Characteristics of a Fire Ant

fire antFire ants are an invasive species that are spreading throughout the United States. They first arrived in Alabama during the 1930s. They caught a ride on boats from South America. They spread quickly and are quite an aggressive species. It’s important to be able to identify the type of ants you have before you can determine the right treatment for killing them.


Fire ants are black and red in color. The worker ants have mandibles that they can use to bite victims. There is also a stinger on the abdomen. They have three clearly segmented. The fire ants are between to 2 mm to 6 mm in size, which is about a fifth of an inch in length. The fire ants also have large eyes and segmented antennae. There are three teeth on the front of the head.

Fire Ant Mounds

Fire ant colonies are quite large. They can be up to two feet in diameter and up to eighteen inches in height. They are different from other mounds because they will not have a hole in the top of the mound. They will enter through tunnels that are along the side of the mound. If you are treating the mound, they will leave through the tunnels, which can extend up to twenty-five feet away from the mound. They tend to be in a sunny area where they can find water outside. The colonies can include up to 500,000 ants. When the colony gets large, they may sound out new queens and males to establish a new colony. When faced with an infestation, it’s best to kill the fire ant colony as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

Fire Ant Behavior

Fire ants will bite and sting when threatened. When they do this, they release a pheromone that signals there is danger and all of the ants will attack you. They can do this is a swarm, and the number of bites can cause a serious allergic reaction. It may seem like they have a signal to attack all at once, and in a way they do, though usually it is a self-defense attack.  They like to feed on dead animals, living insects and honeydew. They will also eat sweet foods, fats and proteins from your home. Although fire ants can plague your yard, read some facts about carpenter ants and how they can be detrimental to your home.

8 Facts About Ants

ants eating a caterpillarAnts are prevalent throughout the world. The industrious insects work together to form a colony. Many people are fascinated by ants and all that they do. Here are 10 interesting facts about ants.

1. Queens Rule the Colony

The queen’s primary purpose is to lay eggs for the colony. The worker ants will bring the queen food and take care of her needs. If they need to evacuate, the ants will even carry the queen so that she does not move. Queens can live up to 15 years.

2. Tons of Ants

There are over 10,000 trillion ants throughout the world. There are estimates that the total weight of ants throughout the world is about equal to the total weight of humans in the world.

3. 12,000 Species of Ants

There are 12,000 species of ants throughout the world. Some ants are aggressive like the fire ant and army ant, while others are more focused on building a colony like a harvester ant or black garden ant.

4. Ants Vary in Size

The carebara atoma are the world’s smallest ants. They are about one millimeter long. The biggest ant is the camponontus gigas and their heads can be up to seven millimeters wide.

5. Lots of Eggs

A queen ant can lay up to 300,000 eggs in just a few days. Since queen ants can live up to 15 years that means she can lay millions and millions of eggs while she is alive.

6. Ants Have Super Colonies

Ant colonies can vary in size from species to species. However, there are super colonies that can have several queens and a large number of worker ants. According to Wikipedia on ants, the largest ant colony is in Southern Europe that one super ant colony had millions of nests stretched along 3,731 miles of shore.

7. Ants Can Carry 3 Times Their Own Weight

Although very small, ants are very strong. They can carry up to three times their own weight. Ants will also work together to carry heavy objects.

8. Ants Have Hive Minds

Ants have a unique hive mind that allows them to communicate with each other and work together. The idea of a hive mind has been the basis of many science fiction stories, but ants seem to pull it off without any of the related fears and concerns. Although ants are interesting creatures, they are not as fascinating when they are invading your home or kitchen. It is important to stop ants as soon as you see them since more are sure to follow. The experts at EcoTek Pest and Termite Control can stop ants from invading your home.