Fire ants are invasive pests, especially in Texas. These pesky critters roam from the soil in yards to your kitchen and everywhere in between. If there’s an open space and a food source, they’ll get in.

Fire ants are not your common pests because their stings can be a nasty business. While only about 1 percent of the population is hypersensitive to ant venom, you shouldn’t wait to address a fire ant problem. Keep reading to learn where to get started.

All About Fire Ants: What You Must Know

The first step to solving a problem with fire ant colonies is learning more about them. 

What Do Fire Ants Look Like?

Fire ants are distinguishable by their reddish-brown coloration and their elbowed antennae. They also have a reddish thorax with gradations in red-brown colors. You’ll also notice visible nodes and a stinger. 

Are Fire Ants Dangerous?

Fire ants are very aggressive insects. Unlike other ants, they have stingers that transport painful venom into their victims. 

To most, this sting is simply painful. However, some people experience more severe, symptoms including itching, sweating, and nausea. In some situations, numerous stings could lead to death. 

Fire ants often attack in large numbers, leading to several stings that should receive medical attention. 

What Do Fire Ant Mounds Look Like? 

Fire ant mounds on the edge of a lawn, spilling over onto a sidewalk.

Fire ant mounds look like loose piles of dirt with no clear entry point. These mounds are usually only a few inches tall. Still, some grow to be 18 centimeters high and 61 centimeters in diameter. 

Why Are Fire Ants Such a Problem in Texas? 

Fire ants prefer to live and roam in warm, sunny conditions. Since Texas has a warm, dry climate, fire ants can thrive there. 

They are an invasive species that have displaced some native Texas ant species. They can also wreak havoc on your property. 

Why Do I Have a Fire Ant Problem?

Fire ants are attracted to certain conditions that exist in homes and crawl spaces, which could be why you’re seeing them now. The following are all reasons you may see fire ants in or around your home:

  • Spilled food and drink, crumbs, dirty floors, and unclean dishes
  • Poorly sealed windows and doors
  • Gaps under walls for wiring and plumbing
  • Moisture problems
  • Objects moved from outside to inside such as toys or plants
  • Pet food and water
  • Mulch

If you suspect any of these issues are attracting fire ants, address them right away.

Texas Two-Step Fire Ant Control Method

Fire ants on granular bait

Researchers at Texas A&M University developed the Texas Two-Step fire ant control method.

It’s pretty simple:

  1. Scatter granular or bait treatments across your entire property
  2. Apply poison to every mound on your property

While neither treatment is highly effective on its own, they can be very effective when used together.

Fire Ants FAQs

Managing any insect infestation can be overwhelming, so here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

Where are fire ants from? 

The red imported fire ant is native to South America and is an invasive species in the United States. 

What should I do if I get stung by fire ants?

A red fire ant biting a human

If you get stung by one or a few fire ants, apply ice to the affected area on and off for 15 minutes. If you see swelling, elevate that part of your body as well.

If your stings are more severe than that, seek medical attention.

Why do I get fire ants in the laundry? 

Fire ants hate rain and flooding, so when that happens, they move inside for shelter. Laundry rooms are often warm and humid, making them a good habitat for these insects. 

What makes fire ants different from Texas native ants?

Texas has over 250 native ant species. Fire ants are invasive and aggressively attack anyone or anything that disturbs them. They will both bite and sting, as opposed to many native ants that don’t. 

How to Control McKinney, TX Fire Ants

Close-up of fire ants on concrete

One of the best ways to take action against fire ant infestations is to call professionals. Our experts at Stampede Pest Control provide comprehensive inspections, accurate identification, and effective treatments.

With a customized approach to your specific problem, Stampede Pest Control is your solution to McKinney, TX pests. Call today for a free estimate!