Fire Ant Control and Fire Ant Facts
Fire Ant Control in Houston Texas is one of Gulf Coast Exterminators many pest control specialties and expertise. We are pleased to offer this service successfully for over 10 years in Houston. We have experienced fire ant control technicians who have a wealth of knowledge and experience who has served our customers with great reviews on Google, Yelp and other websites. We have certified expertise in native fire ant control, imported red fire ant control, carpenter ant control and other forms of ant control. All our technicians are certified and have passed background and drug checks to ensure not only a great job in fire ant control but also providing you added safety. The best animal control services require constant learning of effective methods with implementation, and we adhere to that making us the best. Our methods are the best in the industry with optimal results for our customers. We serve customers in over 60 service areas in Houston, a popular area is Kingwood Pest Control. Contact us (281)-449-7404 to see how we can help you with fire ant control.
Red imported fire ants are notorious for their poisonous sting. Their very name suggests how fiery their bite can be. Yes, the sensation they cause to their victim is comparable to a burning fire. The swelling or mark caused by their bite will cause a wound and itching sensation that may continue for a long period of time. Moreover, these persistent creatures are capable of causing serious damage to your home or place of business in Houston, Texas.
How To Get Rid Of Fire Ants
When you’re invaded by fire ants in your office or home, it becomes vital for you to immediately contact Gulf Coast Exterminators, we are a company that’s offering professional pest control services such as fire ant control. We have the resources and skills for getting rid of fire ants, eliminating these uninvited pests from your premises forever. As fire ant control professionals, we will handle the situation very meticulously. First, we spot the origin of fire ant infestation in your premises and then take the measures needed to prevent them from visiting your premises again.
Now that you are aware of the damage fire ants can cause, you should not delay contacting the top rated fire ant control company, Gulf Coast Exterminators.
Red Imported Fire Ant History
It was during the 1930s that fire ants accidentally got transferred to the United States. In the absence of a local predator they continued to flourish in the Southern states but are now moving towards the north. These fire ants are having a great vacation that could surely spoil yours. Though the US has its indigenous kinds of fire ants, they aren’t as hazardous or difficult to eliminate.
Fire Ants and Humans Video
Often Asked Questions About Fire Ants
Red Imported Fire Ants – What Are They? How Are These Different From Native Ants Of Texas?
The biological name of imported red ants is Solenopsis invicta. These are medium sized in red or black color that create heaps of soft earth to live in. The diameter of such heaps rarely exceeds eighteen inches. In regions having cold dry climate, like the High Plains of Texas, the size of the heaps are significantly smaller and difficult to identify. Once fire ants are disturbed, all of them surface together in a hostile manner, creeping up the vertical plane and bite or sting anyone who gets in their way. As a result of their attack, a white colored eruption appears on the skin. The length of worker fire ants varies from 1/16 to nearly ¼ inch. Worker ants of many varieties in Houston are usually the same size but the color of their body may vary. Other types of ants, that are small or medium in size, create tiny nests in earth, frequently having an opening in the middle of the nest through which they can leave or enter the nest. The nests created by fire ants have no central opening.
Harvester ants, known to be much bigger, make their colonies in large exposed areas and provide a single hole for entering the colony.
Likewise, leafcutter ants are much bigger and typically build up big mounds at the center of the colony, known as a “town”, with a lot of holes for entry over an especially large locale.
How Do I Distinguish Red Imported Fire Ants From Native Fire Ants? How Big Can Fire Ants Can Grow To Be?
Some doubt arises because of the fact that the size of the red imported fire ants varies from one sixteenth to one fourth of an inch, meaning the size of the biggest worker can be two to three times bigger than the shortest. The species of red imported ants have dislodged the other native varieties of ants in a lot of regions of Texas. The Tropical fire ant, Solenopsis geminate, is the most widespread local fire ant genus that one may come across. To a naked eye they look almost similar to the red imported variety. However, the number of bigger workers in case of S. geminate is low and their heads are large, in the shape of a square with two lobes. This variety specializes in gathering and grinding seeds. Their molds are comparable to red imported fire ants.
