Of all the ant species out there, two stand out in home infestations – carpenter ants and fire ants. Carpenter ants are known to be the most damaging ants out there. They will build their colonies inside the wood of the home, and over time, a colony can expand to the point where the infested wood has to be replaced leading to thousands of dollars in repairs.
Fire ants on the other hand pose a threat to people. They have the ability to sting multiple times, injecting a venom that causes strong pain and discomfort, and they are quite aggressive. Not only are they willing to sting on a moment’s notice, they will also fiercely defend their nests. If a person or an animal merely passes a fire ant colony, the workers will swarm out, climb on the victim and sting it up to hundreds of times. At the sting location, red welts start to appear, and they will be intensely painful for a few minutes, followed by a severe itching and burning sensation.
Fire ants are drawn to a property mainly by food sources. Once set up, their colonies quickly start to grow in population, with one queen being able to lay 800 eggs per day, which take about 10 days to hatch. The larvae will then take about 15 to 25 days to reach maturity, and the average colony can have as many as 100,000 to 500,000 workers. On top of that, one colony can have multiple queens, with one queen being able to survive for up to seven years.
Given that they have multiple queens, fire ant colonies can spread in one of two ways – either through winged reproductives, or through migrations. Winged reproductives are spawned once a colony reaches a certain size, and these reproductives fly out and start nests of their own. Migration on the other hand is much more expedient, and it can help a colony spread much faster. During a migration, a queen will take a handful of workers and establish an outpost in a new location. Since the queen already has workers to take care of day to day tasks, it can focus solely on reproduction, ensuring the rapid growth of its nest.
Since these ants pose a serious threat to the inhabitants of the property that they infest and because they are hard to remove, it’s best to hire a professional whenever you have to get a fire ant infestation under control. If you have a fire ant colony on your property, contact us today and we will remove it for you.Tags: Fire Ant Control, Fire Ants