Growing up, I lived in a sprawling farmhouse in the country. This beautiful home was constantly filled with the sounds of laughter and the smells of delectable food being prepared in the kitchen. Unfortunately, our home was often invaded by some unwanted guests, ants. Pesky ants would welcome themselves into our living room, kitchen, dining room, bedrooms, and bathrooms. One night, I crawled into my bed only to discover I wasn’t alone. Ants had somehow climbed onto my bed! These destructive ants even ate holes in some of the clothing hanging in my closet. Is your home filled with unwanted, biting ants? On this blog, you will discover the latest methods pest control specialists use to rid homes of pesky ants.
Maintaining the look and value of your home is challenging due to the different tasks that are necessary. While you most likely already understand that mowing the lawn and fixing broken faucets are essential tasks, reducing your home's risk of a pest infestation is also important. Ants are common insects that most homeowners have come across in their home. However, some species are ants are more problematic and dangerous than others. An estimated 5 percent of fire ant stings lead to death, so proper understanding of these small insects is key. Using this guide, you will understand fire ants and learn the best options for protecting your home and family from these insects.
Fire Ants Are Unique
In most cases, you will be able to distinguish a fire ant from a regular ant due to its reddish color, but these insects do have other characteristics that make it stand out.
Fire ants can measure between 1/8 to 1/4-inch long. This difference in fire ant length is different from standard ants, who are all uniform in size.
Mounds of dirt and soil around your home are also signs you have a fire ant infestation. Since these insects leave through underground tunnels, the mounds will not have an entrance hole on top. You may also notice white spots in these mounds, which are the actual fire ant eggs.
Fire Ants Sting
A fire ant sting feels similar to a severe bee sting. The sting causes a burning sensation around the bite site, but it can radiate across the skin, making it feel like your skin is on fire. The sting will last for a few minutes, eventually causing the skin to become inflamed and swollen. A small bump or hive may also develop over the sting.
Many people will develop fluid-filled pustules on the skin a few hours after a fire ant sting. These pustules will eventually dry up, but brown scars may develop afterwards.
If you experience the following after a fire ant sting, you are having an allergic reaction and need immediate medical care:
Without seeking emergency treatment, the allergic reaction can lead to death.
Prevention Is Possible
Fire ants and other insects are attracted to moisture, so reducing the moisture content in and around your home is an essential part of prevention.
Walk around your home and inspect the foundation for cracks. These cracks allow moisture to get into your crawlspace, increasing the moisture content of your home, which can lead to a pest problem. Use caulk to seal up any cracks in your foundation, crawlspace, and basement.
Remove any pots, planters, toys, and outdoor items that may have a buildup of water inside them. Be sure to dry these items before storing them in your garage or storage building. Check outdoor spigots for leaks, as well. If necessary, wrap tape around leaky spigots to seal off the leaks.
Reducing moisture around your home will prevent fire ants, but it will also reduce your risk of other pests. Since fire ants feed on smaller insects, preventing all pests from in and around your home is imperative.
Extermination Is Possible
If you have fire ants around your home, you will need to exterminate them immediately. Fortunately, killing a fire ant infestation is possible.
If you have one or more mounds in your yard, pour 3 gallons of boiling hot water directly on the mound. Repeat multiple times to ensure the fire ant infestation is eradicated in each mound.
For a more immediate and effective treatment, contact residential pest control professionals to apply an insecticide around your home and yard. The professionals will apply the chemical solution to not only the mounds of the fire ants, but also to any possible entrance points into your home.
Fire ants may be small, but their sting is large. With this guide and the help of professionals, you will understand these problematic insects and learn the best options for prevention and extermination.