HOW FIRE ANTS WORK - AND HOW TO GET RID OF THEM
Fire ants are a challenging foe in most CSRA yards. Our seasonal humidity and landscape offers fire ants the moisture and food they need to thrive. At a minimum, their stings are uncomfortable, and, in more serious cases, they can cause a life-threatening reaction, with children, elderly adults and immuno-suppressed individuals most likely to be impacted. You want to get rid of them, but how? First, let’s talk a bit more about fire ants.
Fire ants live in colonies, led by one or more queens. Each colony features an extensive network of tunnels located underground. The depth of the tunnels is influenced by the type of the soil and the moisture level. As you might hypothesize, tunnel systems are typically deeper in harder soils, such as clay, than in softer, sandy soils, which are more commonly found in our area. The mounds – or nests – you see in your yard are created by pushing soil up from underground, and unless conditions are too hot or dry, they are home to sterile female worker ants, all capable of stinging when threatened.
While the mounds you see above the ground are the clearest indicator of a fire ant colony, they aren’t the exclusive home of the ants, nor are they even necessary for a colony to survive. When conditions are unsatisfactory, the colony may move entirely underground and only come out at night to forage for food. Fire ants prefer to build their nests in sunny, open spaces, but we’ve all most likely seen nests in less common – but no less frustrating places – such as near trees or fallen logs or along the foundation of a home or building. (Or in a recent client case, an ant mound built adjacent to their pool pump caused bearing damage to the pump, resulting in the necessary replacement of both the pump and the motor.)
And fire ants can be challenging to keep up with. Their mounds are important to their reproductive life cycle, and as such, fire ants will move a mound to help ensure optimum conditions for the development of their brood. According to the Ant Pest Community of Practice, fire ant colonies will frequently migrate from one site to another, building a mound as far as several hundred feet away from a previous location in very short periods of time, such as overnight. Flooding, whether from rain or intentional effort, simply causes the colony to leave one mound and float until they can reach land suitable to establish a new mound.
To eliminate a fire ant colony, you must kill the queen(s) and address the full scope of the mound and underground activity. Don’t waste your time or money on fire ant treatments that are ineffective or insufficient. The experts at Stokes Mosquito and Outdoor Pest Service can help you address active mounds and discourage further ant activity in the treated areas – all with a satisfaction guarantee. Contact Stokes Mosquito to learn more about affordable and effective fire ant control in the CSRA.
Say goodbye bugs and hello to spending time outside again. Stokes Mosquito and Outdoor Pest Service is a full-service outdoor pest control company, specializing in mosquito, fire ant, flea & tick control. Our custom treatment plans include all-natural, plant-based options and are bee and pollinator-friendly. We proudly serve the greater Augusta, GA, area, including Evans, Martinez, Grovetown, North Augusta, Edgefield and Aiken. Ask us about our 21-day mosquito “bite free” guarantee!