Fire ants are one of the nastiest ant species to have on your property, especially if they are of the red imported variety. These ants are extremely aggressive, and they have a very painful bite. As such, it’s important to understand them in order to keep them off your property. In this short guide, we will cover everything you need to know about a fire ant colony.

The habitat

There are two main types of fire ants in the US: native and imported. The native fire ants are relatively harmless, but the imported species is very aggressive. In order to survive, these ants can adapt to any habitat across the US, except in areas where there is severe cold or extreme lack of water.

The mound

A fire ant colony can get quite large, and the mounds we see on the surface are just dirt that has been displaced by the ants’ digging. However, the mounds are not entry points into the colony. Instead the fire ants will build tunnels all around their colony. The mounds may contain the queen at certain points during the day, when the temperature is just right, and at those times, you can actually destroy the entire colony by killing the queen with boiling water.

The lifecycle of the fire ant

The ant lifecycle starts with the queen, which lays an egg out of which a larva is born. The fire ant will then go through four developmental stages, molting several times until they reach adulthood. Most of these larvae will develop into sterile female workers, while others will develop into winged males and females that are the reproductives of the species. The reproductives are also known as swarmers, because during mating season they fly out in groups of males and females, mate, and then start their own colony.

Fire ant control

There are several ways to control a fire ant population, from traditional options like using baits and insecticides, to more unorthodox methods such as the one mentioned above, where you pour boiling water onto the mound at the right time of day. However, for large infestations, you will need the help of a pro. Contact us today if you have a fire ant infestation on your property and we will help you take it out.