Red Ant Control
How Can I Be Sure They Are Red Ants?
The bodies of fire ants, like all insects’ bodies, are divided into three sections: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen, with three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae. Fire ants can be distinguished from other ants by their copper brown head and body with a darker abdomen. The worker ants are blackish to reddish, and their size varies from 2 mm to 6 mm (0.12 in to 0.24 in). These different sizes of the ants can all be present in the same nest. Many ants bite, and formicine ants can cause irritation by spraying formic acid; myrmecine ants like fire ants have a dedicated venom-injecting sting which injects an alkaloid venom as well as mandibles.
Are Red Ants Invasive?
Although most fire ant species do not bother people and are not invasive, Solenopsis invicta, known in the United States as the red imported fire ant (or RIFA) is an invasive pest in many areas of the world, notably the United States, Australia, the Philippines, China and Taiwan. The RIFA was accidentally introduced into the United States aboard a South American cargo ship that docked at the port of Mobile, Alabama, in the 1930s, and came to infest the majority of the Southern and Southwestern United States.
Red Ants Invasion - Red Ant Map
What Damage Do Red Ants Cause?
In the US the FDA estimates that more than US$5 billion is spent annually on medical treatment, damage, and control in RIFA-infested areas. Furthermore, the ants cause approximately $750 million in damage annually to agricultural assets, including veterinarian bills and livestock loss, as well as crop loss. Over 40 million people live in RIFA-infested areas in the southeastern United States. Between 30 and 60% of people living in fire ant-infested areas are stung each year. Since September 2004 Taiwan has been seriously affected by the red fire ant. The US, Taiwan and Australia all have ongoing national programs to control or eradicate the Types of Ants, but, except for Australia, none have been especially effective. In Australia, an intensive program costing A$175 million had by February 2007 eradicated 99% of fire ants from the sole infestation occurring in south-east Queensland.