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What Irvine Property Owners Need To Know About Fire Ant Control

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.

What Are Fire Ants?

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.

Dangers Fire Ants Pose

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.

Why Fire Ants Are a Difficult Problem Pest

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.

Why to Turn to Professional Pest Control for Fire Ants in Irvine

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. 

What is your worst fear when walking outside? Do you fear crossing paths with a bear, or perhaps stepping on a hive of wasps? If you are here today, you might have a fear of fire ants or at least the pain they cause. To help keep these painful pests off your Irvine property, here are a few things you ought to know.

How To Identify Fire Ants

It is not hard to identify fire ants, especially if they are biting and or stinging you. You heard us right; these pests don’t just bite, they sting as well. If you ever find yourself walking outdoors in bare feet and wander too close to a nest of fire ants, you may find out first hand how painful their attacks are.

 

Of course, identifying these pests by the pain they cause alone is not preferable. To tell if your yard has fire ants without stomping on their nest in your bare feet, look at their color and size. Fire ants are one-eighth to three-eighths of an inch long and dark reddish-brown. When building their nest, fire ants gravitate towards hot, sunny, and dry areas, sometimes devoid of grass or vegetation.

Problems Fire Ants Cause

The good news is that fire ants do not spontaneously combust or produce fire in any way. The bad news is that their stings will make your skin feel like it is right up next to a fire. Although a single sting is not terribly painful, several in one location are fairly unpleasant. Upon being stung, the first thing you will notice is a pinprick of pain, followed by an intense pinching or burning sensation. Itching typically follows and can last for a few days. As long as you avoid scratching the wound, no more serious problems will occur. If you are allergic to insect venom, your reaction to a fire ant sting could be more severe. Consult your doctor to understand your risk.

 

Out in nature, when fire ants nest around water sources, they can prevent wildlife from being able to hydrate themselves, sometimes leading to dehydration and even death. In addition, fire ants can fatally damage plants by tunneling through their roots and stems. If you have a garden or value the quality of your grass, these pests are the last creatures you want living on your property.

How To Prevent Fire Ants

Because fire ants primarily live outdoors and rarely invade homes, prevention is often difficult. That said, here are a few tips our experts recommend you try:

  • Trim back bushes and tree branches from the exterior of your home.
  • Rake mulch, pine straw, and other landscape bedding at least six inches from your home’s exterior.
  • Turn the mulch or bedding material around your property every couple of weeks.
  • Mow your lawn regularly at a low setting.
  • Keep your yard free of grass clippings, leaf piles, and other organic debris.
  • Store woodpiles at least 30 feet from your home’s exterior.
  • Pick up ripe fruit as it falls from trees into your yard.
  • Make sure your trash cans have tight-fitting lids and clean them out regularly.

For the best results, pair the steps above with a professional treatment plan courtesy of Malang Pest Control. Our team provides quality, friendly service, and reliability. If you are looking for a long-term solution to fire ants causing trouble around your yard, we are your best choice.

Reach out to us today to discuss your ant treatment options or to schedule your Irvine property for a thorough inspection. We promise you will not be disappointed. Find out more about our Irvine, CA pest management offerings.

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