The Appearance:

Fire ants hitched a ride to the United States by way of cargo ships in the 1930’s. They first arrived in the seaport of Mobile, Alabama and have spread into nine southeastern states, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, and Oklahoma.

Physical Characteristics:

Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) are small in size, about 1/16 to 1/4 of an inch in length. The fire ants are reddish brown but with a darker abdomen. Several identifying characteristics of these ants are two petiole nodes between the abdomen and thorax. Fire ants are different sizes and not uniform. Fire ants will have ten segments on each antenna when viewed with a microscope. The antenna looks like a single bend or elbow to the naked eye.

Where are they?

Fire ant colonies are most common in lawns, parks, gardens, school yards, and on roadsides.  They love building their nests in sunny, open places.  Red fire ant mounds are between four to twenty-four inches tall and do not have a visible entrance. Mounds are accessed by underground tunnels that spread out from the main colony (mound). Mounds that are not red fire ants are rarely an inch or two in height. Red fire ant mounds have a fresh plowed appearance to them. After a rain you will notice these mounds in greater numbers. We have a lot of clay soil in this area so it holds water better than sandy soil. This will push the mounds higher than in a sandy environment.


We treat fire ants every day. This is the single most called for insect at our company. Safe Earth Pest Control uses several different methods for treating them. We treat the yard with a liquid for short term and baits or granules for long term relief. It is possible to treat a yard and not have any ants for 12 months and sometimes longer. Visit our ant page for more information and to schedule an appointment or just to call us if you’re looking for ant control.