How Is The Single Queen Of Imported Red Fire Ants Different From Multiple Queen Forms?
These two are genetically different types of the red imported fire ant. The variety with single queen is known as Solenopsis invicta or monogyne while the other with several queens is called polygyne.
Distinct Features Of Single Fire Ant Queen
There is just one queen per mound or colony. It’s a wingless reproductive female. Worker ants are a bit bigger and mounds are usually bigger in size. These are very protective of their colonies. Density of their mound is generally under 300 heaps/acre, meaning there are fewer red imported fire ants per acre.
Multiple queens, This genus of ant can have hundreds of queens per colony. Worker ants in this case are smaller and move from one mound to the next to split their resources. Density of mound is generally over 300 heaps/acre, meaning the number of ants per acre is more.
How To Distinguish Fire Ants From Termites?
Though most ants are easily identifiable, one may confuse certain kinds of winged ants with termites, particularly when it’s brimming time for termites. One feature that separates ants from termites is that the pair of wings on their front is larger than the hind pair in case of ants whereas all four wings of termites are almost of the same size. Moreover, antennae of ants are “elbowed” and they have a “thin waist” (contracted between the thorax and first abdominal segments). Termites have straight, hair like antennae while the thorax and abdomen are connected broadly.
Where Do Fire Ants Come From?
Red and black imported fire ants (S. richteri and Solenopsis invicta) are native to South America. Sometime during the 1930s, these got fortuitously introduced into the U.S. via the port of Mobile, Alabama; in all probability via the soil used for ballasts of ships and have been scattering since. The U.S. is home to many varieties of Solenopsis fire ant.
We Were Not Used To Having Fire Ants During My Childhood. Why Are They Appearing Now?
The imported variety of red ant is very violent and competent. It has been spreading in the north, south and west of Texas since the 1950s. Now they swarm in over 2/3 of the eastern states and also some urban regions of western Texas. Unfortunately, they are going to be here. Fortunately, there are many economical and easy ways you can use to avoid most problems they can cause. Continued research can help developing more economical and environment friendly ways to manage fire ants.
Why Are Fire Ants Attacking Simultaneously?
Fire ants are characteristically susceptible to movements and vibrations and likely to sting even if there is a slight movement of the location they are occupying. For instance, if fire ants crawl up your leg, you are bound to move or jerk your leg and that is a clear signal to the rest of the ants to move at about the same moment. It has been determined that fire ants spread out communication chemicals, known as pheromones, to demonstrate precise behaviors such as trail formation, panic reaction and queen recognition. However, there’s no evidence of any pheromone motivating ants to sting and bite.
Can Fire Ant Stings Be Lethal?
Just about one percent of human population is oversensitive to ant venom and would have a poisonous allergic reaction. The old or very young people and those with a suppressed immune system are more prone to react harshly to one or additional stings. Yet, healthy persons too could have harsh reactions like anaphylactic shock as a consequence of several stinging attacks.
Fire Ants Eating Flesh Video
How To Treat Fire Ant Bites?
Well, with fire ant bite treatment, there is hardly anything you could do but keep the affected area under observation, whether that is itching, swelling or redness. You need to be concerned in case symptoms such as breathlessness or sweating get developed for these may be indicative of an extreme systemic allergic reaction, needing medical attention. Else, you should treat fire ant stings as stings caused by any other bugs and ensure that these are kept clean to avoid secondary infections.
Fire ants are tiny, having a length of just 1/8- to 1/4″. Disparity of size is a characteristic feature of imported fire ants. Many varieties of ants come in uniform size.
If you happen to disturb their mound, a large number of worker ants, which can go in hundreds, creep on vertical surfaces, like grasses or any other object on or around their heap.
