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Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) have been around for decades, originally coming from South America and first arriving in the U.S. somewhere between 1933 and 1945. They are commonly found in the southern states ranging from Texas to Florida. These pests can be aggravating and quite painful if they bite. It helps to know when they are most active and how to deal with them.
Red imported fire ants are similar in appearance to regular black ants but give off a dark reddish-brown color. They measure 1.6mm to 5mm in length.
Fire ants are known to search for food in warmer temperatures, especially in the range between 72°F and 96°F. They are mostly active during the summer and fall months but can emerge as early as March. Their mounds can be found in yards, stumps, rotting logs, and even around playgrounds. Fire ant mounds can house up to 200,000 individuals and can be up to two feet high and three feet across.
Due to their habitat, they can be a threat to people who enjoy being outside. Although commonly referred to as a bite, they actually sting. Red ants are known to sting humans who disturb a mound. The sting of a red imported fire ant is painful, and the results of the sting are raised welts that can become a white pustule. Often a person will find that they have been stung multiple times by different ants. The biggest threat is if the person has an allergy to insect stings.
If you end up finding these nests or RIFAs roaming in your home, contact a professional local pest control company who can help set up a treatment and control plan for your home. Since RIFAs are known to have a very painful bite, it’s important to remove them as soon as possible.
Ant season peaks in the spring and summertime, with these pests oftentimes finding their way inside your home. But did you know that carpenter ants remain active throughout the year? In return, they can cause damage to your home and infest.
Carpenter ants will nest in damaged wood, usually softwood damaged from water. Carpenter ant damage includes excavating wood to expand their nests, often making holes throughout exposed wood. If these ants are found inside, it is also an indication that there is a water issue, such as a leak.
While these ants are most active in the spring and summer, they are also known to infest homes during the winter months, as well. They will forage for food and water, looking for proteins, fats, and sugars. Once inside, these ants will look for a moist environment to help them survive. They can often be found in bathrooms, kitchens, pipes, and roof vents.
While carpenter ants do not die off in the winter months, they will instead become dormant when the temperatures drop. This usually depends on where they have built their nests and how much the temperature has dropped. If they have already found themselves inside, they will remain active or revive from their dormant state once the heat from the house has risen.
To prevent ants from entering your home this fall and winter, consider placing these preventative measures throughout your house,
If you’ve ever noticed dirt mounds throughout your yard, you might be assuming that they are just ant mounds. But, if you look closer, certain mounds could be home to a completely difference species. Digger bee mounds could easily be confused with ant mounds, but truthfully, the two species couldn’t be more different.
Digger bees are ¼ to ½ inch long, and depending on their species can be dark, shiny metallic, often with yellow, white, or rust-colored markings. What’s unique about digger bees from other bees is they tend to build their nest about 6 inches deep under the ground. The adult female digger bees live in these mounds underground while the male digger bees dig to the surface of the soil creating a pathway for the females to emerge during springtime.
Digger bee mounds can usually be found in areas of your yard where the grass is sparse, such as a dry or shady area. They typically build their nests close together, creating a cluster of several small mounds.
Fire ants can vary in different sizes but have a dark red body color that can range from reddish brown to reddish black, depending on their species. Fire ants do have a stinger and when used can give off a painful sting.
Fire ant mounds are usually raised where you can easily spot them in your yard. The mounds are also dome-shaped and can range from two- to four-square feet in size. Fire ant colonies can be found to have an average of 80,000 worker ants. They typically like to avoid darkness and shade; therefore, they will build their mounds in sunny areas of yards, rather than in shaded areas.
From above, you can see just how different these two species are and how different their habitat is. While digger bees like to build their mounds underground and in shaded areas, the fire ant can be seen building theirs visibly and in sunny areas of the yard. If you believe you have either of these pests in your yard, it’s best to contact a professional pest control company who can help identify and provide treatment plans.