If you have a fire ant problem, chances are you found out the hard way. Known for their painful stings, one step on or near a fire ant hill can result in dozens of fire ants crawling up your leg, each leaving multiple painful stings along the way. Below we’ve outlined some of the most dangerous elements of fire ants, along with steps on how to eliminate them.
If you or a family member are allergic to fire ants and have noticed some in your yard, contact our experts immediately to eliminate your infestation and protect your loved ones.
The Dangers of Fire Ants
While most people know that fire ants can cause painful bites, did you know that fire ants are also an extremely common allergy? When an ant hill is disturbed, ants quickly begin a vertical ascent to attack whatever has disturbed their home. In most cases this is a foot, sending fire ants marching and stinging up your leg, but in some cases, this can also be a child’s hand, a lawn chair, or any other item placed unknowingly near the nest.
If disturbed, fire ants leave behind groups of itchy, swollen red bites that develop a blister on top. These sores are extremely painful and can last up to a week or longer if they become infected; and while bites alone are bad, some people also develop a dangerous allergic reaction to fire ant stings. Signs of an allergic reaction may include:
- Sudden troubled breathing
- Swollen throat or difficulty swallowing
These symptoms develop quickly after exposure and can be life threatening. If anyone you see gets attacked and exhibits any of these signs, you should seek medical help immediately.
How to Prevent Fire Ants in Your Yard
In order to prevent fire ants from settling in your yard, you need to eliminate their food source, water supply, and place to live. Maintain good sanitation and keep fire ants at bay by doing the following:
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed
- Keep mulch and straw raked neatly away from your home
- Remove ripe fruit from trees and collect any fallen fruit off the ground
Keeping these areas of your yard clean will help keep fire ants away!
Eliminate a Fire Ant Infestation
Although preventing fire ants is great, if fire ants have already made their way into your home, your focus is obviously going to be on elimination. Because fire ants can cause painful and dangerous bites, be sure to use extreme caution when attempting to rid fire ants. In fact, this is a job best left to professionals, but if you’re looking to try your hand at some DIY options, here are a few methods you can try:
- Diatomaceous Earth: This method uses small crystals to scratch the ants outer-shell, causing them to lose moisture and die from dehydration. Although this method is known to be effective, it requires very careful, expert application to place it where ants will actually be affected by the treatment.
- Boiling hot water: People swear by this method of drenching a fire ant mound with a few gallons of boiling water. Keep in mind, the boiling water will also kill any plants it comes into contact with!
- Baits and Sprays: While these methods are the most effective at eliminating fire ant problems, they can also be harmful to your lawn, children, and pets if they aren’t applied correctly. Contact an expert to help eliminate fire ants using chemical methods.
Protect Your Family Today with Total Elimination
When it comes to eliminating fire ant infestations, your best bet is to let a professional handle it for you. When threatened, fire ants will try to bite you to prevent you from getting in their way. A professional fire ant exterminator has the right tools and resources to prevent this from happening. Here at EnviroCon, as a locally-owned and operated pest control company in Texas, we know the most effective and safe ways to eliminate fire ants in your yard. Let us handle your fire ant problem for you! Our fire ant treatments will eliminate your current infestation, and prevent future ones for one whole year.