If an ant stings you, it gives you a feeling of getting burnt. Within a day or even later, a blister or boil filled with white fluid is formed at the site of the bite because of ants’ exceptional venom. This symptom appears only in case of venom of a fire ant.
Worker ants bite and sting over and over again and aggressively.
Red Imported Fire Ant Facts And History
Initially, it was in 1918 that the imported black fire ant that accidentally landed in South America and traveled to Mobile, Alabama. So far its circulation has been limited to parts of Alabama and Mississippi. The red variety of fire ant got imported during the 1930s and has swarmed in excess of 260 million acres of soil of 9 southeastern states, which include the whole or parts of Florida, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. This genus is copious and displaces a number of local ant genus when in abundance. It is likely to spread in the west and survive in southern Arizona and all along the Pacific coast to Washington in north.
Ants are sighted the world over. Harvester ants are sighted in the west of the Mississippi river as well as in the south, with common genus counting the western harvester ant, Polygomyrmex occidentalis, P. barbatus, the red harvester ant, the California harvester ant, P. californicus and the Florida harvester ant, P. badius. The Texas leafcutting ant is found in the eastern half of Texas plus west-central Louisiana. The northeastern states are inhabited by the pavement ant, the red ant; the cornfield ant plus the Allegheny mound ant. These form the most widespread varieties colonizing turf grass areas. Many types of ants occurring in turf grass are local to the US.
Impact Of The Red Imported Fire Ant
Normally, ants don’t harm turf grass directly. However, they build colonies in areas from where turf grass has been removed. Heaps of dirt make an ugly sight and cause problem as they interfere with operations like mowing. Corridors appearing as a result of making colonies could dislocate roots of turf grass and change the properties of soils to contain moisture. At some locales, ants along with earthworms move a lot of soil that reduces soil compaction. Certain species of ants like the imported red fire ant may sting frequently, and are therefore important to the field of medicine.
Oversensitive people may experience harsh reactions to stings, though generally a victim could develop secondary infections in case the sting gets infected. Harvester ants cause an excruciating sting too. Ants nesting in regions of turf grass may also lead to problems if foraging ants or traveling colonies get into sites which don’t welcome them.
Fire Ant Bites Video
What If A Fire And Sting Causes An Allergic Reaction?
Look for medical help at once. In case you aren’t sure how your body may react, ensure that somebody is informed of what has happened. Look for company of other people, basically anyone who could help you.
Are Fire Ants As Dangerous As Killer Bees Are?
That’s like comparing an apple to an orange. Both attack in groups and are capable of causing deadly allergic reactions, and the similarities end there. Though encounters are quite rare, Africanized bees have the capacity to overpower and kill even healthy individuals, known to be non-allergic. Fire ants, on the other hand, are unable to overpower a healthy, moving individual. In their case even hundreds of strings are seldom deadly. However, fire ant mounds are awfully widespread. The probability of getting murdered by killer bees is higher in case you run into them, but the likelihood of getting killed by fire ants is higher only when you are exceedingly allergic, or fail to get away from them quickly. There’s little possibility of either.
How Do I Know Fire Ants Are Near?
Presence of a mound of fluffy soil, especially after a few days of heavy rains, confirms the presence of fire ants. You won’t notice any opening in the middle, as is the case with most mounds of ants. Imported red fire ants leave and enter their housing colony via underground tunnels.
Mounds made in pastures which don’t get disturbed can attain a height of eighteen inches, but majority of mounds in turf grass generally have height of a couple of inches. If you dig into the mound, you’ll notice white objects. That’s the litter of ants under development, compromising of eggs, pupae and larvae.
