Fire Ant Removal in Houston
Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta)
While there are ants that are native to Texas, the Red Imported Fire Ant is one of the most aggressive, and fast spreading, species of fire ants in Texas. They have succeeded in pushing out most of the other native ants, and have taken over not just Texas, but other parts of the world as well. Australia, for example, is facing a growing epidemic because of the ants. Fears that they could destroy the fragile Australian ecosystem are not at all unfounded. Fire ants can be difficult to remove, and a professional fire ant exterminator is recommended when dealing with them.
Habitat and Diet
Imported red fire ants are native to South American jungles, but they have made their way to most of South America, all of North America, the majority of China, and even as far south as Australia. The ants can be found all over Texas, though it seems that we have a large number of them in the Greater Houston area.
Red imported fire ants, when in urban or suburban areas, prefer to make their nests in warm, open, sunny places. Gardens, picnic areas, lawns, sidewalks, golf courses, and even playground are common locations to find ant mounds.
When it comes to diets, imported red fire ants will eat anything. They scavenge and eat plant material, but they have also been known to swarm, kill, and eat much larger insects, and even small animals.
Imported fire ants are more dangerous that people realize. The small stinging insects are being called one of the most invasive species in the world. They move in, kill any native insects, and can even kill domesticated animals if they swarm in large enough numbers.
Although it is uncommon, it is possible to die from red imported fire ant stings. Usually, this occurs when the person can’t escape from the ants, or when the person is allergic. The elderly and small children are also more likely to die after being swarmed by red imported fire ants.
One of the most dangerous times to encounter fire ants is during flooding. The worker ants will ball together to form a raft to try and protect their queen. During this time, the ants are far more aggressive, and it can be difficult to escape.
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