Learn something new every day More Info... by email
Fire ants may be tiny, but they are fierce and pack a nasty sting. They look exactly like termites, with the only difference being that fire ants don't drop their wings when they die. Fire ants run rampant throughout the Southern United States, where the weather stays warm most of the year. They are most active from the beginning of spring until the end of December. They will stay active all year long if they have established their nests under concrete slabs, as heat is radiated from the house. Fire ant bait is the most effective means to prevent an infestation from occurring.
Baiting is a method regularly used to control fire ants in areas that are prone to infestation. It works best as a prevention method, as once an infestation occurs the bait can't exterminate them fast enough. When applied three to four times a year, fire ants will not be able to create new nests. Large, active nests must be drenched to get rid of the fire ants, then bait can be used to prevent them from reforming.
Fire ant bait works by slowly poisoning the colony. The bait must work slowly in order to be effective. When the bait is brought back to the mound it is tasted by selected members of the colony who deem it safe for the queen. If they die instantly, she will not eat it and the colony will continue to grow. When the queen ingests the bait and eventually perishes, the colony will dwindle and disappear.
There are two main types of fire ant baits: insecticide-based and growth regulator-based. Insecticide-based fire ant bait works by killing all ants, including the queen, that eat a sufficient amount. Those that contain growth regulator work by reducing the amount of viable eggs produced and preventing the development of young fire ants.
An insecticide-based fire ant bait contains one of four different active ingredients. They are as follows: fipronil, hydramethylnon, indoxacarb, and spinosad. Most fire ant baits will wipe out a majority of the colony in four to six weeks. Bait containing the active ingredient indoxacarb can have the whole colony under control within a couple days.
Growth regulator-based fire ant baits contain one of these four active ingredients: abamectin, fenoxycarb, s-methoprene and pyriproxyfen. Baits that use amabectin or fenoxycarb as their active ingredient take six to eight weeks to see results. Pyriproxyfen-containing baits and s-methoprene-containing baits take eight to twelve weeks for results.
In my opinion, there's quite a difference between a normal ant infestation and a fire ant infestation. For the most part, normal ants are relatively harmless. This is also taking into consideration the fact that sometimes when they storm the kitchen, they just take the crumbs and leave. No one wants those ants in their house, but at least they don't bite.
However, fire ants are a completely different story. Not only are they a lot more numerous, but their bites sting as well, hence their name. It also doesn't help that when you get bit, signals are sent out to other ants, who will try to swarm and menace you.
Overall, when someone is in the midst
of an ant infestation, how fast you need to get rid of them depends on the severity of the infestation, among other things. Still, it's something that should be taken care of right off the bat, especially if you're dealing with what's described in the article.
Even though I have never had experience with fire ants before, I have had ant infestation issues in the past, and it certainly wasn't a fun experience.
However, it really does show how strategic ants are. In relation to my problem, it had to do with wood. In my computer office, there was a small crack in the small that was rotting away.
Whenever it would rain, the ants would start coming through the cracks by the tens. To eliminate this, I found that the best solution was bug spray, as it really worked wonders. However, if someone is looking for bigger fish to fry (as in eliminating an entire colony), then this is the perfect article to turn to.
Besides, if you know how to get rid of fire ants, which are one of the most dangerous, than you can get rid of any type of ant, regardless of whether some are hostile or not.
While I have never had much experience with fire ants before, in my opinion, they're the kinds of ants that really show how you shouldn't underestimate insects because of their size, especially in this case. Also, after reading this article, I feel that it does a good job at showing that ants are smarter than at first glance. This is especially taking into the fact that the queen won't eat any of the poison if the ants happen to die right on the spot. I also feel that this shows how getting rid of ants can be quite difficult, let alone getting rid of an ant colony.
The article also does a good job at pointing out the fact
that in order to eliminate a colony, you should always aim for the queen, which makes perfect sense. After all, let's look at it this way. Whether it's a colony of ants or bees, the queen is what keeps everything together. One you destroy the source, you also destroy anything and everything associated with said source. While some ant colonies might be a bit more difficult to get rid of than others, this is always something that you should take into consideration.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!