Are Fire Ants In Baton Rouge Dangerous?

August 13, 2021

We all love to spend time outside enjoying the warmth and the natural beauty of nature.  Whether you’re hiking, enjoying a picnic, or barbecuing in your yard, fire ants on your property will quickly ruin a good time. Fire ants vigilantly protect their nests causing unpleasant stings to any threat. Here in Baton Rouge, fire ants cause significant problems for homeowners.

fire ant in yard

How To Identify Fire Ants

These ants often are seen outside where there is soil in open, grassy areas. Their nests are mounds and range in size. As fire ants develop their colony, nests will grow to be quite large. Though you may not see them at first, if you disturb their nest, you will likely suffer a series of bites and stings. They are generally a dark reddish-brown color with six legs. Their body is segmented and oval-shaped with antennae. They range from 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch long. 

The red ant is not native to North America. It originated from South America around 75 years ago, arriving in a seaport in Mobile, Alabama. It hitched a ride in soil and is still being introduced to different areas through shrubs, trees, and potted plants.  Fire ants are becoming so abundant that they are displacing native ant colonies.

Danger Associated With Fire Ants

The red ant is sensitive to vibration, so they tend to bite moving targets. They bite with their jaw and inject their venom with their stinger. An ant can sting multiple times resulting in sharp, burning pain.  Within a few hours, the pain subsides, but the sting site continues to itch. Fire ant stings are red and form pustule. It will itch for several days. Imagine stepping on a mound of hundreds of fire ants. Yikes! If you are allergic or have allergies, it can be more severe causing a rash, swelling, redness, and difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical care if this happens.

Fire ants are very aggressive and capable of surviving attacks from anything that threatens their nest.  When they realize they are in danger, the colony will split. This defense mechanism is called budding and makes fire ants notoriously difficult to eliminate from your property. 

Practical Solutions And Tips To Keep Fire Ants Off Of Your Property 

You may wonder what attracts fire ants to your property and how you can actively avoid a fire ant problem. Mainly, fire ants find harborage in areas with reliable food and water sources. 

Fire ants will travel 100 yards to a viable food source. They lay down trails for colony members to follow to find the food or water source. Gardens, compost, trash, pet food, and crumbs are all viable food sources.  Tips to reduce these factors include the following:

  • Repair torn screens to keep fire ants from making their way indoors.

  • Remove excess water from inside and outside of the home. 

  • Remove leaf debris, mulch, and tall grass to prevent harborage areas.

  • Keep trash in sealed containers. 

  • Regularly clean up food messes inside and outside of your home by tidying up eating areas and sweeping up crumbs.  

  • Keep fruit and vegetables in your refrigerator.

  • Store dry goods in airtight containers.

The safest, most effective way to deal with an active infestation of fire ants from your Baton Rouge residential or commercial property is with help from River City Termite & Pest Control. We offer specialized services you can count on to eliminate the problems without the pain of the bite and keep them from coming back.

Say goodbye to fire ants at your next picnic or family outing by contacting River City Termite & Pest Control.  We would be happy to work with you to ensure your Baton Rouge area home or business is kept safe from fire ants. Give us a call today to schedule a free inspection and estimate!

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