Red Imported Fire Ants
Dark reddish brown with black abdomen; segmented, oval; 1/16 to 1/4 inch in length
Diet: Red imported fire ants are omnivores that feed on numerous crops including corn, soybean, and okra. They will also eat other insects, seeds, and arthropods.
Habitat: Red imported fire ants will build their nest outdoors in warm, sunny areas that resemble a sandy mound. Typically near a structural foundation, in an open field, or lawn. They do not like shade or areas with heavy vegetation. Fire ants can gain access into structures through HVAC systems or crevices, and will build nests behind walls and crawl spaces.
Threats: While referred to as a “bite”, red imported fire ants actually sting, which is painful and often results in a raised welt that becomes a white pustule. It is common for a person to get stung by multiple ants, especially when their nest is disturbed.
Control: Due to their aggressive nature and ability to sting repeatedly, contacting a professional pest control technician is the best choice at eliminating this ant species from your property. Red imported fire ant populations grow quickly, which makes it difficult to control and eradicate. For preventative measures, sealing cracks and crevices, especially around wiring and AC systems will limit access into structures, store trash cans away from your home with proper fitting lids, and maintain your lawn with new grass seed.