As the name suggests, fire ants got their common name from their ability to inflict pain through their bites and stings which can become welt and look like a white boil.
Their colonies are often found in open areas such as gardens, lawns, golf routes, roadsides even near a structure. They can also have access to a house in search of food and water through cracks and holes through which wire and pipes pass through into the building. Fire ants usually come out after raining periods and build their nest.
There is no particular season for fire ants, but they can be very hyperactive in the spring and summer. So to know what draws them to your home is crucial to getting rid of them from your homes.
What Attracts Fire Ants
- Dirt: Poor sanitation generally would attract ants, so dirt will sure attract foraging fire ants. When you don’t dump kitchen waste around your house and you dispose of them properly, you won’t have them in your home. You must know that fire ants have an extraordinary sense of smell which they make good use of when foraging. They can search for food at a great distance from their colonies and drop pheromones for others to trace to the food source.
- Moist environment: Fire ants are attracted to areas that are wet, it is just in rare cases you see their mounds on the roof of a house or inside a wall but really they require a level of moisture to survive. Stagnant water, leakages from pipes, and roof can attract fire ants.
- Mulch: When shredded plant parts heavily cover the soil surface close to your house it encourages moisture retention hereby providing an attractive habitat for fire ants to make their nest mounds.
- Cracks and Holes: These are the major entry of fire ants into homes. These holes and cracks may probably be ways through which pipes and holes enter the house but the fire ants use this as access.
How to Identify an Infestation
For you to identify an infestation it is very vital to know that most fire ants dwell in the mound while others dwell in dark areas which are very difficult to locate.
They build their mounds with hard and dense soils or a pile of dirt resembling a flattened mound with no visible opening at the top.
Their mound can either be domed or flattened at the top. This is helpful when it comes to identifying their mounds as their entry and exit is underground. When you disturb their mound they will become aggressive and sting.
You may also find small fire ants moving around your house searching for food. This is a sign that there’s a colony around the corner.