Fire ants are an increasing problem in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates the pests cause almost $6 billion of damage per year. Destroying crops and electrical equipment aren’t the only trouble with fire ants. They also inflict severe stings, producing pain, inflammation and pustules that can lead to infection.
Here are a few tips to share with customers about identifying an infestation and how to deal with them:
- Fire ants are typically 1 to 3 mm long. They have a reddish head and thorax and a black abdomen. They’ll rapidly attack in force anything that disturbs their mound.
- Mounds can be as tall as 15 in. They’ll build their mounds in open areas and under or adjacent to structures, such as rocks and landscape timbers, etc.
- Starting with cooler weather, fire ant mounds might be more readily visible because of the increased moisture.