If you stop and think about fire ants, I doubt you get really warm and fuzzy inside. After all, they are annoying, they pack a stinging bite, and they seem to multiply at record speed. But they are also a wonder of nature, a miracle bioengineering feat. They can be super tiny or as big as a quarter of an inch—not too shabby for an insect that’s microscopic! Fire ants are also easily identifiable because of their bodies being slightly darker than their heads, which are usually brown.
Their eating methods might be rather simple, but they are pretty complicated when it comes their digestion. They have incredibly strong mandibles, considering their small size. They cut and then chew through the skin in order to get busy sucking up the nutrients that are in liquid form. They even have 2 stomachs—the first one is used to store their own food, and the other stomach is used to store the food until they bring it back to the rest of their colony for them to feed on. Isn’t that nice!
The bites from fire ants can be very painful and irritating, causing stinging and burning and even swelling in some people. This is how they got their name of fire ant. Most people will also experience a raised welt that will fill with fluid. As hard as it is, it’s really crucial for proper healing to try not to scratch the bite or pick at it, as this can easily cause infection or even scarring.
Fire ants are tiny creatures and often tough to spot on clothing. Don’t let their small size fool you however, as their bites can pack a punch comparable to much larger insects and animals. The bite of a fire ant can be felt within seconds. They may also continue to bite several times, even if their venom has run out.
If you do get an ant bite, the first thing you should do is get away from the mound or area where they came from. Secondly, take off any clothing that may have had ants in or on them. You don’t want to run the risk of being bitten again. The next thing you should do is get some rubbing alcohol and clean the area. This will not only clean and disinfect it, but the alcohol will also take the sting out. If you don’t have alcohol, then you can just use soap and water. Finally, you might want to use an ice pack or cold compress for a few minutes to reduce inflammation. Cortisone cream will also help. If you are concerned about any reaction that seems extreme or causes you to have trouble breathing, contact your poison control center at once or call 911!
In order to kill fire ants, pour boiling water over the mound. You can also make a solution of lye and water and pour it in a circle around the mound. This traps the fire ants. Pour the remainder of the solution all over the mound. Always handle lye with extreme caution!
The goal is to kill the queen. It can be hard to do, but not impossible. There are some insecticides that are formulated specifically to get to the queen. Ask your local home center about these products.
If you are having trouble eradicating your fire ant mounds, give us a call at AAA Pest Control! We have tried and true methods and are ready and waiting to help you get rid of these pesky nuisances!
AAA Pest Control
Myrtle Beach, SC