You pick a perfect spot outside, put your blanket down, get your food out, and suddenly, your picnic gets crashed by unwelcome guests. You look around and realize you set up right on a nest of fire ants! Not only can fire ants ruin your outdoor party, but they can be a danger to you, your family, and your pets. Read on to learn about the dangers of fire ants in Savannah, GA, and what you can do about them.
Fire Ant Basics
Fire ants are an aggressive species of ants that get their name from their painful sting. Originally imported from Brazil, they are known for their ability to eat almost anything — plant or animal — to survive. They are red-yellow in color, with a stinger that is always extruded. They are found throughout the southern and western parts of the U.S., with nests being found from Virginia to Florida to Southern California.
Fire ants are known for their large, easily identifiable mound-style nests. These nests are flat, irregularly shaped, and between two and four feet in size. Fire ant nests are typically found in the soil, near the foundation of structures, under large stones, or at the base of trees.
The Dangers Of Fire Ants
Unlike some ants that are just a nuisance, fire ants can pose a danger to humans and pets. A fire ant sting will cause a welt that then becomes a painful white pustule. While one sting itself is painful, you will rarely be stung by one fire ant. Fire ants will swarm aggressively if their nest is disturbed, leading to multiple stings from multiple ants.
Fire ant bites have been found to cause itching and swelling of the skin, dizziness, and vomiting in people that have been stung. The reaction is amplified in people with asthma or allergies. 2% of people suffer a severe anaphylactic shock when they are stung by fire ants.
DIY Fire Ant Removal
A quick internet search lists plenty of “natural” solutions for getting rid of fire ants on your own. These tips include everything from sprinkling the mound with grits, covering it in orange peels, soaking it with club soda, or dumping diesel fuel on it. While creative, none of these “natural” fire ant remedies are effective against fire ants.
A trip to your local home and garden shop will give you other options. Most lawn care companies make something that claims to control or kill fire ants. While these may be a better option than orange peels, they still won’t solve a fire ant problem. The biggest issue with fire ants is that even if you destroy the mound, they can relocate. So even if DIY solutions solve the immediate issue, fire ants and their mounds will just return to another area of your property.
Call The Professionals
If you have a fire ant problem in or around your Savannah home, it’s time to call the professionals at Pestmaster® Services. Our trained professionals will inspect your home and property for free. After the inspection, we'll sit down with you to develop a plan to solve your pest issues. This plan includes eradicating fire ant infestations as well as any other infestation, then treating your house on a quarterly basis to prevent a recurrence. If you have fire ants or any other pest issue, trust Pestmaster ® Services to take care of your home and family.