You can find ants in nearly all kinds of turf grass and their colonies may be sighted in parks, lawns, playgrounds, agricultural as well as in wasteland areas and golf courses. Ants nourish on wide variety of resources, though certain species demonstrate certain preferences. For example, harvester ants feed mainly on nutritious caps and sheaths of seeds, whilst fire ants mainly guzzle other arthropods, plus some turf grass pests, for instance chinch bugs. The Texas leafcutter ant snips sections of leaves from shrubs and trees that they take into their colonies wherein they use the same to culture a fungus that they eat. Certain varieties of ants eat honey secretions of aphids and other Homoptera, and guard these creatures from natural adversaries and promote infestations. The pyramid ants of southern states feed largely on dead ants, like dead harvester ants, rejected by other varieties of ants.
Colonies formed by ants form characteristic disturbances to the soil and shapes of their heaps are typical of their species. Many varieties of harvester ants like the red one, build nests in sunny open areas. These nests are flat, made in areas without vegetation and are circular in shape having a diameter of one meter. The nests, roofed with coarse gravel have one or more openings in their middle. The colonies built by Texas leaf cutting ants are distinguished by a large number of terrace-topped mounds made from amassed coarse soil with central openings. Both varieties of these ants frequently create long (about seven meters) foraging tracks devoid of vegetation. Pyramid ants, with a length of 1/8 inch long, are black in color and erect small mounds of fine soil with balconies around inner openings.
In southeastern states, including Texas, imported red fire ants build several mounds, especially in regions containing several queens. Their mounds are widespread in sunny airy areas. In turf grass that are regularly mowed, the height of mounds is not as significant, as is the number of mounds that cover grass on the soil during parts of the year when ants vigorously dig out dirt to erect mounds. Once disturbed, like by usual activities like mowing, ants move their entire colonies to undisturbed areas in the neighborhood. In case mounds don’t get disturbed, these can attain a diameter of 25 cm and be as tall as 35cm. Beneath the ground galleries of nests can go through a V-shaped outline beneath the nest, traveling up to a depth of 1.2 meter in the soil. The diameter, height and structure of mound vary with the kind of soil and its moisture content.
Once being disturbed, fire ants get aggressive and will attack everything that is near their source of food or their mounds. For this reason people are often forced to change their outdoor activities if fire ants are present there. Fire ants are capable of stinging again and again. This behavior has been demonstrated before – victims were infants, confiscated animals and adults confined to bed. Itching and burning are typical symptoms, appearing as a result of sting caused by fire ants. The ant infuses a poison that contains “Solenopsin A”, a greasy alkaloid, which is deadly to cells. It leads to formation of a white eruption within one or two days. Though stings aren’t usually grave, these may get infected easily and leave a permanent scar on the skin. People known to be sensitive to stings of fire ants, should consult an allergist. If a person affected by sting reports nausea, pain in the chest, excessive sweating, slurred speech, breathlessness or severe swelling, he/she should be given medical treatment without losing any time. Sometimes, even a single sting can send some people to coma. It has been discovered that the number of deaths caused by fire ants ‘stings are far lower than those caused by bees and wasp stings.
Fire Ant Bites And Burning Sting
Fire ants get extremely aggressive if their nest gets disturbed. Once being irritated, their groups attack the supposed intruder, secure themselves by clinging to victim’s skin and sting repeatedly.
Once you get bit by these ants, you will be aware of what’s happening. If their nests get disturbed, they attack the intruder in groups, traveling along vertical surfaces, for example legs. They are hostile and determined and each of these could sting a number of times.
Stings caused by fire ants can be identified by red, swollen spots with a blister at the top. Stings itch, hurt and may continue for one week. People extremely allergic to stings should be provided medical help immediately.
Mild stings can be treating by bathing the affected part with a solution of water and soap and applying a bandage. Application of ice helps reducing pain. Steroid creams available over the counter also reduce itching and pain. Fire ant bites should disappear in a week or so. Scratching is best avoided as it can cause infection which could last longer.
