Fire Ants: Recognizing Them & Getting Rid of Them Safely

The ant is a little creature but some of them have an awfully big sting. This is true whether you live in Australia, South America, Africa, or the United States. Some ants just have the ability to pack a serious bite that is way above their size. Don’t underestimate the potential punch that a fire ant can give if you receive a bite (or multiple bites).

One example: In Brazil the Mawe tribe uses the pain of these ant bites (from bullet ants) as a major part of their ceremony welcoming boys into manhood. Gloves are filled with bullet ants, and the unfortunate boys about to become men must put their hands in these gloves and face the pain of the bites.

While that makes for an impressively dramatic moment moving from boyhood to manhood, it’s not a concern most of us are going to have outside of the tribe. While not quite as painful as bullet ants, fire ants are the most likely equivalent you’re likely to find in the United States. Especially in the South and Southwest.

Understanding the Fire Ant

Fire ants have many similarities to other ants. They are social creatures that live in massive underground colonies. However, there are many differences that really cause them to stick out, as well. They are one of the very few types of ants that have multiple queens. This means groups of fire ants tend to grow extremely quickly, break off, and continue to grow.

Fire ants also eat both plants and animals, meaning other insects need to watch out. Their bite has a venom that isn’t dangerous to most people, but it hurts like crazy and that’s even with just one bite. That’s not even looking at multiple bites.

Fire Ants = Big Problems

Fire ants not only cause painful bites but they can cause a wide array of problems on your property. Not only outside, but also inside, as well. Even getting too close to a nest you don’t even know is there can set fire ants off to attack. This will be incredibly painful and if you end up being allergic to their bites, this can lead to severe medical issues. Especially if you’re being bit in large numbers.

Fire ants tear up the ground, will aggressively spread in an area, and as an additional pain in the butt: they are more than happy to settle inside of electrical equipment. Causing actual home damage and in some very rare cases even may have contributed to shorts or damage in older houses that caused house fires.

The multiple queens mean that it’s also virtually impossible to kill off a colony on your own. This requires the help of a professional extermination service to make sure every colony is located and found, and eliminated. Miss one queen and eventually the colony will bounce back and you’ll have the same exact issues as before.

Getting Rid of Fire Ants

Call a professional who knows how to specifically deal with them. You’re not only saving yourself time and stress, but a professional extermination specialist will be able to get the job done. Make sure to ask specifically about fire ants. General ant extermination won’t do!

With the right professional, the right tools, and the right techniques, fire ants will become a problem of the past and you can return back to living life, taking care of your property, and not having to worry about the sudden sharp burning of fire ant bites along the way.