Most of us in South Carolina have been stung at one time or another by the imported red fire ant. In the genus Solenopsis, they can cause serious medical, economic and ecologic problems, not to mention their stings really hurt! They are called imported fire ants because they are native to South America and were accidentally introduced to South Carolina in the 1960s.
Believe it or not there is some benefit to these little nuisances as they feed on flea larvae, chinch bugs, cockroach eggs, ticks, and other pests. Fire ant mounds against the Fire ants disturbedfoundation of house are often an indication of hidden termite activity. Unfortunately, their risks far outweigh their benefits.
Along with the pain they inflict and the interference to outdoor activities, fire ant mounds can be large and unsightly which can even affect property values.
So what do we do for these invading pests? First, we identify them. Fire ants are polymorphic—a big word which means they come in all sizes. So size is not a good indication that you are dealing with the imported red fire ant. Also, here in South Carolina we have several species of ants that are reddish brown in color, so color is not a good indicator.
fire_ant_moundSome homeowners are able to recognize them by their mounds of fluffy worked soil with no center hole as most other ant mounds have. In fact there is no hole at all. These mounds can raise up a few inches above your turf, and as high as 18” in undisturbed areas. If you see these mounds, avoid walking or standing in the area around the mounds.
An unfortunate identification comes if you happen to accidentally disturb the area near the mound. Hundreds of workers will rush out of the mound and quickly climb your feet and legs. The overtly aggressive nature of these ants is a distinguishable trait. Worker ants inject venom with their stingers repeatedly. You may feel burning at the site of the stings and a few days later, a white fluid-filled pustule or blister appears at the sting site.
fire-ant-mound-myrtle-beachWe know that you do not want these pests in your yard and The Pest Force has a solution. After we correctly identify this ant, we can choose the appropriate product. As licensed professionals we have access to a variety of treatment solutions that are effective in controlling the fire ant population and safe for the environment.
The soil condition, time of day, temperature and weather conditions all are factors in determining the effective and efficient application and our technicians have the experience and knowledge to provide the best treatment for your property.
As a value added service, a fire ant treatment can be added to any other pest control treatment for a reduced price and when added to a quarterly pest control program we can offer the greatest value.