Anybody could become allergic to fire ant stings at any time. However, the risk is higher among people who had previously been stung. A hazardous allergic reaction could prove fatal. Signs of such a reaction have already been pointed above and include problematic breathing, swelling and dizziness or nausea. The symptoms appear soon after the attack of ants. Once you notice any of these signs, as a consequence of encountering ants’ attack, it is vital to seek medical help at once.
The simplest way of avoiding getting stung by fire ants is to stay away from them. In case you happen to see their nest, don’t disturb it. While engaged in any outdoor activity, remember to keep wearing socks and shoes. Yet, if you get assaulted by these fiery ants, back off from their nest and brush off ants with piece of cloth, keeping your hands covered with it to avoid your hands getting stung.
The problem of fire ants is on the increase in the south of the US and rampant in Houston, Texas. Take all precautionary measures when outdoors to avoid any unpleasant experiences with fire ants. If you see anyone getting stung and developing symptoms provided above, do your best to help the victim and arrange medical help for them immediately.
Various Ants by National Geographic Video
Thorough Fire Ant Inspections
We perform thorough inspections to identify where the fire ants are coming from so we can eliminate the problem effectively. A thorough inspection inside and outside of your property is important in identifying the source of their entry.
Why Doing Fire Ant Control Yourself Doesn’t Work
Fire Ant control products found in stores often fail due as the product is a repellant killing the insect on contact and not destroying the colony. Yes, after using the products many dead fire ants will be lying around, but those products will not affect the colony.
Fire Ant repellants perform a disservice because the ants will detect it and not cross over it. As they avoid the repellents they will split off with a new queen creating more colonies giving birth to more fire ants. This is forming of multiple ant colonies is called “budding.”
Houston Fire Ant Control Services
Gulf Coast Exterminators is the one to call for all fire ant control and ants pest control needs. With in-depth knowledge and over 10 years of successful service in fire ant control, we have trained and certified technicians that always deliver. After accessing your situation, we will tell you the steps we will take to get rid of the red imported fire ants on your property.
Ant Control and Prevention Services in Houston
We are well known for our services as an imported red fire ant control company. Our experts will offer the best possible approach to rid your property of all unwanted fire ants and other ants. Our services cover all of facets of ant control.
Your home or work place could become the next settlement for fire ants. Let us, Gulf Coast Exterminators, the experienced and most effective fire ant control professionals in Houston, Texas, handle your fire ant problems. At the affordable rates we offer, you shouldn’t expose yourself to the possibility of diseases and harm fire ants bring.
Gulf Coast Exterminators is an accomplished fire ant control and pest control company, licensed by the state of Houston to safely and properly control fire ants. If you have these ferocious ants on your property or inside, we offer free in-home inspection to fully access the problem for you.
Fire Ant Control You Can Count On
At Gulf Coast Exterminators, we have the years of experience to count on for fire ant control! We have served businesses and residents all over Houston for over 10 years. We can assure you that our fire ant control will clear your property effectively and at a great rate.
Fire Ant Control Effectiveness
At Gulf Coast Exterminators, we are very effective in ant control, we operate in very high standards and we are also cost effective. These are the reasons Gulf Coast Exterminators is the ant control company of choice in Houston, Texas for over 10 years.
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We have insured, bonded, background checked clean-cut technicians who are well versed in customer service and experienced in all forms of pest control. Each member of our staff is licensed and regulated by the Texas Department of Agriculture Structural Pest Control service. Our Pest Control technicians constantly receive ongoing and extensive training with a combination of monthly in-house training as well as semi-annual third-party training to remain proficient in the latest and most efficient Pest Control techniques available.
Our popular pest control services in Houston are termite control, termite inspection, bed bug treatment, flea control and rodent control. We serve over 60 service areas in Houston for pest control, most popular are Conroe Pest Control, Kingwood Pest Control, Pest Control Sugar Land & Pest Control Katy TX.
Call us (281) 449-7404 or use our form to contact us for your free pest inspection as well as for service.
Call us at (281)-449-7404 or use our form to contact us for your free pest inspection as well as for service.
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