There are two types of fire ants in the US. There are native fire ants and imported fire ants, and it’s the latter that you have to keep an eye out for. They’re the one with the painful sting that will aggressively swarm anyone who gets close to their nest.
Red imported fire ants first reached the US in the 30s by accident. They originally landed in the Southern states but soon spread west and north because they had no natural predators in these areas. Not only that, but this ant species is extremely sturdy. A fire ant colony can survive temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit for weeks, and they can form nests on water until they reach a dry location.
Sting and treatment
You will feel a fire ant sting right away, and one ant can sting multiple times. Not only that, but you will usually be attacked by several ants at once, especially if you are near their nest. Shortly after, you will find a series of red spots which will have a blister on top. The pain and itchiness from a sting can last up to a week, and some people may develop a dangerous allergic reaction. The symptoms of a mild sting can be ameliorated using ice or a cold compress. Over-the-counter steroid creams can work as well, along with antihistamines.
In case of an allergic reaction, you or the person stung, will experience a series of symptoms which include difficulty breathing and swallowing, nausea and dizziness. The symptoms will develop very fast after the sting has taken place, and it is crucial that the person experiencing an allergic reaction receives medical treatment right away.
Dealing with red imported fire ants
If you have a fire ant nest on your property, your best course of action is to either avoid it, or to read up on how to deal with it and then do so safely. These ants are particularly aggressive when they feel that their nest is threatened so you have to be careful. You can also get in touch with a pest control pro who will remove the infestation for you. This is the safest and most effective route. Contact us today if you have any questions about red imported fire ants or if you have an infestation on your property and you would like to get rid of it.