Fire Ants are several species of ants in the genus Solenopsis, which includes over 200 species. Solenopsis are stinging ants, and most of their common names reflect this.
Fire Ants are several species of ants in the genus Solenopsis, which includes over 200 species. Solenopsis are stinging ants, and most of their common names reflect this. They love open areas, lawns, sports fields, parks, pastures, orchards, road sides, paths, golf courses and any other wide open space outside. The average colony contains 100,000 to 500,000 workers and up to several hundred winged forms and queens. Queens can live 7 years or more while workers generally live about 5 weeks. Workers create the underground tunnels that can extend up to 25 feet from the primary mound and create other primary mounds to expand their locations. The life cycle has four stages. They have poor eye site and are territorial in nature. Flying fire ants can fly up to 3 miles based on energy reserve. If it's windy they can travel further. They are omnivorous, but their primary diet consists of insects and other invertebrates. It is reported that fire ants can create as many as 200 mounds per acre. They hurt when they bite and can be fatal to those allergic or depending on how many ants sting you at one time. Pouring 2-3 gallons of very hot or boiling water on the mound can kill about 60%, however those that survive or retreat into their tunnels can show up somewhere else. NOTE: Hot water will also kill grass and any other vegetation it touches. Best to just call us if you find you have a fire ant mound as their primary mound may be in your neighbors yard.
Sugar Ants also known as the banded ant and is a species of the ant native to Australia. It's a member of the genus Camponotus in the subfamily Formiciae and described by German entomologist Erichson in 1842. Up close they can look a little menacing but it's all for show- they bite buy can't sting so it's wont hurt much and is harmless. They can survive up to seven years and their queens up to 15 years. Males die soon after mating. They like nectar and sugary foods and search out safety from wet conditions outside, or dry/hot conditions, which is usually why we see them more when it's rainy or really hot and dry. They travel up to 100 yards from their nest to find food and often forage at night between sunset and midnight. You'll see them worse when you get up in the middle of the night for water.
Black Ants/Carpenter Ants are different from each other. A black ant has two different body parts between its head and thorax, while a carpenter ant only has one. Carpenter ants also have a much more uniform body when compared and have a heart shaped head compared to the round head of a black ant. If you see a single reddish or black ant, with a single node between its abdomen and thorax, anywhere inside your home, it is time to worry about carpenter ants. The one reason is because they don't always feed inside a house they are infesting. There are four stages of Carpenter Ant (wood destroying) warning signs. The first stage is finding a few scouts walking around looking and when you see a few, you could already have an infestation. Identification is key, they are the largest ant critter you'll see inside your home. The normal black "pavement" ants are around 1/8 inch while carpenter ants are 5/8 inch. The second stage is when ants establish a nest, you may see or find the appearance of sawdust (frass) underneath the kickout holes that lead into their tunnels. They don't eat wood like termites, they chew it and push it out. Stage 3 is often mistaken for stage 1 but this is the most obvious warning sign that you have carpenter ants. Flying ants appear on your window panes, inside and outside, when this happens you usually already have a mature carpenter ant nest in your property. You may want to vacuum them to rid of them and then shrug it all off, but carpenter ant swarmers are male and the female reproductives send them out from a nest with one purpose: to establish more nests. The final stage 4 is the worst of all. When carpenter ants go untreated they can cause supports to weaken and framing to warp. This leads to stuck doors and windows, sloped floors, sinking ceilings and bulging walls. If you see signs of these please call us to schedule treatment.