Fire Ants – April Pest Spotlight In Bryan / College Station
April 2022, what a weird seasonal start to spring. The weather has been hot, cold, freezing, baking, and then warm, and cold all over again. The wicked weather makes it difficult to be a pest and remain outdoors. While many pests are on the move, fire ant season is here. This blog discusses fire ants as a species, their habits, and why finding their nests early is worth the time investment.
Fire Ants As A Species
—Hymenoptera – Ants, bees, and wasps
— Formicidae – Ants —
- Solenopsis – Genus
— Species – There are over 200 species of fire ants.
Ants are related to Bees and wasps and like their two hymenopteran cousins, they too can sting.
Fire ants get their name because of the reaction our bodies have with the venom they inject when they sting us. Bees, wasps, and ants also bite, but their sting is by far more painful.
Fire ants’ range in size from 1/16 of an inch to ¼ of an inch. As a social insect, fire ant members are born into a role – Queen, Drone, Male, and Soldier – This fact is called a caste system. The job or status in which the ant is born dictates how it will develop and its physical characteristics
That set of facts is important because it explains the reason why fire ants come in different sizes. The larger ants are soldier ants, and their role is to defend the colony from attack. The queen fire ant is also around ¼ of an inch long.
Fire ants are not overly large, but then they do not need to be to make their point. Anyone who has encountered fire ants will most likely leave them alone
A colony of ants have several jobs – Foraging is one of those jobs. It is the job of the foragers to find new food sources so that the workers can collect it and return it to the nest. It is at this point that the big swarming action occurs. The works follow the foraging ants back to the food source and then swarm to harvest the food and carry it back to their colony.
Foragers have a 100-foot radius from the colony. That fact is one reason that new colonies must be removed quickly.
Pest Control and Removal of Fire Ants
In the Spring, fire ant colonies expand. March, April, May – much of their activity depends on the weather rather than the month. With 2022 weather being so weird, it is difficult to say exactly when fire ants will expand their colonies.
It is a good idea to walk around your yard at least once per month and look for new mounds. Fire ants build mounds that are about 18” tall when finished. New mounds are cone-shaped and smaller. With fire ants, it is important to take down the ants at the colony level. If you don’t, they will continue to create new ants and build new colonies.
We offer ant control for all the species of ants found within Texas. Our deep knowledge of ants makes it easier for us to understand their habits and then destroy them at the colony. We offer emergency service calls and on-going monthly service calls that helps to deal with all household and commercial pest issues. Give us a call to learn more about fire ant control.