Tips on Controlling Fire Ants from Green Frog Pest Solutions Pest Control Service in Hazlehurst, Jesup, Douglas, and Baxley Georgia

There are three species of fire ants found in Georgia: the Southern fire ant (Solenopsis exloni), the tropical fire ant (Solenopsis geminata), and the red impfireAntsorted fire ant (Solenopsis invicta). The red imported fire ant, though not native to Georgia, is by far the most common and the most aggressive fire ant found in the state and has largely displaced the native Southern and tropical fire ants.

Fire ants are found throughout Georgia, where relatively mild winters and an abundance of available food have contributed to their success. They feed mainly on insects and other small invertebrates, although they will also east carrion and young plants. They don’t feed on humans or other living mammals. When they attack, they do so for self-defense because they sense a threat to their colony.

Fire ants do feed upon young plants, but the direct damage that fire ants do to agricultural crops probably is offset by the benefits they provide by voraciously consuming insects that are far more destructive than are the fire ants themselves. But fire ant mounds can damage farm equipment and complicate harvesting. Fire ants also create a hazard for farm workers, and they occasionally sting livestock. Green Frog Pest Solutions pest control company in Hazlehurst, Jesup, Douglas, or Baxley Georgia will help you with your fire ant problem.

Fire ants are similar to other small ants in appearance. They range in size from about one-eighth to one-quarter inch in length and in color from reddish-brown to black. Juveniles and workers are wingless, and adult fire ants of both sexes are winged only until they mate. The three species of fire ants in Georgia are very similar in appearance, making positive identification a job for professionals.

Fire Ant Mounds

Fire ants build their nests in the soil, and these nests form dome-shaped mounds. The mounds may range in size from a few inches to several feet in diameter and height and may contain hundreds of thousands of individuals. The nest itself lies under the mound and consists of a network of underground galleries that may extend several feet underground vertically, and several feet out from the edge of the mound horizontally. Fire ant mounds can be found in open fields, lawns, along sidewalks, and almost anywhere else soil can be found. Sometimes fire ants even build nests in exterior electrical boxes and mechanical equipment housings.

Mature fire ant colonies produce winged reproductive queens and males, who fly from the nest and mate while in flight. The males die shortly after mating. The females continue to fly — sometimes over distances of up to 10 miles or more — searching for a suitable nesting place. If she finds one, the newly-fertilized queen lands, sheds her wings, and attempts to burrow into the ground to lay her eggs.

Only a few new queens will succeed at establishing their own colonies, but fire ant colonies that do manage to survive typically will contain a hundred thousand workers or more by their one-year anniversary.

Contact Green Frog Pest Solutions pest control company in Hazlehurst, Jesup, Douglas, or Baxley Georgia if you’re having a fire ant problem, or just need some advice in the matter. Call us!