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 Ants Crawling On Grass

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

  • Orange Oil and Fire Ant Control

  • Fire Ants and Boric Acid

Fire Ants & Humans

Biology & Habitat

Types of Fire Ants

Resources

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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