There are about 200 types of ant species in the world, and fire ants are among them. Fire ants, also known as the red imported fire ants, are black and red in color, and have dark abdomens. This species is also much smaller as compared to other types of ants.
They nest in the soil in large colonies ranging from tens of thousands to over 200,000 individuals. Fire ants are known to be aggressive, especially near the nest. As their name suggests, these tiny insects can cause damage, inflict painful stings, and are generally dangerous.
Read on to learn more about fire ants and what damages they can cause to you and your house.
Are Fire Ants An Invasive Species?
Fire ants are an invasive species and they first appeared in the US in the early 20th century. Here, they now crowd out native species of ants by directly competing for food.
They move in large numbers looking for food, and water on rare occasions, and will cause severe infestations if they invade your house and find sugar or food.
They are cold-blooded insects and thus increase their activities during the summertime. At this time, these insects are actively searching for food as they increase their population and they need to feed their big colonies.
Once they establish their colonies, it can be difficult to eliminate fire ants from your home as the reproduction rate is high.
They like to make their nests inside the soil in a moist area around the house such as a watered lawn or any other damp place in your yard.
As a result, the large mound in the open area can be easily seen from a distance. At other times, they will build their nests beneath objects such as rocks, logs, or bricks that are lying on the ground. In that case, the nest is not going to be easily visible as it is formed in a sheltered place.
Besides, a colony builds a mound in several months, and only then it is large enough to be noticed in a typical yard lawn.
Are Fire Ants Destructive?
Fire ants in Georgia can be very destructive, especially to plants, and in other cases, can cause death to small animals. In the US alone, it is estimated they cause $6.7 billion per year in damage to the environment and agriculture.
They feed on young plants and seeds, which leads to farm losses, and keep in mind that they forage a lot during the summer months due to their high rate of activity.
Fire ants will destroy your home’s utilities and be a serious hazard as they pose the risk of causing an electrical malfunction. If they invade your home, they can damage the electrical and communications equipment as they tend to chew on insulators, and worse still, they deposit soil to create a nest.
On residential properties, fire ants can infest and damage all sorts of electrical equipment, and the most common include air conditioners, electric pumps, circuit breakers, switch boxes, and transformer boxes. They will get into the phone wiring. This will make the equipment not work due to a short circuit caused by a great number of electrocuted ants.
When the electrical machinery starts to malfunction, you place yourself at a greater risk of fire hazards and financial losses.
Can Fire Ants Cause Structural Damage?
Fire ants can cause structural damage in buildings. A colony of fire ant workers builds tunnels by excavating the ground to create space to avoid being squeezed in one place.
These excavations can lead to structural damages if they are near the walls, driveways, and pathways. This might cause the structure to collapse. For instance, if they invade a tree near the house, the tree might fall and damage the nearby property.
During heavy rains, a colony of fire ants migrates to safety and may end up in homes, invading the ceiling and other wooden structures in the house. This might cause damages to the roof or floors if they are wooden.
What Damage And Problems Do Red Imported Fire Ants Cause?
Fire ants have venom to defend themselves against anything they feel is a threat to them. They bite by gripping onto their victim, and then inject the venom using their abdomen.
This venom can cause anaphylactic shock or mild eczema to human beings, especially in young children, older people, and people with disabilities. To some extent, the bites might require emergency treatments.
Pets, caged animals, and wild animals are also at risk of being bitten by these red imported fire ants. This can be dangerous as the venom might cause death or irreversible injuries to these animals.
Typically, fire ants like to live outside and have been known to build their nests inside the walls of buildings. The activity of fire ants can also lead to property and structural damages if they invade a house.
In addition, they damage crops, negatively affect agriculture and food production.
On A Final Note,
Fire ants can pose a really hazardous threat to you and your home, but you can prevent this!
When fire ants enter your property, there is no time to wait. By the time their mounds are visible, these intruders have been working hard for many months, overtaking your property from underneath. These pests have no respect for boundaries.
Thus, as soon as you spot fire ants in your yard, you need to address the problem immediately. Don’t delay as you’ll put yourself and your finances at risk because the damage they might cause can be very pricey.
For a thorough, free inspection and fire ant removal services, seek the help of a professional company like American Pest Control in Athens, GA. Our team of experts will treat your fire ant infestation, no matter how bad it has gotten.
Our certified pest experts will work with you to find the best solution for your needs. Simply fill out this form for a free, no-obligation estimate.
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