What Is A Fire Ant?
Fire ants in McKinney come in a range of colors from orange to red to brown. Like all ants, they have three body segments and six legs. Within each colony, individual ants come in a range of sizes. Sometimes their abdomens seem to be transparent in the right light. They are equipped with singers that have no trouble penetrating human or animal skin. That is why they can be a pain for both people and pets.
Fire Ants Are Fierce
Fire ants have busy colonies and can populate quickly once they find a suitable place to build their home. They like protein and glucose, or in other words, they will eat meat and sugar. Fire ants are fond of invading trash cans in search of food fragments left behind.
Fire ants are more aggressive than most ants and have been known to eat baby birds alive even as the mother birds work tirelessly to fend them off. Baby birds are susceptible to fire ant swarms because they are unable to move away from the attacked areas.
The Best Way To Avoid Fire Ants
Keeping counters and floors clean while keeping food in tightly closed containers is the best defense against fire ant infestations in your home. However, even clean kitchens don't always stop fire ants. If you see them around your property, its best to call a professional right away.
Fire Ants Can Hurt
Fire ants are notorious for their painful stings, and they are easy to agitate. Frequently fire ants go on the defensive when their marching line is broken or their mound is disturbed. When they're even slightly bothered, they seem to attack everything nearby. That is why they're often found attempting to sting our clothing.
Their burning sting along with their color gives them their name. The painful mark associated with the exchange between a fire ant and its prey is often mistaken as an ant bite. However, ants actually sting just like wasps and bees do. For most of us, a sting is simply painful, but for those people with allergies to stinging insects, ant stings can be dangerous or even fatal if left untreated. For small children and people who have never been diagnosed with allergic reactions to stinging insects, ants may pose an unknown danger.
Why Are Fire Ants So Hard To Exterminate?
Ants are hard to exterminate because their colonies are large, and to effectively kill them, you must reach the queen.
A fire ant queen might live between six and seven years. They can lay between one to two thousand eggs every day.
Their colonies stay at a population of about a quarter-million. The individual workers are classified by size. The smaller to medium-sized fire ants are tasked with protecting the eggs, taking care of the pupa, and maintaining the network of tunnels they dig for their hive. The larger ants use their big mandibles to macerate food into manageable pieces. As a result, ant baits may only kill larger ants, and thus, they may not reach the rest of the colony, mainly, the queen.
After the queen mates with a male, he leaves the center of the colony. Therefore, when a male takes the bait, it may not reach the queen. Furthermore, queen ants only mate once until the colony reaches maximum capacity. When the colony reaches maximum capacity, some of the eggs also become queens. During the spring, winged male and female ants set off on what is called the nuptial flight. During the nuptial flight, the young winged queen breeds and starts a new colony, and the males are excised. When queens are born outside of the swarming season, the first thing they do is try to kill the old queen. Newly formed queens rarely succeed in usurping the rule of the primary queen and are quickly killed by the old queen unless the existing queen is old or weak or has been recently poisoned and is dead. Because of this behavior and constant refreshing of potential queens, it is often impossible to kill off fire ant colonies without professional help.
There is a lot of basic ant information that most folks don’t need to know. Fortunately, our professionals at Big D Pest & Termite Services stay up to date on how ants behave so that we know how to treat them. Knowing how each ant species will respond to treatment and what treatments work best for fire ants help us better control your ant population. Our experience makes all the difference. Call us today if you’ve noticed ants making themselves at home in your house or business. We will come to your McKinney property, find a solution that works to control your current fire ant population and prevent it from returning. Reach out to us today for high-quality home pest control in McKinney.