We see ants practically every day. Surprisingly, colonies of ants comprise 300,000 to 500,000 ants.
They seem harmless and aren’t much of a huge concern whether they may appear in black or brownish-red color, just as it does with rodents. But, unknown to many, ants can be a devil in disguise.
Soon enough, you’ll realize that you have a colony of ants as your company living under your roof. Destroying house plants and creating uneven spaces in architectural wood in your house, or even health issues. These ants are namely carpenter, odorous, or fire ants.
Homeowners who have gone through these concerns shared a few tips on avoiding instances of having an ant-infested home, emphasizing that prevention is better than cure.
However, when it reaches a point that it is uncontrollable; a pest control operator might be the viable solution to handle such pests– in this context, fire ants.
What to know about fire ants
Picking someone your own size, as the saying is against a fire ant’s mantra, but what are fire ants? These reddish-brown insects are aggressive when disturbed, leaving swollen and itchy marks to a person.
Usually, fire ants have their habitats in the soil ground, creating visible lumps that appear benign to the human eye since they live deep belowground; they can reach up to 18 inches in height.
As much as it is a widely accepted concept that an anthill has a hole in its center top, it is less indication that fire ants are present in an area because of the lack of entry points in their mound.
Besides the natural environment, fire ants can find solace through cracks in a house’s concrete or wood walls, which can be more alarming. It is for their benefit of food sources and habitat preferences.
Once the thief ants, as others would call it to be, have breached by staying in holes of surfaces or plants, the chances of accidentally interacting with these species are high, and colonies would most likely begin to develop.
As menacing as fire ants sound, their roles are beneficial in our ecological system. While fire ants create their habitats, they provide further water and oxygen to plants as the soil ruptures.
Additionally, they are like pest controllers because they prey on plant-feeding insects, which have helped farmers deal with crop loss.
Fire ants & health
A popular comparison is that getting injected and bitten by ants are identical, thus making it look gentle and fast. However, that might not be the case, especially when one would think a fire ant would be completely harmless.
Fire ants are known to be aggressive. Whatever types of disturbance you can do unto their mounds, either you poke it with a stick or step on it; it is without a doubt that fire ants will quickly harm you.
Although it isn’t much of a panic situation if you got bitten by a fire ant, it is important to know what effects could lead to it. It is normal for the skin to be irritated, redden, and have a small bump. Doctors estimate blisters might appear from 8 to 24 hours after the bite.
You can easily treat it with an ice pack or creams to alleviate irritation. However, suppose it triggers any allergic reactions.
In that case, it is preferable to seek immediate medical care to assist you well, epinephrine shots work and symptoms of nausea, fast breathing, and tongue swelling. Just be sure to have yourself professionally checked and assisted in preventing the situation from worsening.
Keeping fire ants far away
From its looks, fire ants are quite challenging to be around despite their environmental contributions. It gets confusing to identify a fire ant regarding how small these insects are.
They share an appearance with other well-known species of ants, like odorous ones or even acrobat ants.
Fire ants can be spotted in common places. Whether it is your backyard, garage, or kitchen; fire ants can find a way to replace their homes with an even better one.
So, you might want to inspect your surroundings for potential habitats of fire ants or other colonies of species that have been there unbeknownst to you.
Although, not all ants that appear red automatically fire ants since fire ants come in different shades of both a mix of brown and orange and black.
So, how do you know if you have been living with fire ants? In preventing fire ants, first, it is important to review what draws them inside your home.
Check moist areas
Fire ants are abundant in Texas, where water vapor is high to inhabit moist areas. Their appeal towards wet conditions made them strong enough to withstand floods; it is why they are usually seen after extreme rainy weather.
For instance, in bathrooms, it is often damp. Water leaks that occur under kitchen sinks or basements are also considered a magnet for fire ants, so you might want to examine any leaks happening in your house.
In reaching these regions, fire ants will make their way through pipes or HVACS situated near the soil outside the home.
Fire ants can adapt to this kind of environment and colonize the area due to their capabilities to create a raft by linking with each other. Supposedly, water doesn’t completely defeat these insects.
Fill in gaps
Similar to fire ants’ mounds in the land, their criteria for a place to stay in should be deep enough to shelter them and have a warm temperature. Luckily for fire ants, the spaces between the walls are perfect enough as habitats when they enter a house.
Any cracks or shallow holes in walls, floors, or pillars serve as a convenient pathway for fire ants travelling to and from their habitats and food source. So, as much as possible, make sure to seal if there are any.
Another species of ants that you should be aware of that is quite analogous to a fire ant are carpenter ants. They are mostly the ones responsible for structural damages. For example, carpenter ants will chew on wood to create a concave opening on the surface.
Keep it clean
Flies aren’t the only insects to enjoy cluttered items and trash in homes. The moment an ant worker senses a pile of littered leftovers, a colony follows, which continuously grows after having a newfound stock of sustenance.
So have your kitchen, dining area, and living room regularly cleaned.
Throwing your trash right away is a good example of cleanliness alongside repelling fire ants. Washing your stack of dishes immediately also helps since fire ants are quick.
Not to mention, storing food by keeping it in sealed containers lessens the possibility of attracting fire ants. Likewise, wipe countertops that may have any residue of food or condiments. Finally, having closed trashcans can also do as much as cleaning the place.
Still, got ants?
These are simple and effective actions that you can take to decrease instances of a fire ant-infested home. But what if there is a deeper problem that lies within your home?
Take examining holes and openings, for example. The smaller these gaps are, the more difficult they are to find, especially sealing them.
Consequently, pest control operators now play their role in rampant situations. They make use of special and complementary treatments that would alleviate your ant concerns no matter how severe they might be.
Guide for fire ant control
If you think you’ve done all the work to keep the ants away, cleaning, covering holes, and keeping most rooms dry as possible, ringing an exterminator is the next step.
They address the concerns of colony size and location, what species they are, and how intense their growth is.
What catches the eyes of an ant exterminator is the root of the problem: the fire ants’ current habitat. But first, they determine in which area lies an ant colony. It helps exterminators identify their entry point and, eventually, the ants’ home.
Couldn’t reach them within the walls? Problem solved. The exterminators will specifically search for fire ants and other ant species that influence the situation.
The operators will seal it using a safe product containing plant-based repellants for every opening spotted. Additionally, the integration of glue boards may be needed for tracking where ant colonies are potentially present at most times.
Controlling fire ants outside is completely different from how they are treated inside your home. Exterminators are focused more on the house’s perimeter by scanning openings such as weep holes; small spaces for ventilation in construction.
They will also consider pavement cracks since these are passageways for ants. These will all be sprayed with either of the following chemicals: residual dust, micro-encapsulated spray product, or granules.
Keep in mind that neither you nor exterminators can entirely wipe out ants. They are naturally around us, existing and roaming, but we can make sure they’re not in your home or lawn!
Call us now for fire ant extermination at 214-617-0756.