If you have had a run in with fire ants in your yard or elsewhere in Brevard County, you know that it is not a pleasurable experience at all. Sometimes you don’t even know these things have crawled on you until they start biting. And boy does it hurt. Not only does it hurt while the sting is happening, it hurts for minutes even hours after as the venom affects the area of the sting.
There are two species of red fire ant in Brevard County. The two species are commonly referred to as “red ants” in general. But more specifically they can be classified as “native” or “imported”. In this article, we are going to go into some detail about both types.
Native Fire Ant – Solenopsis geminata (Fabricius)
This ant is referred to as native because its origin is North America. More specifically it is thought to have originated in North Mexico and the Southern Texas area. It is now found in many parts of the world and this would be considered their “invasive fire ant”.
This ant looks a little more brown than red at times. As you may expect fire ant worker’s diet includes insects, earthworms, ticks, spiders, arthropod eggs, honeydew and other sweets. They will take over an area and sting anyone or anything that gets in the way.
Red Imported Fire Ant – Solenopsis invicta
When you hear the word “imported” you may think of wine, cheese or cigars But rarely do you associate that word with ants. The red imported fire ant is native to South America and has made its way to Florida between 1933 and 1945. They are now found in other parts of the world including the Caribbean Islands and Australia.
This ant creates a mound of dirt and forages for foods to eat from. The ant is aggressive and will invade crops, gardens and try to make use of any naturally growing food plants.
Each ant can sting multiple times before it dies. The sting can leave behind a sore and itchy red welt that wil sometimes turn into a blister. Your body responds to this bite as if it were a burn. That is why the blister may occur.
These two species of ant are something that can get out of control if not attacked quickly and properly. If you want to make sure the job is done correctly from the start, call your local pest control agent. If you live in or near Brevard County feel free to give us a call at 1-800-781-PEST (7378)
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