Fire Ants – Ouches & Facts


Why are they called Fire Ants?

Red imported fire ants get their common name from 2 factors:

  1. They have a reddish appearance (the color of fire);
  2. Their ability to inflict painful bites and stings. Some say the pain caused by the sting is same as the pain caused by a fire burn.

“Sharp, sudden, mildly alarming. Like walking across a shag carpet and reaching for the light switch.”

This is how Dr. Justin Schmidt (“The King of Sting”) describes the sting of the Red Imported Fire Ant (aka RIFA). He rates the pain level of the Fire Ant as a 1.5 on a scale from 1 to 4 on THE SCHMIDT INSECT STING PAIN INDEX (See below).

Ouch! What do I do if there are fire ants on me?

If you somehow get fire ants on you, it may be your first instinct to try and shake them off in a state of panic. Though it is important to remove the ants quickly, shaking will not work. They’ll likely latch on, and shaking will only make them hold tighter. The most effective way to remove them is to quickly and repeatedly brush them off of the skin. If they are stinging through clothes or shoes, promptly remove the clothing and ensure they are gone before re-dressing.

 

What should I do if I get stung by fire ants?

There isn’t much you can do, except watch the affected area for excessive swelling, itching or redness, or other symptoms like shortness of breath, thickening of the tongue, sweating, etc. that could indicate a severe systemic allergic reaction. If this occurs, seek medical attention immediately.

 

Is my pet at risk of fire ant stings?

Due to the amount of time dogs spend outdoors, the possibility of them being stung by fire ants is high. Dogs can easily disturb a fire ant mound just by playing or digging nearby. The areas most vulnerable to stings are those with little or no hair, such as ears, nose, or abdomen. Additionally, dog food attracts fire ants. Fire ants often swarm a food bowl, making it not only difficult but also dangerous for your pet to eat. If fire ants sting your dog, move him or her from the source of the fire ants immediately and remove all ants by brushing them off.

 

Did you know?

Fire ants are attracted to the electric fields created by the high voltage devices. They tend to build nests close to the high voltage switch boxes, invade the electrical equipment, short out electronic gadgets, and cut through the metal wires.

 

 

Fire ants can form waterproof clusters up to thousands of ants. They keep the queen and larvae in the mound’s center for protection while the outside ants take turns cycling from the top of the mound to the bottom. The ants can do this for several days while they search for dry land.


Southern Fire Ant


Southern Fire AntPhysical Characteristics

Southern Fire ants are 1/16″-1/4″ long and queens are usually larger. The head and thorax are yellowish red and the abdomen is black in color.

Behavior

Typically the southern fire ant is ground nesting. However, the southern fire ant will nest outside in close proximity of the kitchen, in wood, soil, masonry, base of trees or shrubs and in clumps of grass and may gain access through HVAC systems, power in and outlets and pipes. Fire ants may also nest in Breaker panels and electrical junction and water boxes.

Fire ants prefer a high protein diet, typically, but will feed on almost everything, whether it is plant or animal. Southern fire ants have been known for eating electrical and phone lines seeking out the wire insulation as well as soiled clothing.

The southern fire ant is highly aggressive and has been known for attacking non-responsive residents and pets, such as the elderly and infants, inflicting injury.

Treatment

Treating fire ants should be handled by a trained license professional due to the southern fire ants’ aggressive nature.  In cases of heavy, difficult infestations, a combination of residual barriers and baits may be used.


Pharaoh Ant


Pharaoh AntPhysical Characteristics

Pharaoh ants are 1/16″ long and are yellow to reddish in color. Queens are about 1/8″ long and slightly darker than workers.

Behavior

Indoors, the Pharaoh ant will nest near warm and humid areas in close proximity to food sources and commonly nest in inaccessible areas such as wall voids, under floors and in furniture. The Pharaoh ant will forage night or day and is a common problem in hotels, grocery stores, hospitals and apartment complexes.streaming film Rings 2017

Treatment

Most infestations of Pharaoh ants can be controlled with Clark’s Year Round Pest Control. However, in cases of heavy, difficult infestations, a combination of residual barriers and baits may be used.


Pavement Ant


Pavement AntPhysical Characteristics

Worker ants are 1/16″ – 1/8″ long and Queens are 1/4″ long and black in color. The pavement ant gets its name from often nesting in pavement cracks.Watch The Channel (2016) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Behavior

Pavement ant colonies are moderately large to larger in size containing 3,000-4,000 ants and will forage in trails up to 30 feet from their nest. Inside, the pavement ant will nest in walls, cracks in expansion joints, under baseboards, under floors, masonry and insulation.

Outside nesting may occur under stone, cracks in pavement and next to structures. The pavement ant will feed on anything – other insects, honeydew, seeds, plant sap, cheese, bread, nuts and even meat.

