear socks and shoes or boots whenever you’re in the yard. Socks are an especially good deterrent because the ants can’t bite or sting through them. In fact, one study showed that socks were more effective in preventing fire ant bites and stings than commercial repellents. Cotton tights were also tested and thought to be effective in protecting kids from fire ants.

If you discover fire ants in the yard, there are several methods available to get rid of them including baits and substances designed to target individual mounds. Larger infestations, however, require professional intervention since you can’t know how extensive the fire ant colonies are. Burns Pest Elimination offers a full range of ant control services in the Tucson and Phoenix areas.