Fire Ant Info
A common pest we find in the Memphis area are fire ants. Fire ants have the ability to bite humans and pets and cause extreme discomfort. They typically nest in the ground, with mounds occasionally reaching 61 cm across and 18 cm in height. The larger colonies can have over 250,000 workers actively keeping the colony alive. The fire ants are extremely aggressive and will sting anyone or anything that intrudes their space.
Fire Ants Appearance
Fire ants are typically reddish in color, thus the name fire ant, and can grow to be between 1.6 and 5 mm in length. They prefer warmer climates, and have large mandibles they use to grab and attack their prey. Once held, they use a stinger to inject venom.
Fire Ant Habits
The fire ants are omnivorous, eating sweet and greasy materials, as well as many types of meat. They will feed on both vegetable and animal sources to feed the colony. They will eat worms, spiders, insects, honeydew, and other fruits. Regardless how an animal died, the fire ants will consume the dead body. The larvae are fed by the adult fire ants until the third stage of development is complete.
Fire Ant Reproduction
The total time that it takes for the egg to become an adult fire ant is only 30 days. This means an infestation can easily cause the population to double in less than a month if left untreated. The workers will typically live for six months, the queen from two up to six years.
Fire Ant Treatment
The sting from one fire ant is painful, bitten by several can be deadly. Children running barefoot on the lawn could step right on a huge ant colony, and be attacked instantly. The bites will cause nausea, swelling, itching, and require medical treatment as quickly as possible. The stinger of the fire ants contain alkaloid venom, causing red bumps and pustules. If you have noticed any fire ant activity on your property, it is a good idea to call us before a pet or child is bitten and needs medical treatment.