With their fierce bite and bee-like sting, fire ants are by far the most dangerous type of ant in the valley. A fire ant sting can evolve into a dangerous staph infection, making it especially important that you invest in pest control to keep these creepy crawlies away from your family. Fire ants range in size and can often be found in large dirt mounds that reach as much as 5 feet into the ground and feature many different entrances. Eradicating fire ants takes an expert hand given the deep nests and numerous possible escape routes.
California fire ants will nest in the ground, in a kitchen, in wood, soil, and masonry, at the base of trees or shrubs, and in grass clumps. They may access interior spaces through HVAC systems, electricity inputs, outlets, and pipelines. Because they are drawn to electricity, these ants may nest in breaker panels, electrical junctions, and water boxes. Fire ants prefer a high-protein diet but will eat nearly anything, including dead animals, insects, plant material, and honeydew. They have been seen eating electrical and phone lines after locating the wire insulation; they have also been observed eating soiled clothing. The California fire ant is very aggressive, inflicting harm on passive human prey such as the elderly, newborns, and pets.
A mound of fluffy worked soil is visible, especially a few days after a big rain.
Unlike other ant mounds, this one has no opening in the middle.
Red imported fire ants depart through underground tunnels and enter the mound that houses the colony.
Undisturbed pasture mounds may grow 18 inches tall, although most mounds in turfgrass regions are just a few inches tall. You may notice white items when you shovel into the colony's mound of soil. This is the brood, which consists of maturing ants' eggs, larvae, and pupae.
Being stung feels like being burned. A day or two later, the imported fire ant's venom creates a white fluid-filled pustule or blister at the red sting site, which is quite distinctive - only fire ant venom causes this symptom!
If you've ever been stung by a fire ant, you know how painful they can be. The first "bite" will feel like a strong pinch. Following that, victims will experience itching or burning in the affected region. The wound left behind is very visible. They seem to be pimples, but they are circular pus-filled blisters. These markings will show around 20 minutes after the incident.
If you are allergic to fire ants, their sting may cause severe symptoms:
- Breathing problems
- Tongue and throat swelling
If you have any of these symptoms, get medical attention immediately. On the other hand, the sting of fire ants may tell you if you have a raging inferno underneath your lawn or something a little more manageable.