Fire Ants Are Dangerous and Can Wreak Havoc on Your Florida Lawn
Here in Florida, we are blessed with many things; mild weather, plenty of golf courses, plenty of horse farms, and plenty of green landscapes. Unfortunately, our warm climate also brings an array of pesky insects. One such insect is the fire ant.
These insects may be small, but they pack a fierce punch. If you’ve ever been bitten by one of these little insects, you know exactly how they got their name. The bite of one of these ants will give you a new respect for these creatures and a whole new fear.
While just one bite from a single ant is enough to cause great pain and allergic reactions in some, imagine what bites from ten or a thousand of them can do. Fire ants can be both incredibly dangerous and wreak havoc on your yard.
Fire ants are not natives to the United States. They were imported here from South America sometime in the 1930s. When these tropical ants arrived, they found the south’s warm summers and lack of natural predators quite suitable.
Single Queen and Multiple Queen Fire Ants
A single-queen colony can contain 40-150 mounds inside an acre and contain up to seven million ants. A multiple-queen colony may have over 200 mounds and 40 million ants!
When these ants make their home in your yard, they can construct extensive tunnel systems, feeding on your grassroots and causing it to decline. They also create large mounds of dirt that seemingly appear overnight and make mowing difficult and playing in your yard next to impossible.
Identify the Problem
Like most ants, fire ants are small and live underground. Spotting them is often difficult unless you are looking for them. Usually, what homeowners see first are the dirt mounds. These mounds are the excavated dirt from a massive network of underground tunnels. By the time you see a mound, the colony has already been growing for months. The bigger the pile, the bigger the colony, and colonies can reach populations of up to 500,000 ants and spread out over an area as big as an acre.
Much like bees behave when disturbed, fire ants quickly respond to disruptions around their nest, such as lawnmowers, children playing, or curious pets. Their response is quick, painful, and if enough of them sting you, can be deadly.
Controlling Fire Ants
There are plenty of home remedies that claim to kill fire ants, but most of them just make these feisty creatures angrier. Ultimately, you want to kill the queen. You could kill 99% of the colony but, if the queen remains, the colony will rebuild and be back in no time.
Mound treatments can be found at any hardware store, and, as it sounds, you treat the mound. These baits usually come in the form of dust that you apply over the visible mounds. The poison is usually coated on grains that the ants will eat. These poisons are not designed to kill immediately but instead act slowly, giving the soldier ants enough time to deliver it to the queen. While this is an effective way to destroy the colony, it does not prevent other colonies from moving in or ants from the old colony finding a new one.
Contact Insecticide Treatments
Contact insecticide treatments are long-lasting insecticides applied to your lawn and landscape surface. These products are slow-acting but longer-lasting. Faster acting contact insecticides eliminate ants on the surface for months but may not get to the colonies lying deeper in your soil.
Get Professional Treatment from Advantage Green Lawn and Pest Solutions, Inc.
Fire ants are angry and dangerous. Depending on the size of the colony, you might be in over your head. That’s where the professionals at Advantage Green Lawn and Pest Solutions, Inc. come in. We use products that are guaranteed to protect your yard and family from fire ants up to one year. Eliminate fire ants by contacting us now or calling us at 352-480-0702. Visit us on Facebook and connect with us on a more personal level.