Black Fire Ants

Black imported fire ants (Solenopsis richteri) were accidentally imported to North America. Black imported fire ants (BIFA) are nearly identical in habits to red imported fire ants (RIFA). The easiest way to distinguish BIFA from RIFA is coloration. BIFA are dark brown to black whereas RIFA are predominately red with a black abdomen.

BIFA are believed to have originated in Argentina and Uruguay, in contrast to RIFA, which have been linked to Brazil for their point of origin. After introduction to the United States, BIFA remain limited to a smaller region, consisting of Mississippi, Alabama and part of Tennessee.

BIFA live in mound-based colonies. BIFA mounds can grow to be as large as two feet in diameter. Like RIFA, BIFA colonies can house multiple queens. Forager ants are most active during the sunniest, hottest hours of the day.

BIFA have a venomous sting which often creates a red welt. These bites turn into painful white pustules. If a sting victim experiences severe headaches or nausea following a fire ant bite, seek professional treatment immediately. A small percentage of the population is allergic to the venom in the sting.

Red Fire Ants

Other Common Fire Ant Control Methods

  • Orange Oil and Fire Ant Control

  • Fire Ants and Boric Acid

Fire Ants & Humans

Biology & Habitat

Types of Fire Ants


Dig Deeper on Fire Ants

Black Fire Ants

Fire Ants and Pet Food

Fire Ants and Boric Acid

Species of Fire Ants in the United States

Fire Ant Predators: Enemies and Killers

How to Identify and Treat Fire Ant Bites | Orkin

Fire Ant Anatomy

Fire Ant Identification: What Does a Fire Ant Look Like?

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