Concerned with the fire ant mound in your backyard? Calm down as effective fire ant control is available.
Still remember your last fire ant bite? It’s natural. Fire ant stings are painful and some people may experience serious side effects including sweating, nausea, and excessive itching which may even call for emergency medical help. Fire ants inject alkaloid venom into the blood stream of the victim, causing a burning sensation and contributing to the development of red bumps and white pustules that may often result in scarring.
Having a fire ant mound in your backyard is a concern and your family will be at risk if you leave it unattended. A fire ant colony may consist of as many as 100,000 to 500,000 fire ants and this means that you may suffer multiple stings if you want to manage fire ant removal on your own.
Fire ant control requires a set of skills which experienced pest control professionals can put to practice. If you want experienced hands to manage fire ant treatment for you, contact us for inspection and consultation. Fill out the form on the right to schedule your fire ant removal operation.
European Fire Ants are a newer identified invasive species found in Ontario. Very similar to the Red Imported Fire Ant found in the United States. Fire ants can be distinguished from other ants by their copper brown head and body with a darker abdomen. The worker ants are blackish to reddish, and their size varies from 2 mm to 6 mm (0.12 in to 0.24 in). These different sizes of the ants can all be present in the same nest.
Many ants bite and can cause irritation by spraying formic acid; fire ants have a dedicated venom-injecting sting which injects an alkaloid venom as well as mandibles.
A typical fire ant colony produces large mounds in open areas, and feeds mostly on young plants, seeds, and sometimes crickets. Fire ants often attack small animals and can kill them. Unlike many other ants, which bite and then spray acid on the wound, fire ants bite only to get a grip and then sting (from the abdomen) and inject a toxic alkaloid venom called solenopsin, a compound from the class of piperidines. For humans, this is a painful sting, a sensation similar to what one feels when burned by fire. The after effects of the sting can be deadly to sensitive individuals. The venom is both insecticidal and antibiotic.
Fire ants nest in the soil, often near moist areas, such as river banks, pond shores, watered lawns and highway shoulder. Usually, the nest will not be visible, as it will be built under objects such as timber, logs, rocks, or bricks. If there is no cover for nesting, dome-shaped mounds will be constructed, but these are usually only found in open spaces, such as fields, parks and lawns. These mounds can reach heights of 40 cm (15.7 in), and can also be as deep as a metre and a half (five feet).  Colonies are founded by small groups of queens or single queens. Even if only one queen survives, within a month or so, the colony can expand to thousands of individuals. Some colonies may have multiple queens per nest.
A queen is generally the largest individual in the colony. Her primary function is reproduction; she may live for 6 to 7 years and can produce up to 3,500 eggs in a single day. That is roughly 9 million in her lifetime.
Males mate with the queen. Their lifespan is 4 to 5 days.
Symptoms and treatment
The venom of fire ants is composed of alkaloids such as piperidine. Some people are allergic to the venom, and as with many allergies, may experience anaphylaxis, which requires emergency treatment. Other problems are concentrated to the site of the sting.
The sting swells into a bump, which can cause much pain and irritation, especially when several stings are in the same place. The bump often forms into a white pustule, which can become infected if scratched, but if left alone will usually flatten within a few days. The pustules are obtrusive and uncomfortable while active and, if they become infected, can cause scarring .
Severe allergic reactions to fire ant stings, including severe chest pain, nausea, severe sweating, loss of breath, serious swelling, and slurred speech, can be fatal if not treated
For first aid or other treatments consult your doctor.
Although most fire ant species do not bother people and are not invasive, known in the United States as the red imported fire ant (or RIFA) is an invasive pest in many areas of the world, notably the United States, Australia, the Philippines, China and Taiwan. The RIFA was accidentally introduced into the United States aboard a South American cargo ship that docked at the port of Mobile, Alabama, in the 1930s, and came to infest the majority of the Southern and Southwestern United States.
In the US the FDA estimates that more than US$5 billion is spent annually on medical treatment, damage, and control in RIFA-infested areas. Furthermore, the ants cause approximately $750 million in damage annually to agricultural assets, including veterinarian bills and livestock loss, as well as crop loss. Over 40 million people live in RIFA-infested areas in the southeastern United States. Between 30 and 60% of people living in fire ant-infested areas are stung each year. Since September 2004 Taiwan has been seriously affected by the red fire ant. The US, Taiwan and Australia all have ongoing national programs to control or eradicate the species, but, except for Australia, none have been especially effective. In Australia, an intensive program costing A$175 million had by February 2007 eradicated 99% of fire ants from the sole infestation occurring in south-east Queensland.
In just seventy years, according to a study published in 2009, various lizards in parts of the United States have evolved to have longer legs and new behaviors that aid them in escaping fire ants.
If you suspect a fire ant colony is present contact a Professional ASAP