Fire ants thrive in warm temperatures and seek uninterrupted sunlight, avoiding shady, dark areas. Open yards, fields and parks are often infested. Mounds often appear suddenly, especially after significant rainfall has made the ground very wet.
Fire ant colonies are comprised of workers that do the jobs of nursery workers, defenders and food gatherers. After the colony has been established, winged male and female ants develop. Their job is to leave the colony to mate and start new colonies. After her mating flight, a fertilized fire ant queen lands and sheds her wings.
Alternative colonies begin when a single fire ant queen leaves her multiple-queen colony, attended by a group of worker ants. The resulting mound will be located nearby, enlarging the overall colony. During movement, thousands of fire ants can be seen moving to new locations.
Most workers and fighters zealously protect their queens. Fire ants sting and inject toxic alkaloid venom into their victims. The resulting sting is painful to most humans and can be fatal to smaller animals. In the event that a victim experiences sweating, nausea or excessive itching, emergency medical services should be contacted immediately.
Orkin Pest Control
Other Common Fire Ant Control Methods
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Biology & Habitat
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Dig Deeper on Fire Ants
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