15 / Sep / 2020
Fire ants are a problem no one wants to have, for a number of reasons. Between the pain of their stings, the potential danger those stings can carry, and the difficulty that comes with trying to treat a fire ant infestation, keeping fire ants at bay with fire ant control is a necessity for Irvine residents. Unfortunately, Irvine residents are no stranger to fire ant mounds covering their yards, especially in the warmer months of the year.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at fire ants, the dangers they pose to homes and yards they invade, and what Irvine residents with fire ants on their property need to do to keep themselves protected.
Fire ants are named for two reasons: their fiery red coloration and the burning sensation their stings leave on those unfortunate enough to come into contact with them. They range from roughly ½ – ¼ inch in length, with reproductive castes growing slightly larger than their worker counterparts. Beyond their coloration, they can be differentiated from other ant species due to the two nodes on their thorax that aren’t found on other ants.
Fire ants are unique among ant species in that their primary method of defense is their powerful stingers. While they have biting mandibles like other ants, they primarily use them to hold their prey in place in order to sting them, rather than simply using their bite as the primary method of attack.
Most of the country sees fire ant mounds around the yard as spring arrives and the temperature starts rising. Unfortunately, the high heat and humidity that Irvine provides makes it the perfect breeding ground for fire ants for much of the year.
Because fire ants sting instead of biting, they carry a severe risk that is not present in other species of ants. Stings are more than just painful: in large numbers, the venom each sting transmits can be seriously dangerous to people – even fatal. If you accidentally step on a mound, you could find yourself in a harmful and dangerous situation.
The risk is especially great for people with allergies. People with allergies to fire ant venom can experience life-threatening reactions, specifically anaphylaxis, wherein the person will develop hives, swelling in the throat and tongue, stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms. In severe cases, the rapid loss of blood pressure can send the victim into shock and cause them to lose consciousness.
Fire ants can also be dangerous to pets, particularly dogs. Dogs wandering around outside can easily stumble into fire ant hills, and dog food attracts them, so failure to monitor your furry friends while they’re playing outside could leave them covered in stings that could put their health at serious risk.
Fire ants are notoriously difficult to eliminate from yards they infest. In an infested yard covered with fire ant mounds, you can’t destroy one colony at a time and have any hope for success. Through a process known as “budding,” a threatened colony will split itself off into multiple colony groups that will disperse throughout the property and create their own new colonies, starting your problems all over again. This is also why untreated fire ant populations tend to double or triple every few months.
Due to the threat fire ants pose and the difficulty associated with getting rid of them, affected homeowners have only one realistic option to rid themselves of this problematic pest: call a professional for help.
Luckily, the pest control professionals at Malang Pest Control have got you covered. We have years of experience protecting homeowners in Irvine and across California from fire ants and numerous other pests. Contact us today and find out why a professional fire ant treatment from Malang is the perfect solution for any fire ant problem you’re facing.