If you are getting out into the garden this time of year then you will likely come across some ants. The ants we all know we do not want to come across are fire ants. Fire ants are serious pests that will swarm and bite all over you, your children, and your pets if they are agitated. These pests are common in Tennessee, making it important to learn all you need to know about them and the threats they bring. At Johnson Pest Control, we are committed to helping our communities learn about the threats of fire ants. Read on to learn all you need to know about fire ants in our region.
What Are Fire Ants?
Imported fire ants get their namesake from their ability to inflict painful bites and stings. Fire ants are an invasive species that are common here in Tennessee. They are most known for the large mound nests they create. These nests are large, flat, and irregular in shape. These ants will nest in the soil near buildings or in landscaping. If you come across a fire ant nest, it’s important to stay away—disturbing a fire ant nest can aggravate the ants, who will not hesitate to sting. Fire ant stings result in painful welts on the skin. This can be very dangerous for anyone allergic to insect stings.
What Do Fire Ants Look Like?
The red fire ant is larger in size than the average ant you will come across. The Red Fire Ant that is common to Tennessee will have a burnt red color and a dark, almost black posterior. These ants are segmented and have 6 legs. Needless to say, fire ants possess a stinger.
How To Treat For Fire Ants
To get rid of fire ants, it’s recommended to get assistance from a pest control professional. The three common methods to treat fire ants include:
- Surface treatment using a residual contact poison. This approach is the least environmentally sound because the treated surface remains toxic for a long time. The ants may survive by foraging underground.
- Individual mound treatment, which involves the application of a large volume of pesticide to reach the queen. However, it is nearly impossible to locate all of the colonies in an area, difficult to manipulate large volumes of liquid, and treatment is more expensive and time-consuming than other treatment options. Colonies not eliminated may move or split into several colonies.
- Bait treatment, which uses some sort of attractive substance the ants like to eat. Unfortunately, baits are not always consumed, and the bait’s attractiveness is short-lived. The bait must be slow-acting and effective over a range of doses, since the dose the ants get, cannot be controlled. Baits may also be attractive to and kill some native ant species that compete with fire ants.
Imported Fire Ants in Tennessee
If you notice a fire ant mound in or near your property, it’s important to reach out to your local ant exterminators. At Johnson Pest Control, our ant control team is trained to properly take care of imported ant problems here in Sevierville TN. Contact us today to learn more!
Fire Ants in Tennessee [2021 UPDATE] in Sevierville TN
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