If you see a red ant in Modesto, you may want to tread lightly. It could be a fire ant, and fire ants pack quite a punch. To keep you and everyone else on your property safe from these intruders, learn some of the keys to fire ant control.
Understanding Fire Ants
Fire ants are small, red ants that have stingers on their abdomens. This stinger contains a toxin that is harmful to other insects, animals, and humans. Generally, they only grow to be about five millimeters in size.
The simplest way to identify a fire ant is by its behavior. This species is one of the most territorial ants, and is quick to sting. If you approach a nest, you’re likely to be stung by several ants. The sting most often causes pain, itching, and swelling. Some people have an allergic reaction to fire ant stings. Often, individuals with allergic reactions experience nausea and sweating. Some experience difficulty breathing and require immediate medical attention.
About Their Life Cycle
To understand how to control fire ants, you need to understand their behavior. These ants live in large colonies, with up to 500,000 individuals in one colony. With multiple queens, fire ant colonies are nearly impossible to eliminate on your own. When you destroy one queen or nest, another queen moves in to take over.
A well-fed queen can lay as many as 1,500 eggs each day. The eggs only take between seven and ten days to hatch, and the larvae only take 20 to 25 days to mature. Given their fast breeding cycle, it doesn’t take long for fire ants to overwhelm a Modesto property owner.
The Challenges With Fire Ant Prevention
Because fire ants are such prolific breeders, they are extremely difficult to eliminate. When you combine this with their dangerous sting and their tendency to attack in large numbers, you get a recipe for disaster.
Attempting to remove fire ants on your own could result in injury and is likely to fail. Although many property owners use DIY methods to control fire ants, those methods are ineffective.
Consider the use of chemicals. Unless you apply the right chemicals and understand how to use them properly, you could cause more harm than good. The chemicals may be hazardous to your health or may not work.
Natural methods of ant control aren’t any better. If you try pouring hot water on a nest, you could anger the ants and end up nursing multiple ant bites. You’ll only kill some of the ants in the colony, which will only result in more ants moving in and taking their place.
There are many myths regarding fire ant control. For instance, some believe that fire ants explode when they eat grits. Others believe that soap eats away at the exoskeleton of ants. Neither belief is based on factual information.
What You Can Do For Fire Ant Prevention
For the best results in eliminating fire ant infestations, you should work with an experienced professional for fire ant control. But there are a few things you can do on your own to make your property less appealing to the insects before they take hold.
Keeping your garbage cans sealed, cleaning debris from your yard, and distancing vegetation a minimum of several feet away from your home can make your home less appealing to fire ants. Despite these efforts, there’s no way to guarantee that fire ant won’t invade your property. Whether you want to prevent or eliminate fire ants, you should hire a pest control company to keep pests away. They have the knowledge and tools needed for effective fire ant control. If you’re ready to get started, contact the professionals at Insect IQ.