How To Get Rid Of Fire Ants On Your Tampa Property

Fire ant

Winter is on its way out, and spring is quickly approaching. With the warmth comes a surge of activity. There should be spring cleaning projects underway and talks of vacations to come. However, the warmth also awakens fire ants and, without proper planning, they could be swarming your Tampa home.

How To Identify A Fire Ant Infestation

The red imported fire ant is the most common fire ant species in the Tampa area. The red imported fire ant is native to South America but found its way over to the United States. They can be found in deserts, rainforests, grasslands, and urban environments. 

Male fire ants are all black, while the females are red or yellow. Fire ants have mandibles, which help them bite, and venom-filled stingers. They are social insects that live within a hierarchical colony. The colony creates a semi-permanent nest out of the soil with underground tunnels that lead to and from the nest. Fire ants are omnivorous; they eat both plant and animal matter. They are hardy insects with tough exoskeletons and the ability to organize themselves to problem solve. For example, during floods, red imported fire ants will form a raft with their bodies to float until they find a solid surface.

Fire ant colonies often number into the tens of thousands, with a reigning queen that controls the nest. During the warmer months, sexually mature females, or future queens, take flight to mate and find a new colony. One queen can lay up to 1,000 eggs a day. 

If you see tiny, aggressive, red ants on your property, they are likely fire ants. Fire ants are very aggressive and will attack if they feel threatened in any way. Seeing mounds with no visible holes to act as an entry or exit is a big red flag. Since fire ant tunnels are underground, their mounds have no hole up top like other anthills do. 

The Problem With Fire Ants On Your Property

The red imported fire ant is known for its painful sting. Over 14 million people are stung by these pests every year in the United States alone. Most people will feel an intense burning and experience swelling with pustules. However, a few victims will have a more extreme allergic reaction: dizziness, sweating, nausea, and anaphylactic shock. This threat doesn't only apply to humans and other insects. Fire ants have also been known to swarm pets and farm animals. If animals are very small, very young, or weak, these attacks can be fatal.

Furthermore, red imported fire ants are an invasive species. Their aggressive nature and potent venom push other ants and small insects away. They tend to infest crop fields and even get into the inner workings of machinery. These antics can lead to electrical problems, financial stress, and damaged food.

Additionally, red imported fire ants host many different parasites and diseases. They can carry and transmit staph, E. coli, and salmonella, to name just a few. As such, having them in your Tampa home could be a health risk.

Why Fire Ants Invade Properties

There are certain conditions that red ants seek out when choosing a home base. These factors include:

  • Warmth
  • Moisture
  • Exposed food
  • Yard debris piles 
  • Holes in siding that acts as entry points.

Because fire ants are so small, it's hard to eliminate entry points and access to food. Therefore, if you're dealing with fire ants, it's best to partner with a professional pest control company before the problem gets out of hand. 

The Best Way To Completely Get Rid Of Fire Ants On Your Property

The very best way to keep fire ants off of your Tampa property is to hire a professional. A professional like Haskell Termite & Pest Control can ensure that any active fire ant infestations are safely and quickly removed from your residence. With three decades of experience serving Tampa residents, we are extremely qualified and prepared to protect your home from pests. Give Haskell Termite & Pest Control a call today!