Known for their bright red hue, fire ants are certainly a cause for alarm! Red imported fire ants have populated many areas in Texas, creating large mounds and stinging anyone who draws too near.
Fire ants in Texas are a common concern for NTX Best Pest customers and can cause more problems than just their painful sting.
In our article, we’ll give you the best tips to stay safe against these pesky painful insects and explain how these imported ants can destroy the local environment.
Where did Fire Ants in Texas Originate?
Multiple ant species are considered fire ants around the world. Not every fire ant shares the same red hue, but all have an aggressive nature and painful stings.
Some fire ants are native to the United States. For example, the southern fire ant hails from the southern area of the country, while others come from tropical regions. Unfortunately, fire ants in Texas are invasive species introduced in the 1900s from South America.
While many insect and animal species have stemmed from other nations without causing significant problems, the red imported fire ants in Texas can create issues for residents and the environment.
Despite not being native to Texas, these fire ants are prolific throughout the state. Because temperatures stay steady throughout most of the year, fire ants can stick around even during winter weather.
Are Texas Fire Ants Dangerous?
A fire ant sting isn’t enough to send you to the hospital unless you’re severely allergic. However, multiple stings can cause problems!
A fire ant can deliver numerous painful stings, and multiple fire ants may leave you in a sore spot. However, it’s unlikely that they will severely injure you.
Red important fire ants are primarily responsible for ecological damage in many areas across the country and throughout Texas. According to Oklahoma State University’s extension program, the ants will infest plants and destroy seeds, leaves, and budding fruits and vegetables. They may even strip the bark off of young trees and kill them.
Fire ants in Texas can congregate in traffic control boxes or air conditioners, destroying the electrical wiring and shorting out the equipment.
As the fire ant population grows, other ant species lose vital resources and die out. These pests may even attack other colonies to kill workers and queens.
Where do Fire Ants Create Their Colonies?
Texas A&M’s Agrilife Research extension reports that fire ants in Texas can build their mounds within any soil. You’ll typically see mounds around sunny open areas like fields, backyards, pastures, or parks. However, don’t be surprised to see these ants pop up in your gardens
Depending on the species, some fire ants can migrate between colonies. Fire ants with one queen typically stick to their singular mound. Ants that report to multiple queens may move between different colonies and establish dozens of mounds within a small area.
Check out this short video to see a glimpse of swarming fire ants and their giant queen!
Occasionally, fire ants in Texas can come indoors for food, water, or shelter. If you spot these pests within your house, give NTX Best Pest a call to remove them!
Will DIY Methods Eliminate Fire Ants?
Ants can be house guests that won’t leave! After you seemingly destroy a mound or place poison indoors, these pesky insects will still head back to your kitchen.
When dealing with ants, some DIY methods may have some success, but you should always turn to a trusted pest control company like NTX Best Pest to remove stubborn pests from your property.
Look Through your Laundry Room to Use a Borax Mixture
If you have borax by your washing machine to clean difficult stains, you could repurpose this powder to create an ant killer!
In a shallow bowl or plate, mix together sugar, borax, and warm water. After you create a paste, you can spread this inside your dish and place it around ants. You can also add honey, but don’t add too much! The ants could drown or become stuck.
Sprinkle Around Diatomaceous Earth
One of the best ways to combat insects is diatomaceous earth. When you purchase the food-grade version of this powder, you can place it anywhere without worrying about your pets or children accidentally getting sick.
Diatomaceous earth contains tiny particles that will cut and break down an insect’s exoskeleton. Insects will slowly dehydrate as they can no longer retain moisture.
Because ants take their foraged goods back to the colony, you can slowly destroy the colony over some time. However, you will still have to wait for the powder to take effect and wipe out the entire mound.
Give Your Kitchen and Deck a Deep Clean
While this won’t directly kill the fire ants in your home or yard, it can keep them at bay. Ants flock to places rife with nutritional sources. If your kitchen has any spare crumbs or unsecured food, you may accidentally invite these pests to come to stay for a while.
As you tidy up after a meal, clean your counters, floors, stoves, and other surfaces. Even check inside forgotten cracks and corners to prevent fire ants in Texas from dining indoors.
If you frequently eat outdoors or have backyard parties, ants could stick around to clean up your leftovers. Always remember to give your backyard areas a good clean before going back indoors.
Should I Use Pesticides for Fire Ants in Texas?
Once you spot a few ant mounds on your property, it’s easy to turn toward the store shelves to find a quick solution.
However, these chemicals or poisons can be highly toxic. While they may eliminate the fire ants, the pesticides can negatively affect the local environment. If you live near a body of water, the store-bought pesticides could run off into lakes or rivers when it rains.
Because fire ants in Texas can spread throughout your yard, you could easily miss a mound. These pests quickly migrate and repopulate, and your infestation could continue to grow without proper pest management!
Let NTX Best Pest Eliminate Fire Ants!
At NTX Best Pest, we can get rid of the ants on your property with our residential pest control services! DIY or store-bought pest control options may work in the short term, but our treatments can keep them away!
We all know that Texas can experience warm temperatures even during the winter, so ants can stick around throughout the year! You don’t want to see these pests return every few weeks after they bypass the purchased bait.
Our technicians will inspect your yard and home, looking for areas these pests can creep indoors. Once we find signs of ants, we’ll develop a customized treatment plan to knock out the infestation on your property.
When you’re struggling with fire ants in Texas, give NTX Best Pest a call!