Though fire ants are found in the US, they are mostly distributed across South American countries like Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. There are two main types of fire ants; native fire ant and the Red Imported fire ant. An adult fire ant can measure any length from 2 to 12 millimeters. They develop from eggs and can live for as much as 6 months.
Fire ants are just one of the varieties of ants; hence, they possess most of the general characteristics of ants. However, they deserve special attentions as their stings are very dangerous due to the reactions it they could cause. If they should sting a person, there could be nausea and irritation.
Just like other ants, fire ants are social insects, so they live in colony with three main castes – queens, workers and males. Based on the number of queens in a colony, two types of colonies have been identified, which are single queen and multi-queen colonies.
Fire ants can comfortably live in or beneath human dwellings like homes, stores, farmyards and lawns as long as their food sources are easily accessible from their hideouts. Dead matters, decomposing organisms and small insects are the favorite foods of fire ants. They also feed on cheese, sugar, chocolate, sweet, candy and other sweet foods.
Naturally, fire ants are not aggressive; they would never attack until they feel threatened, but when they attack, they inflict painful stings on their victim. Another problem with fire ants is that they are capable of destroying buildings, electrical wires, plants and other things. Hence, it is necessary to exterminate fire ants once they are found.
Although, insecticides, commercial poisons and fire ant baits can effectively exterminate fire ants, their colony must be completely destroyed to enjoy a lasting freedom from their infestation. Contacting a pest control company will be very helpful in finding their colonies and permanently exterminating them.