Treatment

Most infestations of Pavement ants can be controlled with Clark’s Year Round Pest Control. However, in cases of heavy, difficult infestations, a combination of residual barriers and baits may be used.


Odorous House Ant


Odorous House AntPhysical Characteristics

Odorous house ants are 1/16″ to 1/8″ long and black in color. The odorous house ant is known for its pungent, rotten coconut like smell when crushed.film Kong: Skull Island download

Behavior

The odorous house ant colony may consist of several colonies with 100 to 100,000 ants and many queens. Outside odorous house ant nest in exposed soil, under objects such as lumber, brick and even in honey bee hives.

Inside, nests are usually found near sources of moisture in wall voids, near water heaters, plumbing and even under toilets. Odorous house ants feed primarily on insects (dead or alive), honeydew, plant secretion and seeds.

Treatment

Most infestations of odorous house ants can be controlled with Clark’s Year Round Pest Control. However, in cases of heavy, difficult infestations, a combination of residual barriers and baits may be used.


Harvester Ant


Physical Characteristics

The harvester ants found in California range from 1/4 to 3/8 inches long, and are orange to reddish brown in color (P. californicus), red (P. occidentalis) or reddish black to black (P. rugosa). All harvester ants have barbed stingers.

Behavior

Harvester ants are urban pests, although they do not invade homes or structures. These ants nest in mounds, maybe covered with pebbles, charcoal or even fragments of dead vegetation that are used to retain heat. When they go off to forage, these ants will leave the nest one by one, heading off in different directions. The harvester ant’s name comes from its habit of stripping vegetation while collecting seeds, resulting in large bare spots in vegetation and lawns. The harvester ant can be aggressive when defending its nest, resulting in stings similar to a bee’s, and this ant will engage in long, drawn-out wars with other colonies. You might describe these ants as the ruffians of the bug world. And when you’re watching an old western movie and there’s a person staked out over an ant mound? The harvester ant is most likely the culprit.

Treatment

Treating harvester ants should be handled by a trained, licensed pest management professional, due to this ant’s aggressive nature. If you suspect you might have harvester ants, call Clark’s Pest Control, and our friendly technician will identify them for certain, before taking appropriate measures.


Carpenter Ant


Carpenter AntPhysical Characteristics

Carpenter worker ants are 1/8″ – 1/2″ long and Queens are 1/2″ – 5/8″ long, black in color.

Behavior

Carpenter ants occur in large colonies with several queens. Colony nests can be found in wall voids, insulation, rotting fence posts, decaying trees and can be very destructive to timbers; they will forage up to 300 feet from the nest. Carpenter ants are attracted to honey dew, fruit and plant juices, sweets, eggs, meat and insects best slimming aids.

Treatment

Most infestations of Carpenter ants can be controlled with Clark’s Year Round Pest Control. However, in cases of heavy, difficult infestations, a combination of residual barriers and baits may be used.


Argentine Ant


Argentine antPhysical Characteristics

Argentine worker ants are 1/16 inch long; queens are two to four times larger than workers (1/8 to 1/4 inches in length). They are light to dark brown in color. Their antennae each have 12 segments, and there’s no “club” at the end. Viewed from the side, their thorax isn’t rounded but humped; their pedicel, or waist, has one segment. There’s no stinger at the end of the abdomen, but the Argentine ant can bite.

Behavior

The Argentine ant prefers sweets like fruit juices, candy and plant secretions. They will tend aphids and scale insects for their “honeydew” – a sweet, sugary secretion that aphids and scale insects produce – much like the way farmers tend cows for milking; it’s estimated that 70 percent of the Argentine ant’s diet comes from these farming activities. The Argentine ant will nest near a source of moisture – household plumbing, sinks or potted plants. Workers follow routine trails while seeking food, and may be accompanied by winged queens. These ground-nesting ants may nest as deep as 24 feet, and will forage for food up to 200 feet from their nests. These ants will make use of tree branches and even utility lines to travel. One difference between Argentine ants and other ant species is that Argentine ants will combine into massive supercolonies, sometimes hundreds of miles long (one Argentine supercolony stretches from San Francisco to San Diego), rather than launch into wars between different ant colonies, making these six-legged pests the urbanized ant of the future. Wherever Argentine ants are introduced, they quickly become the dominant ant species, not because they’re stronger warriors – although they do a pretty good job taking out fire ant and carpenter ant colonies – but because they’re better organized and can get along with each other.

Treatment

The Argentine ant will try to enter your house during hot, dry weather, looking for the cooler temperatures and moisture it prefers. Any potential points of entry need to be blocked, and bridges to your house, such as branches that touch the structure, need to be trimmed back. And because of this ant’s fondness for sweets, keeping surfaces and floors clean in your kitchen helps to keep the Argentine ant away. If you should experience a heavy, difficult infestation of Argentine ants, your friendly local Clark’s Pest Control branch is a phone call away.