How to Get Rid of Fire Ants

How to Get Rid of Fire Ants

If you think you may have a fire ant problem, it’s likely that you found out the hard way. Millions of people and animals are stung by fire ants every year, especially in the South where fire ant nests are much more prolific. If you don’t want to let fire ants ruin your outdoor summer fun, we’ve got ways to rid your yard of these aggressive pests permanently. We’ll answer some frequently-asked fire ant questions below.

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Where Did Fire Ants Come From?

Though this may seem surprising, fire ants are not actually native to the United States. They were brought here inadvertently in the 1930’s on a cargo ship that docked on the Alabama coast. Now, these pests can be found in virtually every state, but they especially thrive in warm, humid southern climates and are able to reproduce rapidly and easily since they have no natural predators.

Are Fire Ants Dangerous?

Much like many other stinging yard pests, fire ants can be a nuisance to some and a much more serious problem for others. When a fire ant hill is disturbed, ants automatically begin to climb and attack whatever—or whoever—caused the disturbance. Their bites cause itchy, burning blisters that can last for a week or longer and can be extremely painful. In rare cases, these bites can cause an allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. At best, fire ants cause aggravation and pain, and at worst, they can be potentially deadly.

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What’s the Difference Between Fire Ants and Red Ants?

Though it’s sometimes tricky to determine from a distance, fire ants are slightly smaller in size than red ants. The best way to identify fire ants, however, is by their behavior. While red ants won’t swarm or attack unless they feel threatened, fire ants are much more aggressive and will automatically attack in large groups with little provocation. Fire ants are also more active in the mornings or late afternoons, while red ants are most active at night.

Can Fire Ant Infestations Be Prevented?

The best way to prevent fire ants from settling in your yard is by taking precautionary steps to get rid of their food, shelter, and water. This can be accomplished by:

  • Keeping trees, plants, hedges, and shrubs neatly trimmed
  • Raking ground cover like pine straw and mulch away from the perimeter of your home
  • Emptying any vessel or container that has collected standing water
  • Gathering any fallen fruit from the ground if you have fruit-bearing trees in your yard

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Why are Fire Ants Difficult to Get Rid Of?

Fire ants are especially hard to eliminate for several reasons:

  • They often have very large colonies that extend underground a great distance.
  • They usually occur in large numbers, so even if a sizable group of ants is eliminated, another group of ants will quickly move into the partially abandoned colony to take their place.
  • There are often two or more queens in a colony, so even if one is killed, the colony can recover quickly and continue to thrive.

How a Professional Can Help

The professionally trained team at Thompson Brothers has the skills, experience, tools, and procedures to come to inspect your fire ant problem and customize a plan to eliminate your infestation permanently. Call us today to help get rid of these aggressive pests, and spend your summer enjoying fireworks, fireflies, and campfires—not fighting with fire ants.

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Thompson Brothers Exterminating and Waterproofing has been serving families and businesses in North Carolina and South Carolina for over 60 years, and we look forward to serving you. We are happy to provide free estimates with absolutely no obligation to you.

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