Fire ants are famously synonymous with the nasty stings that they can inflict on those who are unfortunate enough to come into contact with them. The dangers of fire ants are the physical pain of the stings on your skin, the risk of anaphylactic shock if you are allergic to their stings, indoor infestations, and possible electrical issues.
Fire ants are ferocious and attack as a colony. They use a chemical signal to communicate with the mound. This means that disturbing a few fire ants can result in being attacked by hundreds from the same colony. And each ant is capable of stinging multiple times. For those who are allergic to the venom — about 2 percent of the population — an attack by fire ants can lead to anaphylactic shock and even death.
How can I tell if I have fire ants in my yard?
Red imported fire ants, the most common type of fire ant in Gilbert, AZ, have reddish-brown bodies with a black mark on the lower portion of their abdomens, and they measure between 1/8-1/4 inch long. They thrive in warm, dry climates, and prefer sunny fields and sandy lawns. You’ll recognize their colony nests by the pile of loose soil, about 12 to 18 inches in diameter. They can live in the soil and landscaping placed up against your home. Although they prefer open areas, you may also find them under your deck or playground equipment. Fire ants are also oddly attracted to electrical outlets, so check your air conditioner and pool pump for signs of a fire ant infestation. They appear to have an unusual affinity for electrical fields, and entire colonies have been known to infest transformers, electrical panels, and junction boxes.
Do fire ants sting?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fire ants in Arizona, particularly Phoenix and nearby towns like Gilbert, Chandler, and Mesa, have become a dangerous problem. Fire ants sting their victims, injecting them with a venom containing solenopsin. It’s a two-pronged attack that is particularly painful. This venom causes burning at the site of the sting, and it takes several hours for the pain to subside.
Rather than bumps caused by mosquito bites or rashes and marks caused by bed bugs and ticks, fire ant sting blisters look like raised welts. The physical reaction appears more like a pimple or something that can be popped, although it’s something you should never do. In most cases, fire ant stings will heal on their own within a few days after the initial itchy and burning sensation.
If bitten by fire ants, be mindful of a potential allergic reaction. Fire ant stings aren’t all that common, so you probably don’t know if you are allergic until it happens. If you or someone else experiences the following symptoms, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
- Swollen tongue or throat
- Breathing Issues
Non-allergic individuals can use home remedies for fire ant stings, including cold compresses, antihistamines (oral or topical), hydrocortisone cream, or an antibiotic ointment with pain relief. Once your symptoms are alleviated, don’t rely on home remedies to remove a fire ant infestation. Fire ants are less easily destroyed and harder to fool than other species of ants.
How can I get rid of fire ants in my house?
If you find fire ants in your home or on your property, do not touch them or irritate the nest. As we just went over, fire ants can be extremely aggressive. Even if you don’t disturb them, they can still attack in large numbers. The best thing you can do to prevent fire ant and pest infestations in general is to seal the foundation of your home and repair torn or broken windows and vents. By blocking cracks and crevices, you’ll be limiting possible entry points for fire ant colonies. If you find fire ants in your home, call SOS Exterminating immediately for fast and professional extermination.
How does SOS Exterminating get rid of fire ants in my home?
Fire ants pose far too big a health risk to take chances by cutting corners. At the very least, an attack from a fire ant colony is terrifying and painful. At its worst, it can mean hospitalization and even death. Don’t waste time with ineffective DIY treatments or waste money with a company that will spray once and disappear. If you see signs of fire ants, termites, scorpions, or other dangerous pests in your Gilbert, AZ home, contact the professional team at SOS Exterminating.